Old Tales of Nevada with April Kempler Episode 212

Joseph Kempler family photo.

Joseph Kempler family photo.

I’m really excited and pleased to share the interview I did with John O’ Brien host of Old Tales of Nevada, a local television show. I was actually filling in a late notice cancellation, but hey, I’m not too proud! It was a real honor and a treat. I enjoyed it, and was thrilled by the prospect of sharing Joe’s story through this medium. It was my very first television interview, and I hope not my last.

Primarily, the interview had to do with Joe’s memoir THE ALTERED I, MEMOIR OF JOSEPH KEMPLER HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR. Joe was a young boy when WWII broke out in his home city of Krakow, Poland. He and his family had to pack up leave town when he was 13 years old, and by the time he was 14 he was working in a forced labor camp in Rakowice, Poland. He spent the next three years in six different concentration camps, Plaszow and Mauthausen being the most famous. Plaszow was known from the movie Schindler’s List, which parallels Joe’s personal experiences for a time.

Joe’s story isn’t an easy one to hear or tell about, but I’m grateful people want to hear it and have supported me by purchasing the book, liking my Facebook page, and leaving reviews for The Altered I.

I thought I’d share the interview here with you. I welcome your comments, or any additional questions you might have.


The Altered I is available in paperback and e-book on Amazon, Google Play Books, and directly from the publisher Lerue Press at 775-849-3814.


Spotlight: Local Reno Music The Schall Adams Band

Moving Guitars

The Schall Adams band is a rockin’ blues powerhouse band, one you should take notice of. They recently won the International Blues Challenge qualifying competition at Great Basin Brewery, in Sparks, NV, and are Memphis bound early next year for the International Blues Challenge. The International Blues Challenge, which helps advance the careers of up and coming blues artists, will be held February 29, 2013 in the Beale Street Entertainment District. The Schall Adams Band will have the chance to win cash prizes and industry-wide recognition.

I first met Schall Adams at an eWomenNetwork event. We exchanged business cards, mine as a local author, hers a local singer heading up a blues band. I quickly Facebook “friended” Schall and learned that she, too, is a local author.  I clicked on her video link and was completely blown away by her voice.

That voice! Smoky, gravelly, and soulful. Her voice naturally lends itself to the Blues genre. The other band members are just as talented: Tony Ghiglieri (lead guitar and vocals), Frankin Spicer (keyboards), Brad Robson (bass and vocals), and Chris Houghton (drums and vocals). I personally the know youngster of the group, Chris Houghton, and Franklin Spicer. Chris, I’ve known since he was a wee baby. His parents are terrific people, who raised Chris with real core family values. He displayed his talent for drums and other musical instruments early on in life, and we just knew he had natural born talent. I’ve come to know Franklin Spicer recently through business dealings. Not only is he a talented keyboardist, but he is a talented webmaster.

The Schall Adams band is a great local talent and one you should not miss if visiting Reno, NV, or if you are already a resident of our lovely city.

Wild Horse Roundup in Reno, Nevada

English: Bureau of Land Management logo

Two days ago while driving around town, I saw an astounding sight. A helicopter was swooping and circling around a vacant field that is a well-known spot for viewing wild horses.  My curiosity was piqued and Paul and I drove over to investigate what was going on. We saw some bystanders, a neighbor lady and two guys on bicycles, and pulled over to ask them about it. Apparently, this was a federal Bureau of Land Management roundup of the wild horses. The astounding part about it was that there were a group of people out among the herd of wild horses.

The neighbor lady pointed out to the middle of the field and told us that there was a trap out there for the horses, but these people (were they PETA? We couldn’t tell, maybe they were just protective Reno citizens, or wild horse activists) were preventing them from getting put in the corral. Well, it wasn’t our fight, so we drove off, but I couldn’t help feel sorry for the horses. I really don’t know what the issues are, so it’s hard for me to take one side or the other.

The federal Bureau of Land Management has the responsibility of looking after the horses. After many such roundups

Horses in my Dreams #4

they auction off the horses. I wondered just how many horses actually get auctioned off to loving homes, or do the leftover horses get put down? They claim they wouldn’t euthanize a healthy horse, nor do they get shipped off to slaughterhouses in Canada, or Mexico. But, who really knows? I’m somewhat worried since President Obama lifted the ban on horse slaughter late last year. I’ll tell you this, I’m an American citizen, born and raised, and I have never seen horse meat on the menu of any restaurant in America that I have been to. Are they shipping our wild horses in tin cans to China, or Europe, as some have suggested?

Horse meat just does not appeal to me. Horses are pets, they are majestic and beautiful creatures, and native to this land. They helped establish the west, for heaven’s sake.

A friend of mine asked: “Well why not? It’s an animal isn’t it?”

I replied: “That’s true, but you don’t see cows and pigs entered in Olympic events do you?” What could she do, but agree with me. Aside from Cowboys riding bulls in the Reno Rodeo, no bull was ever graded on its superior ability to perform dressage.

Horse and Rider

I am against animal cruelty, and it is cruel to see the poor, pitiful creatures starve. It is a slow agonizing death. They also roam the streets at all hours of the day and night, and often get hit by drivers. That is a tragedy. They should be protected and kept off the streets. I just don’t know what a good solution would be.

I love our northern Nevada wild horses. The herds this year look healthy and strong, with glossy coats. The foals are small, but nimble and mighty. They are precious to our culture and iconic symbols of the west.

That’s what I have to say. What do you think? Can humankind ever find a way to live peaceably with the animal kingdom?

Check out these great articles on the wild horse issue:





Giant Redwood Thrives in the Urban Forest of Reno, Nevada

Now that the summer Olympics are over and the winning athletes have returned to their homes as medal bearing champions, my attention is focused on an entirely different champion this fall: The Giant Sequoia. How is a tree a champion? The Giant Sequoia, or Redwood is a champion of trees because it can grow to a staggering height of 300 feet and live 3,200 years!

Reno, NV is home to the Giant Sequoia, or Giant Redwood. The Giant Sequoia can be seen growing in random places around the neighborhoods and public parks of Reno, but the oldest was planted in 1939 and is considered a landmark tree. Even at the age of seventy-three, the Sequoia is a mere sapling. It will take another thirty years, or when the tree reaches a hundred years or so, that the top, or crown, will begin to flatten out, and take on that unique Giant Sequoia look that sets it apart from other firs and pines. With age its branches will become heavier and denser (kind of like humans).

Of course the Giant Sequoia that grow in Reno have been planted by people. While they are native to the Sierra Nevada, California I don’t believe they grow naturally here, however Reno’s cold weather climate during the winter months seems to sustain their growth.

Have you explored the urban forest where you live. I would love to hear about the landmark trees you’ve discovered. 

5. Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

You Don’t Know Reno

English: Skyline of Reno, Nevada. Camera is lo...

If you think Reno, Nevada is just a smaller version of Las Vegas then you don’t know Reno! Some people think all there is to do here is gamble and eat at the enormous buffet’s presented by the casino’s. There’s a bit more to it than that.

When I first moved to Reno, NV, almost nineteen years ago, I didn’t think much of the place. In fact, I thought it was unattractive and boring. I happened to mention this to an older lady, a longtime resident of Reno. She looked at me and said, “Well, you don’t know history then. Reno is full of history.” This shocked me a little (alright, it shocked me a lot). That little old lady was right: I knew nothing about the part Reno played in U.S. history.

But, I wanted to find out.

I’ve been learning a little bit here and there, and I plan on sharing these findings with you and we can enjoy the journey of discovering Reno together.

Reno, Nevada means to me:

  • Reno is history
  • Reno is architecture
  • Reno is a family town
  • Reno is a small town with big dreams
  • Reno is literary
  • Reno is art
  • Reno is music

That’s what I have to say. What do you think about the city where you live?