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The Early Days of Aviation in Grand Rapids (American Chronicles) Paperback – November 29, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: American Chronicles
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press (November 29, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609498941
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609498948
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,618,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

In 1944 at the age of sixteen, Gordon Beld began writing sports for the Grand Rapids Press. Two years later, as a trooper of the U.S. Army's Constabulary in Germany, one of his duties was writing "66th Squadron News" for the Constabulary Lightning Bolt. After military service, he wrote for the Grand Rapids Herald for twelve years until the paper ceased publication. He then returned to the Press as a writer and copyreader for six years. During most of the years he wrote for the Press and Herald, he simultaneously taught English and history in suburban Grand Rapids schools. For twenty-four years, he was director of news services and publications at Alma College. After retirement, he continued in the fields of education and journalism on a part-time basis as an academic advisor for Davenport College and writer for Grand Valley State University. During the first decade of the twenty-first century, he was a frequent contributor to Michigan History and Grand Rapids magazines. Besides hundreds of features on local and regional history, he is the author of A Gentle Breeze from Gossamer Wings, a historical novel published in 1999, and Grand Times in Grand Rapids, a 2012 release of The History Press. For more than thirty years, the principal interest of Gordon and his wife, Martha, has been to assist refugees and other immigrants in their adjustment to a new culture and language in America. They were involved with Cambodians when they lived in Alma, Vietnamese in Grand Rapids and Kosovars in Holland. For the past twenty-three years, Gordon has provided voluntary writing and photographic assistance to Exodus World Service, a Chicago-area agency whose mission is to link incoming refugees with caring Christians. He also assisted in an English-as-a-Second-Language class for immigrants in Holland for eight years. He holds degrees from Hope College and the University of Michigan.

More About the Author

Gordon Beld began writing professionally more than six decades ago at age 16 as a part-time sports writer for The Grand Rapids Press. Following service as a U. S. Constabulary trooper in the occupation of Germany after World War II he wrote sports for The Grand Rapids Herald until 1959 when it ceased publication. Invited to return to The Press, he was a member of its editorial staff, sometimes part-time and sometimes full-time, until 1965 when he became public relations director at Alma College, a position that he held for 24 years. Particularly interested in local and regional history, he was the first chairman of the Historical Commission of the City of Wyoming, Michigan, and later served on the board of the Holland (Michigan) Area Historical Society. The first of his more than 200 historical features in newspapers and magazines were six series on Michigan and Midwest history in Sunday editions of The Press during the 1960s. He now is a regular contributor of text and photos for Michigan History and Grand Rapids magazines. Since 1980 he and his wife, Martha, have been involved with refugees -- first with Cambodians when a foster daughter, who had fled from the Khmer Rouge, joined their family in Alma, Michigan. Later they befriended Vietnamese families in Grand Rapids, then Kosovars and Cubans who came to Holland. Since retiring from Alma College in 1989, Beld has provided voluntary editorial assistance to Exodus World Service, a Chicago area agency that links refugees with caregivers. Several of his articles, and his only work of fiction, concern refugees and persons who befriend them. Using vacation time just prior to his retirement from Alma College, he interviewed Hmong refugees in New York, Wisconsin, and California and wrote The Hmong in a Promised Land for the Presiding Bishop's Fund of the Episcopal Church in 1987. More recently, he wrote Entertaining Angels, a six-week study guide concerning what the Bible says about refugees, for Exodus World Service. Among books for which he has contributed chapters is Within Our Bounds: A Centennial History of Alma College. His only effort to write fiction, A Gentle Breeze from Gossamer Wings, was produced by PREP Publishing of Fayetteville, North Carolina, in 1999. A graduate of Wyoming High School, he has a bachelor's degree from Hope College and a master's degree from the University of Michigan.

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