A Shameless Plug

All of my diaries here are draft chapters for a number of book series that I am working on for Red and Black Publishers. Several of these series are now available, both in paperback and as Kindle eBooks, at Amazon, and as ebooks at the Apple iBooks store.

The newest are:

Icons of Aviation History 1900-1945: Significant and Historic Aircraft And the Stories Behind Them


(Amazon Kindle and Print)

Stories from some of the most important aircraft in aviation history, from the first flights to the end of the Second World War. Details from their development, achievements, and surviving examples. Seventy-five aircraft, including the Montgolfier Balloons, the Wright Flyer, the Fokker Dr1 triplane, the Sopwith Camel, the Spirit of St Louis, the Ford Tri-Motor, the Douglas DC-3, the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, the Junkers Ju-87 Stuka, the Supermarine Spitfire, the Mitsubishi Zero, the F4U Corsair, the F6F Hellcat, the Avro Lancaster, the B-29 Superfortress, and many more. Illustrated.

A Year’s Travel in Florida: Tales From a Roadtrip Around the Sunshine State


(Amazon Kindle and Print)

In May of 2015, Lenny Flank left his St Petersburg FL apartment and set out to live on the road. Over the next five years, he toured most of the continental United States from coast to coast and from border to border. He would move with the weather—going south in winter and north in the summer—and would spend a few weeks in each city, long enough to see everything in the area, before moving on to the next. This travelogue is a chronicle of a portion of that roadtrip. In it he reviews some of the favorite sites that he has visited, and gives a description and historical overview of some of the places that he liked. A few of them are famous tourist destinations; most are known only to the locals. But all have interesting stories to tell. Among them are: a cotton plantation that was owned and managed by a former slave; a secret nuclear fallout bunker built for an American President near his vacation home; a castle built single-handedly from stone blocks by a lovelorn man; the time when Key West seceded from the United States; a duck who survived being shot by a hunter and stuffed into a fridge for two days; a top secret Cold War missile base in the Everglades; an invasive aquarium fish that is destroying Florida’s tropical reef habitats; the world’s oldest Manatee; the “hollow earth” religious cult that built a commune in Florida; and an odd car that can be driven both on land and in water. So join Lenny as he tours the Sunshine State and visits some of its most unique and little-known places. Illustrated.

A Year on Interstate 10: Tales From A Roadtrip On America’s Southernmost Interstate Highway

(Amazon Kindle and Print)


In May of 2015, Lenny Flank left his St Petersburg FL apartment, climbed into a campervan, and set out to live on the road. Over the next five years, he toured most of the continental United States from coast to coast and from border to border. During this time, he journeyed the entire length of Interstate I-10, from Florida to California and everywhere in between. This travelogue is a chronicle of that roadtrip. It reviews just some of the unusual and interesting places and attractions he was able to enjoy visiting, either on I-10 itself or on an easy day trip within a few hours of it, and describes some of their history—everything from national parks to historical sites to museums to odd little sites that only the locals know about. Among them are: America’s oldest continuously-occupied city; Florida’s forgotten Civil War battlefield; the first airplane to cross the Atlantic—ten years before Charles Lindbergh; the southern cotton plantation that was owned by a former slave; the War of 1812’s Battle of New Orleans; NASA’s sit-down strike in space; the US Army’s Camel Corps; the train robbery at the San Antonio Zoo; the first McDonalds restaurant; the gunfight at the OK Corral; and the family life of Tyrannosaurus rex. Interstate I-10 is a road of contrasts: from muggy wetlands to arid desert, from some of the most conservative states to some of the most liberal, from huge metropolitan districts to the most remote and empty wilderness regions of the country, through a wide variety of local cultures and diverse people. It is a slice of “America”. So join Lenny as he spends a year on Interstate I-10 and visits some of its most unique and interesting places. Illustrated.

The Civil War Tourist: Visiting Civil War Battlefields and Historical Sites


(Amazon Kindle and Print)


(Apple iBooks)

The Civil War could truly be thought of as the single defining event in American history. The War’s social and political effects are still with us today. But sadly, our Civil War history is slowly disappearing. Suburban sprawl has destroyed many historic sites, and many significant battlefields are now lost under a layer of shopping malls and residential neighborhoods. On the surface, this book is a history travelogue. It includes famous battlefields such as Gettysburg and Antietam that are run by the National Park Service, and smaller unknown or forgotten places such as Westport and Olustee that are preserved as state or county historical parks, or which are not preserved at all but have miraculously managed to survive for a century and a half. But this is also a journey into America, into the history and culture which, for better or worse, have made us what we are today as a nation. The ghosts of the Civil War have never left us. Illustrated.

The Revolutionary War Tourist: Visiting the Battlefields and Historic Sites of the American Revolution


(Amazon Kindle and Print)


(Apple iBook)

“The colonial revolution of 1775 to 1783 has over the centuries become the subject of mythologizing by Americans. As our national origin story, this legend has grown to encompass a political and social outlook that still influences us today. So this book is part travelogue, describing the history and sights in battlefield parks like Saratoga, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, Lexington and Concord—places that are still an important part of our national mythology. But it is also a historical study, presenting the history of the American Revolution as it actually was, peeling away the legend and looking at the reality. Because that reality, too, is still an important part of our national character today, and remains an essential ingredient in who we Americans are as a nation. Illustrated.”

Wild Florida: Wildlife, Plants, and Natural Wonders from the Sunshine State


(Amazon Kindle and Print)

Within its 60,000 square miles, Florida is a natural wonder. It has the only subtropical zones in the continental United States, its shoreline has the only tropical coral reefs, and it has a number of mammals, birds and reptiles that are found nowhere else. This book describes Wild Florida, from its deep geological history to its varied ecological zones to its unique wildlife, ranging from Alligators to Manatees to Air Plants. Illustrated.

The Electronic Nomad: Traveling the Country in a Converted Camper Van, Or, Living the Hippie Life in a Shopping Center Parking Lot


(Amazon Kindle and Print)


(Apple iBook)

“In May of 2015, Lenny Flank left his St Petersburg FL apartment for the last time, climbed into a four-year-old cargo van that had been outfitted with a sleeping bag bed, a homemade sink, a homemade toilet, and a solar panel for electricity, and set out to live on the road. This book is a chronicle of some of his adventures living and traveling around the country. It is part travelogue, describing the history of some of the interesting and unusual places he has been to and people he has met: It is also part how-to guide, for anyone who gets the travel bug and wants to follow their inner hippie, take to the road, and live the nomadic lifestyle of the van dweller. Illustrated.”


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