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MONDAY 9-16-2013

Sep 16, 2013 -- 12:12pm

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9-16-2013 PODCASTS - 6AM    7AM    8AM


WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT THE NAVY YARD SHOOTING SO FAR

12 are dead from the early morning rampage. Many are hurting 1 shooter is dead, and is identified as 34-year old Aaron Alexis of Ft. Worth Texas. He reportedly used a fake ID to get on the base with firearms. Authorities are still searching for possibly 2 more shooters.

UPDATE: (1:15pt) 1 of the 2 additional men wanted in the shooting HAS BEEN CLEARED.

UPDATE2: (1:30pm) Death toll is now 13. One of the injured taken to the hospital later died.

UPDATE3: (2pm) Wall Street Journal Reports that the dead shooter, Aaron Alexis, joined the Navy in 2007, and was kicked out of the military in 2011 as a result of a 2010 gun arrest in Fort Worth, Texas. One official said he may have used another person's badge to gain access to the Navy yard.

 

(for comparison 12 died at Ft. Hood, 10 by Beltway Sniper)

 

GUEST INFORMATION 9-16-2013

7:10 Jackson County Commissioner Doug Breidenthal discusses the recent trip to DC, payments in lieu of taxes, where the timber bill is headed, what it means for Jackson County.

7:35 Greg Roberts, RogueWeather.com discusses long-range winter weather for the valley.

8:10 Dr. Dennis Powers, "Visiting Past and Present" and today's history segment is about colorful southern Oregon author Con Sellers.

Con Sellers

By Dennis Powers

The son of a handyman and a homemaker mom, Connie Leslie Sellers, Jr., was born March 1, 1922, in Shubuta, Mississippi. After high school, he enlisted in 1940 in the military and had a sixteen-year career. He married Mary Raineri in 1943 in New Orleans, and they became the parents of two sons, Leonard and Shannon. 

Con Sellers experienced combat, primarily during the Korean War, and was decorated with medals from the United States (the Purple Heart and Bronze Star), France, England, the Republic of Korea, as well as being awarded the Korean Medal from the United Nations. While in the military, he began to write. Among other duties, he edited Army newspapers and served as a combat correspondent during the Korean War. Sellers also wrote short stories and poems with a military bearing that presumably were not published.   

Leaving the Army in 1956, he began writing for a livelihood. In an interview given to Contemporary Authors, he said: “After general discharge from the army for alcoholism, I was thirty-five years old with a wife and two sons, dead broke, and in debt. With some ten years of army PR behind me, writing seemed my only out. I went to school (Monterey Peninsula College: 1957-1958) under the G.I. Bill, mostly to learn how to think like a civilian.”

His passion to earn a decent living began in the sordid trenches of the pulps and men’s magazines. He first wrote macho short stories and articles that were “hairy-chested shoot-em-ups” for men, and then moved into the soft pornography mass-market with quite sexually-liberal content and titles such as “The Business of Wife Swapping” and “Alcoholic Nympho Ward.” He commented that as to those books, there were “no four-letter words but lots of descriptions.” 

Con Sellers wrote to make money, not to endear himself to literary critics. In an interview given to the Associated Press, he was quoted: “I can look back and improve on any of them. But I am not ashamed of anything I wrote. If there was a choice between sticking up a grocery store and (not) eating, I’d stick up the grocery store. I had a family to feed.” To Contemporary Authors, he quipped, “Am I ‘commercial’? Damned right; I leave art to the artists--who usually sell insurance or pump gas for a living.”

He and Mary moved to Southern Oregon and the Grants Pass area in 1961, where under the penname of Robert Crane, he wrote seven suspense books during the sixties about the adventures of a fictional Sargent Corbin during the Korean War. These works were moderately successful. He continued to churn out mass-market pulps to earn the money to live on, but it was when he found his agent, Jane R. Berkey, that his writing career turned into real success. 

Sellers wrote the movie tie-in book in 1970 for the Cliff Robertson and Michael Caine film, “Too Late the Hero,” in which an American Army Lieutenant is assigned to a rag-tag British unit with the mission of destroying a Japanese radio setup on a Philippine island. Eight years later, Sellers was asked to write the tie-in book for the television series, “Dallas,” which he did--and this serialization sold 400,000 copies.

Once his financial fortunes had significantly improved, he could greatly improve their 60-acre ranch named “Bella Maria,” in Wilderville that was some ten miles from Grants Pass on the Redwood Highway. There, he raised, trained, and showed Morgan horses, and for which he won numerous red and blue ribbons at horse shows that decorated most of one wall in his home office. Having been an Army lightweight boxing champion and an AAU welterweight champion, he trained and managed boxers in the Tacoma-Seattle area.

In 1977, Con Sellers began teaching a writing class to would-be authors at Rogue Community College in Grants Pass. He told them that if they wanted “to be heard,” that they had to write what people were reading. He did this himself, even changing titles, plots, and characters to suit publishers in making a sale. Sellers continued to write books, but then began working in the 1980s on mass-market, historical romance novels. By then, he had been grossing annually $100,000 at a minimum from his writing.

When he had written and published his last work, Sellers had authored more than 230 novels--mostly historical romances and steamy love stories--under 94 pseudonyms, both female and male, including many that were under his own. He had written hundreds of short stories and screenplays while using more than 60 aliases, this giving him greater flexibility on what he wrote and regardless of the mores of the time.  

Con Sellers died on February 2, 1992. Among other media and newspaper coverage, the Washington Post and Washington Times printed his obituary. He loved this area and lived at his ranch for nearly 25 years until his death. His books were popular in supermarket checkout lines but not literary circles; knowing what it meant to be poor, he wrote for money. And he was quite successful at this.

Sources: “The University of Southern Mississippi--McCain Library and Archives: Sellers (Con L. papers), at Biography; Jane Seagrave, “Author Con Sellers: The Name Says It All,” Associated Press, January 13, 1983, at 1983 AP Interview; “Connie Sellers--Conelred,” at Dedicated Website (With Image).   

Note: “Red Rape” in the last cited source is his most controversial novel--and the newspapers didn’t mention it in his obituary.

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