David McGraw- 1952-2011

Bartleby Press lost a member of its extended family when David McGraw died this week. You can read his obituary here in the Washington Post. He was only 59.
Dave kept our books and prepared our taxes for years. But I’m pretty sure that his heart wasn’t really into accounting. At least when I knew him.
This is not to say that Dave was not interested in numbers. He most certainly was. He loved gambling for instance. It might be more accurate to say that he loved the science of gambling. The odds and the strategy of various games of chance fascinated him. He taught me (not well) that management of the bet was crucial. I can only hope that I can soon go out and win a bundle of cash in his memory.
Dave could always be counted on to help in a pinch. More than once I called upon him in some emergency. Sometimes it required real hard physical labor, the sort that folks our age shouldn’t have to do anymore. But he was there. And in all the various crises that came up over the years, he was a steadying influence to everyone here. Even our disagreements were fairly calmly resolved.
Once, he helped us cart almost 100 boxes of books to a hotel near BWI, so that Sully Erna, the frontman for the band Godsmack could sign copies of his memoir, then just being published. The mostly young crew working here then was excited to meet the musician. Dave was excited too. He wanted to discuss Sully’s participation in the World Series of Poker.
Dave enjoyed betting sports too, even though I don’t know if he did it regularly. Here too, it was the play, not the money that seemed to thrill him.
But nothing could distract Dave from his love of his favorite teams the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Twins. He followed them during the season and off. Every move, every rumor caught his eye.
One other team deserves mention: the Wimbledon team in one English soccer league or another. Though the internet he was able to not only follow and even watch sometimes, but become a accepted member of their fan community. He would on occasion share some of the communications from over there.
I have to admit that nobody in our office cared at all about the comings and goings of a soccer team in the UK, but he so enjoyed the telling it was well worth listening.
And then there was politics. Dave followed the political world intensely. He was a big fan of Rush Limbaugh and other well-known radio hosts, daily followed conservative political blogs and other sites. I think he even attended a Tea Party rally or two and counted himself a supporter of Sarah Palin. He cared passionately about the direction of our country. And he was smart about it as well. I’ve often thought that if you were running for political office, David McGraw would be a good person to advise you.
In recent years, we didn’t hang out much. I can’t remember the last time we sat down and had a beer. But I’m realizing in the past few days what a fixture Dave was in our lives and how very much we are going to miss him.
–Jeremy Kay

Author helps people with disabilities find jobs. An Important message from the Author of Employment Options

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The Yearly Campaign Celebrates the Contributions of Workers with Disabilities
Dallas, TX—(October 19, 2011) When Kenneth Salajag was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation; he was implanted with a pacemaker. Unable to work, he lost his paycheck and spiraled into depression. After four years of being unemployed, a career counselor at Employment Options Inc. gave him the support, mentoring and job leads he needed to get back into the workforce. “The ability to excel at my job has given me back my confidence,” says Salajag.
There are hundreds of thousands of Americans like Salajag who have the desire to work but need a different sort of job than they’ve done in the past. Certified Employment Networks like Employment Options Inc. connect workers with disabilities with new employment opportunities, both at-home and in traditional workplace settings.
Although helping Americans with disabilities find work is a year-round focus, October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and validates the contributions of workers with disabilities.
NDEAM’s roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed, acknowledging the contributions of people with all forms of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”
The theme for NDEAM 2011is “Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities,” which promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America’s workplaces and economy. According to Paula Vieillet, CEO of Employment Options Inc. and author of Employment Options: The Ultimate Resource for Job Seekers with Disabilities and other Challenges, “I have employers calling me wanting to interview our clients because of our reputation for matching their job descriptions with people who have the skills and abilities to fulfill them.”
Even in the midst of a struggling economy and elevated unemployment, there are jobs available for disabled workers. “We have so many openings for people on SSDI or non-retirement SSI that we are actively seeking more qualified applicants,” says Vieillet. “Those who have at-home Internet access, can type more than 30 words a minute, are between the ages of 18-63, and like working with people can pre-qualify now.”
About Employment Options
Employment Options is a Certified Social Security Administration (SSA) Employment Network for the Ticket-To-Work program. They help beneficiaries on disability insurance (SSDI) and supplemental insurance (SSI) get jobs and provide valuable resources, tools, and support for success. A fully virtual company, job placement coordinators are available across the country. For more information, visit , contact Lori Adler at ext. 763 or feel free to contact me- Paula

Imagine John Lennon as a Tea Party Activist

Imagine John Lennon as a Tea Party Activist

Thirty-one years after his death, John Lennon’s political leanings are still the
subject of some speculation. What exactly were his political views?

In an interview featured in the documentary Beatles Stories, Lennon’s personal
assistant Fred Seaman suggested that the former Beatle had become quite
conservative in the late 70s and was even a fan of Ronald Reagan.

Some, including his publicist Elliot Mintz, claim that Lennon’s views remained
unchanged even in later life.

Today, the legacy of Lennon’s political principles is most closely associated
with the belief in the possibility of an end to war and world peace. However, a
little-known 1966 interview, revealed in the book, The Ship that Rocked the
World, suggests that had Lennon lived, he might have been a fervent backer of
the Tea Party.

Lennon’s thinking was made clear in the course of the conversation between the
Beatles and Tom Lodge, top DJ of the pirate radio ship Radio Caroline. The
mostly zany impromptu meeting took place in London in March of that year.

Asked if he had ideas about how he would change Britain, Lennon said he would
“like to change it a lot.”

“In what way?” Lodge asked.
“Well, the tax problem,” Lennon replied.
And what would he do about taxes, Lodge wanted to know. “I’d reduce it

If he were a member of the government, did he mean?
Lennon didn’t care. “If I was anybody, I’d reduce it…drastically.”
George Harrison, who is known as the main writer, along with Lennon, of the song
“Taxman,” piped in to share his thoughts as well, albeit tongue-in-cheek. “Give
the pop stars a fairer share of the country’s wealth,” he said.

“Complaining about taxes was not an unusual thing to hear from British pop stars
at that time,” Tom Lodge says today. “They were all young and most came from
poor backgrounds. Suddenly they had a lot of money that could be taxed.” Lodge
should know. As the top DJ on Radio Caroline from 1964-67, he is widely credited
for helping make stars out of many young musicians.

But Lennon was more outspoken than most – and more direct. “They can’t take the
taxes down because they haven’t got enough money. And they’ll never have enough
money while they’re buying all that crap”So if they pay off a few of the bloody
debts, then maybe they’d be able to cut the tax down a little.”

Sure sounds like someone who might have supported the Tea Party movement.

To listen to John Lennon from 1966, go to
To learn more about Radio Caroline, Tom Lodge, and the true story of Pirate
Radio, visit

From our extended family, a fascinating story about Jackie Robinson

From Donnali Fifield, our one-time editor and long-time friend comes this story about Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers, his decision to sign Jackie Robinson and Donnali’s grandfather Wendell Fifield, who was the minister of Rickey’s church in Brooklyn. View the article here

The Great Throwdini: Pushing the Limits

As featured in Believe the Unbelievable, amazing knife thrower The Great Throwdini has once again pushed the limits in performance and record holding. As noted in Believe the Unbelievable, Throwdini is one of the most profilic and noteworthy record holders featured by the Record Holders’ Republic for his knife throwing exploits.

This time, he’s featured in the Wall Street Journal for his death defying feats. Videos accompanying the story illustrate the improbable and fantastic skills he possesses.

Throwdini was also featured recently in AOL News, discussing his career and the book and its importance in the world of record keeping.

Rock and Roll History

How did we miss this?

Our new book reveals the amazing, true but unknown story of the British Invasion, and how pirate radio changed the face of rock and roll forever.

It’s called The Ship that Rocked the World:  How Radio Caroline Defied the Establishment, Launched the British Invasion and Made the Planet Safe for Rock and Roll, and was written by Tom Lodge, Radio Caroline’s top Deejay. It has a Foreword by Steven van Zandt.

Here’s a preview. There’s some great music in it, so make sure your sound is turned on:

Think we’re exaggerating about the importance of Radio Caroline and Tom Lodge to the history of rock and roll? Pete Townshend said:

“Without Caroline we would not have sold a single record. Tom Lodge was a vital figure in Caroline’s most vital times.”

And, Paul McCartney said:

“Pirate radio, and in particular Radio Caroline, was a really exciting part of all of our lives in those days and summed up the spirit of the times culturally and musically.”