You may first know Jeff Shaara for his cooperative effort with his father Michael Shaara; together they brought the Civil War into comfy chairs all across the country. The two partnered to renderÂ the thrilling Civil War trilogy: “Killer Angels,” “Gods and Generals” and “The Last Full Measure.”
Maybe books aren’t for you, but you’ve sat through all 261 minutes of Martin Sheen’s Gettysburg, or you’ve memorized all the lines to General Stonewall Jackson’s first brigade speech in the 2003 prequel Gods and Generals.Â Either way, Shaara’s ability toÂ weave history into fiction has been capturing audiences for over a decade. In his newest novel, “Steel Wave,” Shaara trades Longstreet andÂ Gettysburg forÂ Eisenhower and Omaha Beach as he uses his pen to recapture the Allied invasion of France on D-Day 1944.
You cannot miss this opportunity to meet Jeff Shaara at the Gettysburg Gift Center on Thursday, November 20 and Friday, November 21. From 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Jeff will oblige history buffs and fiction freaks alike, adding his autograph to his recently released WWII novel.
The Gettysburg Gift Center is located in the Gettysburg Museum,Â 297 Steinwehr Ave. For more information you can call the museum at 717-334-6245.
For years, Gettysburg Pennsylvania has been haunted by ghosts, ghouls, and groovy ooey-gooeys. At least, that’s the word on the street.
And, no, I’m not just talking about some tourist trap souvenir shops that provide back street alley tours so you can inspect Gettysburg’s creeks and stone bridges in the dark. I’m talking about real live dead people scaring the living daylights out of your children. Sounds fun, doesn’t it?
Actually, Friday the 13th horror stories aside, tonight is Friday the 10th and it’s still haunted. I’m scared even as I’m writing this.
The reason I’m scared is not because of some poltergeist activity reported by the local newspapers, which I seldom read. If there was a goblin on the loose I wouldn’t know about it. I’m scared because there will be TV people in Gettysburg tonight. Yes, those eerie fearie and nasty crassty TV people!
In unison now: Oooooooooooohhh!
Whatchu Talking About, Gettysburg Tramp?
Here’s the deal. The Travel Channel is paying a little visit to Gettysburg tonight around 8 p.m. to film the strange goings on as they’re going on. They’ll be filming for seven straight hours!
How they’re going to get the ghosts and haunted crevices in America’s most touristy town to cooperate for that long is beyond me, but I heard they’re doing this event without paid actors. If you’re hungry for some real live ghost stories and you’d like to see a staged, though unofficially unstaged haunting, then sneak in on the TV crew at the Dobbin House, Farnsworth House, Shriver House, or Jennie Wade House. Just don’t come to my house because I’ll be hiding under the covers.
And if you’re feeling really risky, then dress up in a cute little private eye disguise and pretend to be tailing the Gettysburg mayor while you keep a left eye on The Travel Channel’s TV crew as they go to – gasp! – an undisclosed location. I don’t know where that is, but I’m quite sure it’s very scary.
At any rate, if you’re looking to be a star and want to show up on TV, I know two ways you can attempt to make that happen. Pretend to be one of the ghosts tonight around midnight or walk toward the camera crew – no, run toward the camera crew – at four minutes past midnight with your “Oh, I’m scared witless” look on your face.
According to the Gettysburg Times, the source of this news story, over 100 members of The Travel Channel’s camera crew have already shown up in town with their “ghost detection equipment”. I’m betting Caspar won’t be friendly tonight.
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In the most famous small town in America next month, liars will congregate for a tremendous festival great for all ages. It’s the Northeast Storytelling Festival.
The festival begins on September 21, Friday evening, and runs through Saturday, September 22. It will be held at The Gettysburg Village, the local outlet mall.
The first festival was last year so this is the second annual event of this name. I didn’t go last year, but it does look like a lot of fun. Among the talent this year are:
- Carmen Agra Deedy
- Bil Lepp
- Dovie Thomason
- Ed Stivender
All are nationally-known storytellers. Local and regional storytellers include:
- Pat Anschutz
- Adam Booth
- Gail Hermann
- Kim Weitkamp
As a part of the festival, there will be two contests: A Liar’s Contest and a ghost story contest. The winner of the Liar’s Contest will win the Golden Shovel Award. For more information about the Northeast Storyteller’s Festival in Gettysburg call 717-337-0080.
Enjoy this video footage of a Gettysburg reenactment:
Gettysburg residents will soon have the opportunity to see the low-budget film “Route 30″ right here at home. The movie was produced by John Putch, who has ties to this area through Totem Pole Playhouse Director Bill Putch and actress Jean Stapleton to whom Bill was married.
“Route 30″, named for Lincoln Highway, of course, will be shown at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg at 8 p.m. on September 27, 2008. Putch said he is open to showing the film a second time if there is enough demand for it. Currently, about half of the tickets to the first show have been sold. Some of the shots included in the film include the Totem Pole Playhouse, the Jennie Wade House, and Edenville quarry.
Tickets cost just $16 and visitors to Gettysburg around the end of September are encouraged to buy tickets and see the show. Some of the proceeds will go to benefit the Totem Pole Playhouse and the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor. The film has been well received at film festivals.
Books and videos about Gettysburg are a dime a dozen. Not only do they provide education about a historic place and a historic time, but many of them are entertaining as well. Just out this short list of available titles from the Gettysburg Blog Bookstore:
- Ghosts of Gettysburg: Walking on Hallowed Ground
- Gettysburg: A Novel of the Civil War by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen
- Gettysburg / Gods and Generals (DVD)
- Battleground Gettysburg (Computer Game)
- Gettysburg Civil War Cotton Throw Blanket Afghan Gift
- Gettysburg Magazine
- Alternate Gettysburgs
- The Artillery of Gettysburg
- Gettysburg (VHS)
- The Killer Angels
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty more books on Gettysburg and the Civil War at the Gettysburg Blog Bookstore.