Show Me a Quintessential Mid-American Childhood? I’d Take You to a Tractor Show

If someone were to ask me to replicate for them the quintessential experience of my mid-American childhood, we would throw on some t-shirts and cut-offs and watch threshing at an antique tractor show. We’d watch strong arms turn the flywheel of a Rumely OilPull until it fires with a big puff, listen to the song of a steam-powered calliope coming over the ridge, and look into the black night sky as a Baker steam engine throws sawdust sparks as high as the tree-tops. We’d visit with folks sitting in fold up lawn chairs under a camper awning. There would be long-lost cousins, friends we see only once a year, lots of laughs and there would be pie!

That is home–where the people are true and strong and sweet and even a little ornery.

Even before I wrote down my grandfather’s story and published Little Rumely Man, I knew these tractor-collecting folks were a friendly, giving bunch. But time and again since last August when I debuted the book, their kind words have taken me back to the same feeling of belonging I had as a kid riding on hot fenders around a parade ring in the “hole” at the Pioneer Engineers Annual Reunion. With each review, like this one in Engineers and Engines magazine, (Read the pdf in the attached photo.) I get more than a little choked up in my own memories and over the possibility that Little Rumely Man could spark a passion for agricultural and rural life preservation in someone new. Thank you for that, not only from me, but also from “Jack.” There’s no doubt in my mind that he and Grandma would like that.

Leave the world better than you found it!


Engineers and Engines is a antique farm machinery magazine. They published this review of Little Rumely Man in the June/July issue.

Engineers and Engines is a antique farm machinery magazine. They published this review of Little Rumely Man in the June/July issue.

The First of Many for Summer 2013 — Little Rumely Man Book Event

Spring is playing peek-a-boo with us here in the Midwest, but my eyes are set on summer. Little Rumely Man is going on the road! One trip is booked and Jack can’t wait! (Neither can I!)

Over Labor Day weekend, (I know it’s a long way off.) you’ll find Little Rumely Man at the Midwest Old Thresher’s Reunion in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Yep, I’m pointing Dolly (That’s my arrest-me red Prius–flashy on the outside and all country on the inside–kind of like Dolly Parton–see earlier post.) due west.  (Can’t believe I’ve never been to Iowa – it’s just five hours away.)

The best part is that I’ll get to take in an antique farm machinery show that is (I think.) the largest of its kind in the country.  (Rumor has it that 80,000 people wander the grounds checking out the steam engines, threshing, live music, antiques, etc.) There’s so much going on there, I can’t imagine how I will see it all! But you can find me at the Farm Collector magazine exhibit. (Don’t worry. I’ll post more info later this summer.) I’ll be signing and selling Little Rumely Man on Saturday. Let’s hope that I can make a big donation to the show…a portion of the proceeds from every book sold is ALWAYS donated to those preserving agricultural and rural life history.

Can’t wait!! (Oh yeah, and I’ll be celebrating my birthday there too!)

Leave the world better than you found it!

Sharing Little Rumely Man with LaPorte – Jack’s kind of famous now

It’s weird for a freelance writer/reporter to be on the other end of an interview. But here’s a great story written by Gabrielle Gonzalez about this weekend’s Little Rumely Man book-signing at the LaPorte County (Indiana) Historical Society Museum.

Click here to read the story:

What a treat it was to share Jack’s story with folks in the place where Rumely called home for so many years. Loved it so much, Jack’s headed back to LaPorte for a Rumely Reunion, March 9.

And, by the way, the LaPorte County Historical Society Museum is a treasure. There’s an AWESOME car collection and sooo much more. Plus, you’ll find Jack’s story for sale in the gift shop.

Leave the world better than you found it!


Rubbing Elbows with Direct Sellers Made My Dream Come True

A few months ago, I took a closer look at direct sellers for Direct Selling News. (They are far more than just the Avon or Mary Kay ladies of the world.) I’ve been writing for this industry for more than six years and have had the pleasure of speaking with literally hundreds of people at all levels in direct selling. I have laughed and cried hearing the stories these folks tell about their circumstances and how direct selling lifted them, empowered them and taught them they could be what they always dreamed.

Telling their stories through publications likeDirect Selling News, Success From Home, Your Business At Home, and Beautiful You opened a door for me professionally and gave me a new-found respect for personal development. I credit my association with the direct selling industry for inspiring me to finally write my children’s book, Little Rumely Man. Rubbing elbows with direct sellers helped me make my dream come true.

If my January cover story for Direct Selling News or any of the stories on my website give you a glimmer of hope that you can make 2013 a better year for you and your family, then I’ve succeeded. Open minds soak up new ideas. That doesn’t mean everyone should be a direct seller. Maybe your take away will be inspiration to put together an action plan that will make your dreams come true. Resources are out there to help you make positive changes in your life. (Sometimes they are even free!) Just get past the fear, forget whatever circumstances that have been holding you back and forge ahead in this new year!

Leave the world better than you found it!







Little Rumely Man Book Signing

I’m taking Jack, the Little Rumely Man, on the road to the Rumely OilPull’s hometown of LaPorte, Indiana. It’s where the object of Jack’s affection was manufactured between 1910-1930. I’ll be signing books, Saturday, Jan. 19 at the LaPorte Historical Society Museum! Time and further details to follow.

In the meantime, check out for your very own copy!


Sneak peek: Farm Collector Likes Little Rumely Man!!!

Sneak peek of Little Rumely Man‘s review tells me Farm Collector magazine liked it! The review is part of Farm Collector magazine’s Between the Bookend’s Holiday Preview for gift-giving in the December 2012 issue. Look for it in mailboxes later this month and also on line at Farm Collector.

Now cross your fingers that their readers are just as enthusiastic about Jack’s little story.

Leave the world better than you found it!

Little Rumely Man Rates A+ from

A+ Review at

A leading antique tractor collector’s website rated Little Rumely Man with an A+ this week. Michael Hinton, owner of posted information about the book and his rating on his blog. Check it out.

Check out the book and the OilPulls that Jack fell in love with at the Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana annual reunion, Thursday, August 2 through Sunday, August 5 at Caldwell Pioneer Acres, Rushville, Indiana. My hometown’s show plays host to the Rumely Collector’s Expo, which features Advance-Rumely machines ranging from OilPulls to steam engines and a variety of implements including grain separators.

Stop by the striped umbrella next to Maple-Hunter Decals on the main drag, just past the main entrance.  That’s where you’ll find me and Little Rumely Man. Take one or two home for just $10.

Take in the calliope music, eat some great food, meet some new friends, and who knows you might just go home a Rumely man or woman!

Note: A portion of the proceeds from sales of this book go to agriculture preservation through donations to Pioneer Engineers Club of Indiana, Inc., and other organizations like it, who build on the skills and talents of their members to educate and entertain the public as they preserve the heritage of rural life.