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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Just Who Is Charles Rodenbough Anyway?

I am Charles Rodenbough and beyond my role as husband, father, and grandfather, I suppose I can characterize myself as a writer and teacher, both capacities I have enjoyed since retiring from being a business manager.  Many years ago I was aware of what I enjoyed doing but I let others convince me of my “responsibilities” and I gave up the desire to be a college professor.  I don’t begrudge the choice nor do I regret what might have been.  In my retirement I am getting to catch up on the avocation that I had continued even while functioning as a businessman.

            History is my genre and my concentration has been associated with North Carolina.  I chaired a Sesquicentennial Celebration (Madison, NC), organized Historic Districts, county chaired the National Bicentennial, Presided for the Historical Society, planned for a county museum, and all the while I read, researched, and collected for a time when I could write.  When that time came, I was not starting from scratch but ready to compose from what I had assembled. 

            I like to structure my writing on the bare facts but I like to create beyond into the logic or lack thereof in how people, individually and collectively, accommodate to their circumstances.  History writing is always interpreting the circumstances of one time or generation to another which sees through its own prism.  The historian has to convey facts and situations in such a way that the reader begins to perceive in the historical moment.  I have written biography, history, and historical fiction.

            Most recently, I wrote a biography with my grandson that could be read and appreciated by multiple generations of readers.  Stealing Andrew Jackson’s Head was published this year by All Things That Matter Press.  My wife, Jean Rodenbough, is also a published author with All Things That Matter Press.

Currently, I am involved with a project with the University of North Carolina, studying a unique common thread of slavery from Africa, through the West Indies, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana and Canada over a hundred year period.