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In , he chaired and gave the keynote address at the convention in Nappanee, Indiana, where he called for toleration in the church. It demands that we respect the honest convictions of others even though we do not agree with them. Toleration was critical, he said, because, with it, churches could do good work together. Henry Smith Trust, which aids projects promoting the Mennonite peace message.

Visit www. KSU Press continued to print and distribute the active backlist of books from Antioch Press for several years. Hubbell was the third director of the University Press. In the Press was publishing about twenty titles annually. Most were in the humanities, with an emphasis on literary studies and regional history, but also included an eclectic mix of titles in mathematics, music theory, business, and other topics.

Under Hubbell the Press embarked on a period of growth and a change in editorial direction to history, with a focus on the American Civil War and important regional studies, including critical editions of the papers of Salmon P. Chase and Robert A. Taft Jr.


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Hubbell launched several edited series including three published in partnership with KSU centers and institutes: the Wick Poetry series, the Diplomatic History series, and the Translation Studies series. By the time Hubbell retired in , the Press had ten staff publishing about thirty new volumes annually with respected lists in U. Jim banked the plane so as to dip the wing on my right seat side, and I stole enough of a look to recognize the unmistakably mighty Mississippi. We stopped for fuel in Minden, just shy of Shreveport, aiming for Dallas to install the software patch that we needed for weather readings.

By the time we were ready to take off from Dallas the next day, a cool drizzle had moved in, reminding us why we avoided winter during most of our flying in the last three years. For the next three hours after departure again on an instrument plan , we were either in the thick cloud layer or just above it, barely seeing the vast stretches of west Texas below us or the sun above.

I think Jim enjoys the challenge of this kind of flying. He is always on top of the instruments, pushing buttons of one sort or another, checking gauges, and testing the redundant systems. For me, this opaque flying is unpleasant, sometimes even boring. For the rest of us, well, I for one consider flights like these functional. The plane is getting me west. The air traffic controllers were busy over west Texas. There were at least five medevac flights calling in that day, which seemed like a lot until you considered the long desolate stretches of road lying between sick or injured people and medical attention.

In rural Ajo, Arizona , we knew that rural medical care meant that pregnant women often took precautions to drive the miles to Phoenix or Tucson some weeks in advance of their delivery dates. The medevac flights always took priority, no questions asked. The names were exotic and evocative to me. Road Dog Trucking warned about winter road conditions over Omaha and St.

Louis and impending ice storms. Rural Radio would offer local crop prices or advice on pest control, depending on when and where we were flying.

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We ascended to 10, feet to cross the very southern remnants of the Rockies, the Guadalupe Mountains, on our way to Las Cruces. This reminded me of the tail end of the Great Wall that we climbed in Gansu province in China, where the crumbling remains became little but an obstacle for the farmers to work around in their fields.

Finally, the cloud cover was dissipating. But I felt myself involuntarily taking longer, deeper breaths. And I also checked the color of my fingernail beds for any tinge of blue, which signals oxygen deprivation. We were fine, of course. We refueled in Las Cruces, looking for late afternoon lunch and settling on the beef jerky I always packed for such lean times. We decided to press on another hour or so to Tucson. The mountains deflated into undulating brown hills. There were flatlands with some volcanic outcroppings or long stretches of almost-surreal desert landscapes.

Sightings of such geology—volcanic or the colored striations of angular mountainsides—always make us feel very small and our moments on this earth fleeting.

Not to wax too dramatic, but flying does that to your perspective. Finally, Tucson. Approaches for landing follow a U-shaped pattern. The goal is to land flying into the wind, which offers more control. As we were about to turn base, the winds suddenly shifted. Really suddenly. Suddenly the winds favored landing in the opposite direction, with left traffic for Runway 29 Left, which is the same strip of asphalt headed the opposite way. We were one day out of Washington D.

The weather was balmy. In the Best Western breakfast room, Ms.

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Before this technology existed, we had flown many years without such real-time information, but given the forecast for the next few days along our route to Southern California, we preferred to have everything working before we headed up again into the skies. Now, only two small things stood between us and progress west.

One was the needed update part for our onboard-weather system. The other was the real-time weather. The forecast crosswinds that afternoon for Dallas were gusting above 30 and even 40 knots, far exceeded the safe landing guidelines for the plane.


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  • We decided to spend another day in Demopolis, and depart when the winds would be less fearsome and the weather-software part would have arrived. I loved this kind of on-the-go pivot in plans, which had led us to unexpected stays in places like Red Oak, Iowa and Cheyenne, Wyoming and Toccoa, Georgia along our American Futures journey. In small towns like this, we often found that the energetic folks wore multiple hats.

    Over the last three years, I often found that the local public library showed the heart and soul of a community. I wrote about many of them here. In Demopolis we strolled down Washington Street, past as many boarded up storefronts as there were ones in business, thinking that the bones of those buildings offered great potential for future success stories. The public library was indeed the showpiece of the town.

    The second story mezzanine has a wraparound balcony overlooking the main reading room, with wooden Mission style worktables and lamps. There was Woodrow Wilson visiting nearly a century ago for the then-legal cockfighting at a fundraising auction to build a bridge over the Tombigbee River. Connie Lawson, the circulation manager and a librarian there for over 20 years, recounted detail for detail a more recent visit in by Bill and Melinda Gates, who came by to see how one of their first computer donations from the Gates Library Foundation was doing.

    Famous visiting dignitaries could take a lesson from the Gateses, who impressed Demopolis with moments that people would remember and retell for decades. The Gateses traveled by bookmobile that day, heading off from Demopolis over to Selma and then on to Montgomery to catch a plane. One hardy woman we met on the dock, who lived on their houseboat year round, said that last week, it had been so cold that her husband had to chop up the ice that formed on the docks. Other boats gamely decorated in tropical Christmas lights, and others boasted questionable-sounding home ports of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Occoquan, Virginia, both of which are landlocked, as far as I know.

    The dredging process spewed out and sifted the sludge into fine sand, an ingredient for the cement, and gravel, which was sold elsewhere. Before we left the next morning, Mike Grayson toured us around the location of the recently announced Two Rivers Lumber Company, at the site of a former barge-manufacturing plant. The site was located between the river, where they had floated the new barges away, and the airport. Parades of big rigs were lining up to dump their loads of timber to the paper mill, at the far end of the runway.

    Mike Grayson, with the spirit of town visionaries we had seen across the country, pointed to the forests as we were crossing the highway at the end of the airport road. Since our first visit in the fall of , Deb and I have reported frequently on the grit, vision, resilience, and apparently indomitable drive of the roughly people who live in the little city of Eastport, Maine.

    For instance: warfare in Syria had disrupted the port business in Maine, through a causal chain explained here. And the collapse of a breakwater badly affected the cruise ship and tourism industries on which the town was placing many hopes. This past week Eastport got a much-needed dose of very good news. Ever seen old pictures of roll-top sardine tins? This building is where millions of them came from. Deb and I have heard off and on about the project since about that time.

    Thus this past week we were delighted to hear through the Maine media that the deal had come through. Today the Bangor Daily News has a story on details of the deal. Another account is in Mainebiz. The redeveloped site will be called 15 Sea Street; a fuller description of the ambitions behind it is here.

    And with that, we were off in our small Cirrus airplane for the last official journey of our American Futures series for The Atlantic , flying away from frigid Washington D. We have flown over 60, miles during the past three-and-a-half years, from the upper Midwest to Maine, south through New England and the Mid Atlantic states to Georgia and Florida, sweeping through the deep south, to Texas and the southwest, up the central valley of California to Oregon and Washington, and closing the loop to Montana, all the while snaking in and out of the so-called flyover country, the middle of everywhere through Wyoming, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, and much of the rest.

    The purpose of this last journey is a little different. From experience, we anticipated that the journey would be unpredictable and exciting. Our leave-taking was not auspicious. Our planned departure for Sunday, and then for Monday came and went: the weather was too bad. We were heeding our only cardinal rule, which is that weather comes first, and there is no place we really have to be, ever.

    Finally, Tuesday looked like the day. It was still a blustery 29 degrees in Washington D. I stretched my headset to fit over a heavy knit cap.


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    • After all that, the sound of the motor turning over quickly, and I would add proudly, was our signal. The air traffic controllers, ATC , my heroes of the sky, guided us through the busy Dulles airspace, on a shortcut south. I was grateful for my natural sea legs, dating back to a childhood of pounding over waves in small sailboats, which translated well to the bumps and blips from gusty winds aloft. We stopped for cheap gas in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Just beyond that, the snow had melted and given way to long stretches of brown earth. We tried out a few different altitudes before settling as low as we could, around feet, where headwinds were a bit lighter.

      Usually the lower the altitude, the weaker the wind. Outside, the temperatures began rising. We flew over the catfish farms and the erratic geometry of forest-clearing. We were chasing the PM sunset in Demopolis, Alabama, our hoped-for destination, to get in before dark and before the PM scheduled closing time for the small airport office, called the FBO, or Fixed Base Operator in general aviation terms. We chose Demopolis for nostalgia this time, as Jim had spent a good part of the summer of around Selma, Montgomery, and Demopolis, as a teenaged very cub-reporter for a civil rights newspaper called the Southern Courier , writing about voter registration and other civil rights efforts.

      We wanted to give the town a look nearly 50 years later.

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      Jason, the manager there, told us no rush to beat the PM deadline, that he would stick around. That was welcome news to me; as part of my self-designated ground support, I usually arranged a motel and transportation before we arrived, a lesson learned over the years after some unhappy after-hours arrivals at rural airports, with no way into town and no place to stay. But we were lucky. At the end of a long departure and a very long day, it all worked out.

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      With generosity exceeding even Southern hospitality, Jason lent us his own car for the night, saying his wife could come collect him later. We got the last room at the Best Western, which was booked with a team of workers who had come into town to service the planned outage of the cement factory.

      We were well on our way. For me this is the third post of the day, and probably the last in this space for quite a while. At the start of June I plan to be back, recharged for the fray, and by then my wife Deb and I should—will! Online life changes and moves on, even more quickly than life in general. There are inevitable costs to stepping away. But in this case I believe there are greater benefits. See you in June. First installment: quick updates on a few places and projects that my wife Deb and I have learned about in our American Futures travels these past few years.

      Eastport , Me. Now the Christian Science Monitor adds to the discussion of how climate shifts are affecting life in this part of the world. Louisville, Ky. Had the campaign and China not consumed so much of my life in the following months, I would have already said more about the stream of new products continuing to come onto the market from FirstBuild. During my visit I was intrigued by its Prisma cold-brew coffee maker , then still in early prototyping. The whole idea of the FirstBuild operation is to enable more Americans to make and then sell technically innovative, commercially viable, manufactured products.

      Happy New Year to everyone busily making America greater. When you are an American living overseas, Thanksgiving is an even more powerful nationally unifying holiday than the Fourth of July. So the overseas bands of Yanks figure out where they can scrounge up our national-cuisine oddities like actual turkeys usually we made do with great big chickens in Malaysia, and once a duck in China , cranberries, filling for pumpkin and pecan pies, etc.

      Even the tiny marshmallows to go with sweet potatoes. Back in the days of VCRs, we would play a tape of some old football game for atmosphere. This is on my mind because this is the first Thanksgiving that I will technically miss, for dateline reasons. This is our frequent haunt of Erie, Pennsylvania , long a Democratic stronghold that this time went narrowly for Trump.

      But even as the votes were being counted, the city had some good news.