Book Report: Status of John Thornton Walker — The Hero Who Didn’t Come Home

Job Conger poses with a visiting Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey that visited Springfield and whose crew toured AeroKnow Museum, November 3, 2014

Job Conger poses with a visiting Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey that visited Springfield and whose crew toured AeroKnow Museum, November 3, 2014

Personal update then book update: My employer reduced my hours at work so I could have two more morning hours at AeroKnow Museum before punching in. This was good until the woman who’s been renting my upstairs half of my duplex moved out on one day’s notice after inflicting significant damage (cat urine-RUINED living room carpet. floors in kitchen, two bedrooms and bathroom that must be replaced, 10 of the 14 window blinds that must be replaced, a living room to repaint, four pickup truck loads of clothing and, garbage to haul to my employer’s big dumpster with his permission.)  I had to replace three floors, and the fellow I hired to DO it is giving me a good rate per hour, but he’s taking MUCH longer than expected to do it. I should have started to show it to renters November 1, but I MAY not be able to show it until early DECEMBER. Meanwhile, I’m paying the utility bill to keep the water pipes from freezing ans bursting! The cataract surgery I expected to have done last JULY still hasn’t been scheduled — financing problems (OF COURSE) — and my eyes are not fixing themselves. I’m comfortable driving only during daytime, and at night, I try to avoid rush hours and heavy traffic.  Oncoming headlights are HELLdammit! . . . . . . but about the book . . . . . .

John Thornton ("T") Walker of Springfield, Illiois. (photo courtesy Connie Walker Strouse)

John Thornton (“T”) Walker of Springfield, Illiois. (photo courtesy Connie Walker Strouse)

The family of John Thortnton Walker — his daughter, her husband, her husband’s brother and their respective families SHOULD have had the book I promised to write a year and a half  ago. That’s because I expected to have recruited volunteers to help at this museum. It hasn’t happened. On the positive side, I’ve changed my approach to the book to expedite its completion.

Instead of a digest-size 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ digest-size originally planned, the book will be 8 1/2″ x 11″ format.  This is because the priceless pictures, second in importance only to the story of the nearly forgotten hero, will look better if they’re larger. I expect the pictures of Springfield, airplanes, views of the combat theaters “T” captured and the rest will be as much appreciated by many purchasers of the book as the story, so maximizing their quality is a foremost concern.

On November 21 I promised the family that while I  am here at the airport museum, I will direct my minutes exclusively the completion of their book, of Springfield’s book, when visitors are not present and I am not taking brief breaks — no more than an hour a way from “the book” at a time and no more than once on short days (weekdays) and twice on weekend days when I’m here more than six hours.  While I will continue to take pictures of visiting aircraft, I will not take time to process and edit even one picture until the book draft is e-mailed to the family for additions and corrections. Following their response, I will print 50 copies at a professional printer and offer them for sale.

That’s where we are today. Since responding to recent correspondence from T’s family, I have kept my promise, and there is nothing on my horizon that will alter my present course.

Thanks for reading this post.

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About Job Conger

I am a freelance aviation, business and tourism writer, poet, songwriter. My journalism appears regularly in Springfield Business Journal and Illinois Times. I am author of Springfield Aviation from Arcadia Publishing and available everywhere. As founder/director of AeroKnow Museum (AKM) and a volunteer with American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), I created this blog to share news about AKM activity and aviation history.
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One Response to Book Report: Status of John Thornton Walker — The Hero Who Didn’t Come Home

  1. matthewpenning says:

    Keep at it, Job. Chip away until the book is complete. I like the larger picture layout. Hope you get a renter soon.

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