Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dan Swagger: Death Only Knocks Once - Part 1

Downtown Chicago
circa 1920's

Character Introduction: Dan Swagger is a former police officer turned private investigator. He is more cunning than brawn, but certainly isn’t one to be bullied. This is fortunate for him, because his quick wit and no nonsense attitude tends to get him into trouble. In his mid-forties, he wears ruggedly handsome features and is of medium build, but carries himself in manner more fitting of a giant without fear.

Setting: Chicago - 1927, during the heart of prohibition and at the height of gangland activity from the likes of Al “Scarface” Capone, "Bugs" Moran, and "Lucky" Luciano to name a few. With prohibition in full swing, gangs fought viciously for control over being the bootlegger of choice. With the Great Depression and Black Tuesday (stock crash of 1929) just around the corner, times were tough, making people even tougher.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dan Swagger Project

Charles E, Walker - Writer, Inventor, Tough Guy, & my Dad
circa 1969
A few years ago I started a "Choose Your Own Adventure" writing project in honor of my father via a Yahoo Group. I'd post short snippets of a story loosely based on an unpublished novel my Father wrote a long time ago, and others (mostly friends and family members) would vote on a decision tree as to what Dan Swagger (the main character from my Father's book) would do next. I thought I'd rekindle that writing project, only this time, I would just progress the story with a few posts a week and see where it takes us.

Let me take a moment to give you some background information on my Father why I chose to base this project on his character Dan Swagger. For those who may not know, my Father passed away in 2006 at the age of 74 from complications with Leukemia. Some time during the early 1980's my Father wrote a book - which was a big accomplishment for a man born in the heart of the Great Depression (1932) with only a 7th grade education. My Mother and Father went to school in the same "one room" schoolhouse, which is still standing today.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


My Momma - Myrtle Lee Walker
Nearly twenty-three years ago a very special person in my life passed away; Momma. She was only 54 years old, I was 19. She died from complications from brain aneurysm surgery. I have never forgiven God for that. I was very close to my mother. I was her baby of seven kids. Her passing had the most devastating and profound effect on my life. One which I am still recovering from.

I'll never forget three phone calls I received during that short period of time.

The first I received while I was still living in Phoenix. My (then) wife, some friends of ours, and my kids had all went to dinner. The men and women rode back home in separate cars. I had the girls with me (Amanda & Aletha). I arrived home first, but didn't have a key. I kept hearing the phone ring but couldn't answer it. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, Glynis arrived with the key. As soon as I stepped through the door, the phone rang again. It was my dad. He said Mom had to be rushed to the hospital for emergency brain surgery.

The second, I received early one morning about a week later from my sister Janet. She was staying with Mom while she recovered from surgery. She said that mom was having a hard time walking and talking. I rushed over and found my Mom lying on the couch. I knew immediately that something was wrong. I told my sister to call the ambulance. I sat down and held my Mother in my arms. She could barely move... barely talk. She forced a hand to my face and looked at me lovingly, as she always did, with those motherly eyes and said, "Michael, my baby Michael." Those were the last words she ever spoke.