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DayataTimeOn September 27, 2017, I will be in Cincinnati when Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and the city council will honor Doris Day at a special ceremony.  Doris is no doubt one of the most famous celebrities who claim Cincy as their home. She may well be the most famous!

I have been a devoted fan since age 9 when I first saw Doris in Calamity Jane and the rest is history.

Three years ago I was giving one of my “A Day to Remember: Doris Day” programs at an upscale retirement community in Cincinnati.  After I spoke, a Dr. Bob Maltz, approached me and said he shared my mutual admiration for Miss Day.  During our conversation Bob relayed his idea/dream of having the city of Cincinnati honor home town girl, Doris Day.   He had the idea for several years, but said he wasn’t getting anywhere.  He asked if I would help him see this through. Of course I would.

Bob has many contacts and finally was able to present his idea to P.G. Sittenfeld , a city of Cincinnati council member since 2011.  It just so happens that P.G.’s parents are big Doris Day fans, which turned out to be an added bonus in making this happen. Thanks to P. G. Sittenfeld, the idea was approved! The city of Cincinnati was willing to honor one of their most famous citizens, on the condition that they obtain some kind of recognition from Miss Day, which is totally understandable.  That was our next mission.

I have not had contact with Doris or her staff for many years, but thought of contacting fellow animal lover and actress Jackie Joseph, who co-starred with Doris in her “Doris Day Show” sitcom at CBS. I phoned Jackie, explained the situation and the need to get this to the proper people in order for the plan to go through. It happened.

On Monday, August 28th I received a call from Bob, who was overjoyed in telling me the city of Cincinnati will officially honor Doris Day on Wednesday, September 27th – details to come.  I was thrilled with the news and began thinking of media and people to contact.  You know the old saying, “If you throw enough spaghetti on the wall, some is going to stick.” Right now we are awaiting final plans with all the details on exactly what, when and where everything will take place on that day.  I have been asked to say a few words.  This is going to be a wonderful tribute to a multi-talented and gracious lady—Miss Doris Day. A street will be named for her: Doris Day Way!

by Mary Anne Barothy

Click back to the website and order Day at a Time: An Indiana Girl’s Sentimental Journey to Doris Day’s Hollywood and Beyond



Posted in Doris Day |

A Small Regional Press Depends on—Yes! The Postal Service

Over the last four or five months we at Hawthorne have shipped among the various titles we offer over 1200 copies of one particularly popular book, most all of them as individual sales. In the case of this title, Cracking the Camouflage Ceiling, the story of one of the first three women chaplains in the U.S. military,  orders came in from our website via Paypal and usually the next day the books went out. The number of mis-sents or mistakes could have been about four. How did we accomplish this? With the often maligned post office exclusively, one-at-a-time at the local Wesfield, Indiana branch.

I don’t know what the overall problems of the USPS are, its budget deficits, the political implications of changing administrations, the challenges of technologies that are obsolete and policies that change for the entire system.  I do know that any business would be proud to have the employees that we encounter and who make our publishing company work at the “ship the book” level.

On any given day we will move into the Westfield office with a large book box or two or three of individually packaged books, sometimes 20 or so of them. Our friends there are experienced and jolly, making the trip pleasant as well as efficient. Nan will take up the books, start the litany of “Do you have any dangerous items such as lithium batteries,” and “Is there any perfume in this shipment” as she checks each zip code for accuracy. Or Tom at the other window will check for anomalies and give advice about the time any one of our packages will arrive. If there’s a gap in the packaging, they find the tape and re-seal.  The wait is always short and service brisk.

Standing next to patrons who are shipping packages are often fairly long lines of passport applicants. Small children are wheeling around their parents’ legs, teasing each other, or flipping through (or off) the greeting cards in stand-up displays, several national backgrounds if we can judge from the languages we hear. Passport services with the long application form seem complicated to me and take up to an hour at times, but everyone is generally patient. For passports Kim, the post office superintendent comes out and talks with folks along the line wanting to make the waiting time to process the paperwork and take a photo as short as possible.

But it isn’t just the snappy service that makes a visit to this rather small branch of our national government pleasant. It’s the fun these people have and with us as they do their jobs, usually uncomplainingly. We regular customers come to know a couple of the behind-the-scene people’s schedules from the early dawn to mid-day. We know about Nan’s move to another town, and Malia’s pride in her college-age daughter and younger children. Tom has photos to show of his star basketball-playing daughter if nobody’s waiting and we can tell him of weekend plans. And there has recently been time to talk to Lindy about whether the new requirement they have to honor, saying “Welcome to the Westfield Post Office” to every single person who comes in is ridiculous. The line can pitch in on the discussion and they usually do.

Their equipment is not exactly state of the art but it works about 3/4s of the time. But their dedication and genuine service are at a 100% level and it helps make our company work!

Nancy Niblack Baxter is Senior Editor at Hawthorne Publishing. Flip back to see and order her books.



Posted in Book Publishing |

A Cabinet Of Curiosities from the Civil War In Indiana

A review by Kathleen Angelone, owner of Bookmama’s Bookstore in Indianapolis which first appeared in the city in Weekly View and Southside Voice in July and August.


Bet you thought you knew all about Indiana’s involvement in the Civil War.  A Cabinet Of Curiosities From The Civil War In Indiana: Important, Moving, and Sometimes Odd Stories of the Human Side of the War edited by Nancy Niblack Baxter is sure to introduce you to some new aspects of Indiana and the Civil War. Arranged in chronological order, the book has segments on Prelude to War, Mid War:  Raids and Routings, Mid-War:  The Cavalry and Artillery, Mid-War:  The Women and Children’s Conflict, Mid-War:  Mustering the Red Badge of Courage, Late in the War, Soon After the War, and After the Return:  Men of the Civil War.

Each chapter consists of short stories and pictures about interesting aspects of the war.  One tells how some soldiers determined that their chaplain really did like whiskey-even if he didn’t realize it.  Another tells of the Battle of Pogue’s Run.  Who knew that the Copperheads who tried to take over the state actually had a battle with the government troops by Pogue’s Run right here in Indianapolis?  Another battle I’d never heard of took place with Hoosier soldiers in Missouri at the Battle of the Hemp Bales.  There is a really sweet story about the dolls a soldier gave his daughters before he marched off never to be seen again.  The dolls can still be seen at the Indiana State Museum.  I also learned about Filibusters — not the Senators who speak ad nauseum.  Rather, these Filibusters were soldiers of Fortune who invaded Central American countries. They actually took over the government of Nicaragua in 1856. Their connection with the Civil War is that these soldiers of Fortune were fighting for the South—to gain more land in the Central American countries for extending slavery.   Another great segment tells the story of the birth of the Conn musical instrument business.

The charts, notes and illustrations add a great deal to the book.  There are period photographs of the characters along with images of flags, drums, maps and more.  The notes at the end of each chapter are actually interesting, consisting of much more than just a reference to a source.

This book is a fun read and will add significantly to libraries of Civil War Buffs and those who just like history in general.  The book is available at Bookmamas in Irvington in Indianapolis.

Or click back to the Website and order Cabinet of Curiosities

Posted in Books on Indiana, civil war |

The Little Bookstore That Could: Bookmamas in Irvington Survives and Prospers in an Age Where “It can’t be done.”

little engineBookmamas, the little Bookstore in the Historic Irvington section of Indianapolis, has been compared to the classic story of The Little Engine That Could. In that story, a train loaded with toys needs an engine to pull it over the mountain to waiting children.  The train asks several big engines who refuse to pull the train because they think they can’t traverse the mountain pulling the train of toys.  Finally, the smallest engine in the rail yard agrees to try.  It stalls several times as it tries to travel up and over the mountain.  Each time the little engine stalls, it repeats, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” makes it over that rough spot and continues on until it delivers the toys to the expectant children.

Ten years ago bookstores around the nation were closing.  Amazon and online sales were eroding the sales of brick and mortars.  E books were threatening to replace traditional books.  Other forms of entertainment such as video games and television supplanted reading for many people.  The great recession of 2008 significantly slowed the economy.  And I bought a used online bookstore and opened Bookmamas.

What was I thinking?  That’s what my brother, a financial adviser, wanted to know. I was thinking about how our mother didn’t buy me books while I was growing up because I didn’t need encouragement to read.  Now her legacy to me was a store full of books.  I was thinking how great it would be to put the right book into the hands of the eager reader.  I was thinking about how I would love to encourage more children to love books and reading.  I was thinking about all the interesting book lovers I would meet.  I was thinking of book clubs and writers’ groups and author talks. I was thinking of learning more about books, authors, ideas and people.

My cousin Carolyn and I tried everything we could think of.  We sold books online, I exhibited in markets throughout town, I set up small satellite stores, and we sponsored author signings, group meetings, musical performances and lectures.  We expanded into new books specializing in books about Indiana or by Hoosiers.  Who knew Indiana was the subject of so many wondrous books and home of so many great authors? We formed partnerships with other Indianapolis organizations such as the library, Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Ray Bradbury Institute and Hoosier History Live.  Bookmamas finally merged with a record store —bringing in an entirely new group of patrons.

Every time we had trouble, we repeated the mantra, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,” and amazingly we succeeded.  Bookmamas is still here and has brought me copious amounts of joy and satisfaction.

By guest blogger Kathleen Angelone, owner of the store

Next Week: Kathleen Angelone reviews a new Civil War book from Hawthorne!

Posted in Book Publishing, Welcome |