Is Morse Code a lost language?

Posted by on 25 May 2016 | Tagged as: blog

Is Morse Code a lost language?

The St. George Live Tour season doesn’t officially start until June 1st.
And the school season January through April is over but
on Tuesday the 24th of May a special tour with buses and all was given for
students from the George Washington Academy School.
I was asked to play the role of Brigham Young at his office at the Brigham
Young home.

At 11:02 I arrived there and got into costume dressed and at 11:15
The first group of students came 22 in all, 11 boys and 11 girls with 2 lady
teachers, a little girl and the guide Kaye Wessman
They were a very knowledgeable group.
One girl knew some Morse Code as did two boys and one boy explained it it was made.
That may have been Tyler, but I’m not sure and I’ve forgotten the girl’s name.
After I was done telling them about Brigham and his office, I joined them out under the
mulberry tree for a photo.

Then next group was right on their heels.
28 in all, 12 boys, 16 girls, 4 lady teachers and Guide Winona Stanley.
I told them more that I had the first group.
Shannon, Emily, Hunter and Preston helped me answering questions I asked and
contributing to the story.
One teacher said her grandparents, both grandfather and grandmother, worked for the
railroad and knew Morse Code.
She called it the “lost language”.
Then out for photos with them.
Today I received a forwarded email from a teacher at school thanking the actors and
actresses. There had been 9 of us and then the bus drivers.
“Thank you all for giving us such a wonderful field trip! It was the perfect conclusion to
the Utah history we have been studying in May. It was also an excellent way to sneak
some learning into the last week of school. We greatly appreciate your willingness to
give of your time and supply our students with a great day.”
I just learned that the inventor of the code, Samuel Morse, is a distant cousin of mine.
What of him and the code?
Beginning in 1836, the American artist Samuel F. B. Morse, the American physicist
Joseph Henry, and Alfred Vail  developed an electrical telegraph system.

In 1837, William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone in England began using an electrical
telegraph that also used electromagnets in its receivers. However, in contrast with any
system of making sounds of clicks, their system used pointing needles that rotated above
alphabetical charts to indicate the letters that were being sent. In 1841, Cooke and
Wheatstone built a telegraph that printed the letters from a wheel of typefaces struck
by a hammer.

The English invention never caught on whereas the clicking code did and has been a
vital means of communication for nearly 200 years.
Though it isn’t used as much now as in the past, amateur “ham” radio operators use it.
Among other uses it is always nice to know SOS made by 3 dots, 3 dashes, 3 dots.
That is all That I remember from my boy scout days.

The SOS message could still save
your life.

The military uses Morse Code  even with light signals.
It’s a good thing to know.
Learn more about it at:
It’s a long and comprehensive article.
It even has play buttons so that you can hear the sound of the signals.
So is Morse Code lost?
No not yet.
So go study the article and get to learning Morse Code.
_…  _._ _ .  .._.  _ _ _  ._.  _. … ._ _

A video telling how good it is:

Which movies were you in?

Posted by on 18 May 2015 | Tagged as: blog


Yesterday I spoke with a young man who asked why I didn’t dye my beard as it is so white.

I mentioned that I’d been in several movies mostly because of the beard

and it must be white to do the St.George Live part of Brigham Young.

“Which movies?”, he asked.

We’ll there is Liquid Desert

It’s a documentary about water in Washington County Utah in which I portray pioneer Jacob Hamblin.

Then there is Mythica- A Quest For Heros

I this one I portray a Temple Elder in a fantasy adventure film.

The character I play appears at the first of the film

but is eliminated very quickly by the evil bad guy of the film.

Mythica 2013

On set

New Storytelling CD

Posted by on 11 Nov 2014 | Tagged as: blog

New Storytelling CD is now available!

A Friend on Sing Snap sang
“When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder” with a Davew.
It reminded me of the following:
In 2006, I did an audio cassette of “Fanny Stories”, true experiences of my mother’s mother, Fanny Crawford Gifford.
Just recently I did a story telling cd and included two of her stories.
In one of them, she tells about the death of her little sister Laura Ann when Fanny was eight and of a 4 yr old brother, Joseph, who died at age four, when Fanny was 12. Fanny had learned to play the organ and often played “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” at Joseph’s request as it was his favorite song. He’d sing along when he was feeling well enough to. Fanny prayed that he’d be healed if possible and felt a warm comforting feeling that all would be well. when Joseph died the next morning, she knew that all was well.

When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder is an 1893 hymn with words and music by James Milton Black. The song was inspired by the idea of The Book of Life mentioned in the Bible, and by the absence of a child in Black’s Sunday school class when the attendance was taken. The idea of someone’s being not in attendance in heaven haunted Black, and after visiting the child’s home and calling on a doctor to attend her for pneumonia, he went home and wrote the song after not finding one on a similar topic in his hymn collection. The song’s lyrics were first published in a collection titled Songs of the Soul and the song has since been translated into at least 14 languages and sung all over the world in a variety of Christian denominations.

In 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill created a stir in the British press when he quoted the hymn in response to a question about when the Big Three were going to meet; stated the Winnipeg Free Press: “Mr. Churchill, in one of his somewhat puckish moods, replied that he did not know, but, he added irreverently, ‘When the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there.'”

Listen to my recording and read the whole story:

The story as told by Fanny is in the description.

On the cd are Fanny’s stories, Jacob Hamblin and Brigham Young as I tell their stories in St. George Live,  Denzil Hall, and other story tellers I have known,  my take and Abraham Lincoln’s take on storytelling,  and I’m adding “The Ugliest Man In Washington County, Utah” to future editions.

The ten original cds are gone and the new ones will be ready in days.

Order your copy now.

Write ” ”  in subject “Storytelling cd”

You can pay via paypal “” 

$20 USA plus $3 S&H



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