About the Author
Those were simpler days. The year was 1954. Nelda and I, newlyweds from Oklahoma, set up housekeeping in New Jersey where I would work for Bell Telephone Laboratories. When we were growing up, long distance telephone calls were only for funerals. So I wrote a letter to my mother one week and to Nelda’s mother the next. Nelda would write a letter to the mother I didn’t write that week. Nelda’s mother has not missed sending her weekly letter to me for fifty years. After a year and a half in New Jersey, Nelda and I moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma.
When Nelda died in 1987, I bought an early day PC to write one weekly letter to all of my family. Occasionally the letter contained a story. My daughter said, “Dad, the stories are the best part of the letters, because they share your feelings.”
In 1994, I retired from an engineering career where I had worked on the Apollo program followed by eighteen years at the research laboratories of an oil company. A few months earlier my church, Asbury United Methodist Church of Tulsa, had started its own newspaper. Jan Weinheimer, the editor and publisher, encouraged me to submit a story. In January 1995 my first story appeared in the Asbury Tidings. One of my stories has been published in the Tidings each month since that time.
My daughter Mary Kim Gray, a Bible scholar and an excellent editor, has edited all my stories. Deanne Crimmel, a seminary graduate, a tough professional editor, and a dear friend, did additional editing of Jesus’ Friends and Malchus.
The Jesus’ Friends stories were published as a gift book in 1997 under the title “Jesus: A Friend of Mine.” “Old Testament Friends” was published in May 2005 and distributed by Asbury. Five thousand copies of each book are in the hands of readers. You are welcome to make copies of my stories for use by your church as long as you acknowledge John C. Westervelt as the author. All other rights are reserved under copyright.
My hope is that you will find a blessing in one of these stories. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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