Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Life Happens on the Stairs—Not Just A Teenage Love Story

I want to share today where some of my inspiration for Life Happens on the Stairs came from. When I was 5 years old, my parents packed us up and we moved to a small town in Tennessee called Morris Chapel. Actually, if you Google the name, I'm not sure they even consider it a "town" anymore, it's that tiny. Regardless, the area has always stayed close to my heart. The Counties in the area are famous for a few things. One of them being the infamous Buford Pussard. The Sheriff of McNary County who is known for his war against moonshining, prostitution, and so much more.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buford_Pusser

Another great landmark is Shiloh National Military Park. As a little girl, I remember driving around the park, checking out the battlefields and trails. I couldn't wait to see "The Bloody Pond" which to my great disappointment wasn't bloody anymore. The park is one of the best preserved landmarks of the Civil War. In 2010, I begged my husband that we take a short vacation to the area. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. Walking the acres of land, my imagination went wild. I wanted to write something... I wasn't sure what, but I knew I wanted to include this piece of American history.

Rows and rows of fallen soldiers from the Battle of Shiloh April, 1862


The Bloody Pond
As I walked around the beautiful park, I was fixated on the trees. If only the trees could talk. Many of them would've been young saplings when the battle occurred, today still standing strong, wind blowing through the leaves as if they are whispering to each other memories of the war.


They say, the men fought so hard they shot all the blossoms off the peach and cherry trees.

Life Happens on the Stairs is not just a teenage love story. It's about family, love, second chances, and yes, history. Tyler Vaughn is fascinated with history. As he and Elsie spend time in the park getting to know each other, he tells her all about the place. In one scene, they go into the original Shiloh Methodist Church. As seen here:


If you've read LHOTS, you know exactly what happens in this scene. One of my favorites! 

Another scene takes place on the banks of the Tennessee River. 

The Tennessee River

Another view of the Tennessee River
The first day Elsie meets Tyler to go jogging, the path they jog is called "The Sunken Road." Here's what you read about:

The Sunken Road
These are just a few examples of how LHOTS is not just about two teenagers running around the park. There are history lessons, albeit secondary to the overall story, readers get a chance to roam a true landmark that deserves to be remembered and visited.

Today, the park is still trying to acquire the final eight acres of land to preserve the South end of where the battle took place. I wish I was a rich woman. I would make sure Shiloh had the money and the acreage. This may be a tall statement for me to make, but if LHOTS is successful enough for me to make the money to do so, I will be contributor to their ultimate dream. Landmarks like this need to be protected, remembered, taught, seen—We must learn from the past so we are guarded from repeating it. 

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Battle of Shiloh please visit this website. https://www.battlefields.org/visit/battlefields/shiloh-battlefield

All Rights Reserved. All photos shown are the property of Amy J. Markstahler. 





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