Only One Came Back

With Thanksgiving upon us, I’ve been thinking a bit about thankfulness–and how little we see it around us today. We take so much for granted anymore. Unlike earlier times, when people didn’t have as much and had to work hard for what they did have, I think we appreciated what we did have a whole lot more than we do now. As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, and having so much breeds ingratitude for what we do have.

I was reminded of this the other day when I read the account of how Jesus healed the ten lepers (Luke 17). Only one of them returned to thank Jesus for that wonderful gift of restored health. Jesus blessed him but asked, “Where are the [other] nine?” They were off enjoying their restored health with no thought of gratitude for His healing.

But before we hastily condemn those nine ungrateful former lepers, we should take a good look in the mirror. Don’t we, too, take an awful lot for granted? We live in the greatest, richest country in the world, enjoy the blessings of liberty, plenty, and other of God’s blessings but seldom pause to thank Him for it all. In fact, we sort of look upon it all as our right, and we too often complain about what we do have.

Many of us will stand in line for hours in the wee watches of the dark night for a chance to purchase some material item that will be used up, worn out, torn up, lost, or stolen soon thereafter without giving a thought to those who must work to make that item available to us or to the God who has blessed us with the financial and physical means to obtain it. We’ll spend hours pushing and shoving and elbowing total strangers and waste time we could be spending in meaningful interaction with those who should be the closest to us.

Such ingratitude and unthankfulness is a prophesied sign of the end times (2 Tim. 3:2). It seems that the more we have the less we appreciate it. That’s a sad commentary on our modern times. As the founder of my alma mater was fond of repeating to his audiences, “When the seed of gratitude dies in the heart of a man, that person is well nigh hopeless.”

The good news is that there’s something we can do about it! Pause to consider what you have to enjoy. Start being truly thankful, and begin expressing that appreciation to others. To God. To family. To those around us who help make our lives better not only by what they might do for us or give to us but also by simply being there with us. Consider how sad it is to be all alone, especially at these holidays. As the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons approach, stop to think of those who have lost spouses or other loved ones recently and who will be spending what should be happy, family-centered times all alone. And thank God if you are blessed with companionship.

Don’t be part of the 90 percent (like the nine healed but ungrateful lepers) who fail to show their appreciation for what God has given them. Rather, be a 10 percenter, like the one thankful healed leper, who truly appreciate the bounty with which God has bless them. Start counting your blessings, and you’ll find that your problems seem so much fewer and smaller.


The Perspective of Time

Some events in life seem small at the time but later prove bigger than they at first seemed. On the other hand, some events seem, at the moment that they occur, bigger than they really are. Such was the case with an event that began 154 years ago today.

The Union army was besieged in Chattanooga, licking its wounds from its earlier whipping at the hands of the Confederate army at the Battle of Chickamauga. But it was also offering thanks that the Confederate commander, General Braxton Bragg, had not capped his pursuit of them with an immediate attack on Chattanooga. Had he done so, his generals griped, the Confederates could have defeated the battered Unionists and perhaps even turned the tide of the war. But Bragg had stopped his attack, thereby snatching ultimate defeat from the jaws of victory when, weeks later, General Grant’s Yankees attacked the Confederates at Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge and trounced them.

But that was yet in the future. Meanwhile, Bragg’s generals griped and complained, hardly any more than General James Longstreet (left), who had recently been transferred from Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia to help Bragg. He had arrived at Chickamauga just in time to launch an assault through a gap in the Union lines and gain the victory for the South at that bloody site. Bragg, partially to rid himself of Longstreet’s disgruntledness after Bragg settled in to besiege Chattanooga, ordered Longstreet to advance northward against the Union forces that held Knoxville. Dragging his feet and continuing to gripe about nearly everything, Longstreet reluctantly moved northward.

At Campbell’s Station, just southwest of Knoxville, the Confederate forces clashed with Union troops under General Ambrose Burnside. Then Longstreet chased them right into Knoxville’s city limits, where, in a last-ditch stand by the Yankees, the commander of their rear guard, Lieutenant William P. Sanders (left), was killed by a Confederate sniper. The last of the Yankees scurried into the safety of the city’s defenses, particularly within a small salient on the west side of town called Fort Loudon, in the midst of what today is the University of Tennessee campus. The fortress had been built by the Confederates, but the city had changed hands, and the Union troops renamed it Fort Sanders in honor of their fallen lieutenant.

Thus began the Siege of Knoxville. Had Longstreet attacked immediately, the Confederates might have won. But he didn’t. Again he delayed, giving the Yankees time to strengthen their fortifications. Specifically, they strung telegraph wire from stump to stump in front of the fort and dug a deep ditch around the base of the walls. Seen from Longstreet’s headquarters at the Bleak House (now called Longstreet’s Headquarters or Confederate Memorial Hall), the ditch wasn’t very deep.

But then Longstreet received word from Bragg that Grant’s troops had broken out of the siege at Chattanooga, pushing the Confederates back into Georgia, and that General Sherman was on his way to Knoxville to rescue Burnside by lifting Longstreet’s siege of Knoxville. Knowing that he would be outnumbered when Sherman arrived, Longstreet decided to attack and capture Knoxville before that could happen.

He launched the attack in the freezing predawn darkness of November 29. The soldiers who surged forward, the rebel yell coming from their throats, tripped over the telegraph wires in the darkness, and the soldiers charging behind fell on them. It was a mass of confusion. Then those who managed to get through the wire obstructions reached the ditch and leaped into it. But it was deeper than they had thought. They tried to climb up the walls of the fort and found that they were almost too steep to climb. During the night, the Yankee defenders had poured water down them. As it ran down, it froze, making the walls even more treacherous. Adding to this confusion, the Union troops inside the fort were firing down point-blank upon the attackers.

In the roughly 20 minutes before Longstreet finally called off his attack, 129 Confederates were killed, 458 were wounded, and 226 were reported missing. Union losses were five killed and eight wounded. One newspaper of the time reported that the Battle of Fort Sanders ranked right up there with the Battle of Gettysburg in importance. Granted, after that 20 minutes of history, the Confederacy never again controlled East Tennessee, but to declare that event to be equal to Gettysburg was, we now know, an exaggeration.

But we must put ourselves into the shoes of the people who lived at the time and in that place. To them, it was equal to or greater than any other battle fought in the war. To the families of the Union and Confederate soldiers who fell that day, it was the greatest battle, the longest day.

I grew up and attended public school in Knox County. I never heard from my teachers anything about the Battle of Fort Sanders. I grew up thinking that Fort Sanders was simply a community with a hospital–Fort Sanders Presbyterian–in the middle of it. Not until I was in college did I learn of that historic 20-minute event. And the explanation for that studied omission of historical fact can only be that East Tennessee was so divided during the war that no one really wanted to remember or commemorate it. When Tennessee voted on the secession issue, East Tennessee voted overwhelmingly for the Union; only within the city of Knoxville did secession pass. And then, once war broke out, both sides drafted people from the area into their armies. People there really didn’t want to fight on either side; they just wanted to be left alone. Many of them fled to Kentucky or into the dark, high corners of the rugged Smoky Mountains to escape conscription. And every time the city changed hands, those who felt strongly wreaked vengeance on those who had mistreated them when the other side had been in control.

History is often a matter of perception. There are multiple viewpoints to every event. Just as multiple eyewitnesses to a traffic accident often give different stories about what happened and offer differing details, so it is with historical events. As we study history, we need to keep that in mind and avoid making simplistic conclusions or assessments.

The people who are so eager to tear down monuments need to keep that in mind, too. There’s no substitute for knowing all the sides to a story and recognizing that each perspective deserves its memories and monuments. The spot where Fort Sanders once stood and hundreds of soldiers on both sides fell in such a short period of time is now a quiet residential area. It includes two inconspicuous monuments, one to each side in the conflict, that most Knoxvillians never knew existed until the monument wreckers began their assault on historical memory.

Four Steps to Good Decisions

All of us are called upon to make decisions, most of them relatively small but a few really big ones. Some of those decisions are easy to make. We hardly have to think about them. For example, should I buy a new BMW? NO! (That was easy!) Should I blast an angry email to the editor who just rejected my latest submission? No, not if I expect to develop or to continue a publishing relationship with him or her or if I want to maintain my professional reputation. Should I take out the trash on Wednesday night? Yes, the garbage man comes on Thursday morning.

But some decisions are really hard. They require more than a cursory thought; they take some close mental weighing of alternatives and some serious soul-searching.

I recently was put in a position of having to make a major decision that was by no means easy. My decision could redirect the entire focus of my writing and reading. It offered some promising possibilities. And I had to announce my decision within a matter of days. I made that decision. But how did I go about it?

First, I listed the pros and cons, the possibilities and the problems, both actual and potential. The idea was to see which predominated–the pros or the cons.

Second, I discussed the matter with my wife. If I’ve learned anything from 40 years of marriage, it’s that I’d better talk such things over with her! I’ve learned that she can shed a lot of light on issues, and I’d better pay attention to what that light reveals. She has a way of seeing things–whether positive opportunities or negative problems–that escape my best intentions and closest observations and musings.

Third, I read God’s Word and prayed in search of God’s perspective on the “big picture” and seeking Divine wisdom on the issue. Proverbs, written by the world’s wisest man, Solomon, says, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and learn not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Pro. 3:5-6). And in the New Testament, James wrote, “If any of you lack wisdom [and boy! did I ever lack it on this issue!], let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not” (James 1:5).

Finally, after taking the first three steps and still having no peace about the issue, I followed the advice given by a famous fellow Tennessean from the annals of history. (My father also gave me similar advice several times, but he wasn’t famous, so quoting him here wouldn’t carry as much weight as this historic character!) David Crockett–long hunter, frontiersman, congressman, and military hero of numerous Indian battles and at the Alamo–offered these two bits of advice for just such situations as the one in which I found myself:

  • “Be sure you’re right, then go ahead.”
  • “When in doubt, don’t.”

In my situation, I didn’t know what was right, so I dared not move ahead. And I still had a lot of doubts and uncertainties. So my decision was made!

Better safe than sorry. I’ve used these steps before, and I’ve found them to work well. Maybe you should give them a try the next time you find yourself having to make one of life’s hard decisions.

Thank You, All the Veterans

Tomorrow is Veterans Day.

A lot of people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. Whereas Memorial Day honors those who served in our nation’s military and gave the ultimate sacrifice of their lives and therefore deserve special recognition and honor, Veterans Day honors all who have served regardless of their level of service or degree of sacrifice or even if they were never involved in combat or never served during an armed conflict.

Sometimes we honor the former without giving a second thought to the latter, and that’s sad. Both categories, however, are critical to the defense of our nation and the freedoms we enjoy.

The buck private who peels potatoes in the back of the mess hall and never gets closer to an enemy than a history book and the seaman second class who is swabbing the deck of a destroyer or cleaning the head of an oil tanker during peacetime are as valuable and as necessary as the elite soldier who raids the enemy camp or the highest-ranking admiral who strategizes from behind a desk in the Pentagon. The truck driver who transports the food, ammunition, and supplies to a front-line outpost or a rear-echelon base back home is important. The soldier who mans a lonely weather station in the frozen Arctic or on a postage-stamp-sized, weather-beaten Aleutian island is important. Every member of our armed forces–Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard–is important, no matter what their pay grade or job assignment or time or place of service. And they all deserve our thanks and appreciation. That’s what Veterans Day is for.

We are fast losing our veterans of World War II and Korea. The Vietnam vets are aging quickly. We now have veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and countless little “police actions” around the world. They, too, deserve our thanks. Now.¬†Someone once commented that we shouldn’t wait to attend a friend’s funeral to show how much he or she meant to us. Rather, we should tell that person of our appreciation now, while he or she is still with us.

If you know or see a military veteran today, tomorrow–or any day–let him or her know you appreciate the service they’ve rendered you. Yes, in serving their country, they are serving you and me individually.

To “prime the pump” a bit, I’ll set the example: Thank you, Joshua Peterson (my great, great grandfather), for your service during the War Between the States. Thank you, Uncle Dillon, for your army service in World War II. Thank you, Cousins Burl and Kyle, for your air force service during war and peace following World War II. Thank you, Captain Justin Peterson (USMC) for paying the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq. Thank you, Joshua Peterson, for serving in Iraq and accompanying your brother’s body back home and for the service you rendered stateside afterward. And thank you, LT. Commander Brandon Geddes, for treating the teeth of all those other sailors there in Okinawa.

Thank you to all our nation’s veterans!

Review in Journal of Southern History

Today’s mail brought the latest issue (November 2017) issue of The Journal of Southern History. Inside I discovered a review of my book Confederate Cabinet Departments and Secretaries. (I tried, unsuccessfully, to find an online link, so if you’d like to read it, you’ll have to find a hard copy. Many libraries should have it.)

On Moral Development

Merely teaching our students to “be good” is not enough; even a “good” student may in reality be very immoral. Rather, we must teach them to be godly. According to our standard, Scripture, godliness is nothing less than perfection [“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16)]. That is God’s standard, not man’s. Lest we excuse ourselves that it is an impossible standard, we have as our living role model Jesus Christ, who “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15). The degree of our students’ morality, then, is limited only by their perception of God’s holiness. Therefore, if we want moral students, we must continually emphasize God’s holiness.

In short, this view holds that what one does is an indication of one’s relationship to the Lord and an understanding of who God is. But it also operates fully aware of the true condition of one’s heart. A true Christian is not one who is one outwardly but who is one of the heart. (See Romans 2:28-29.) Godliness, then, is knowing what God knows, viewing things as He views them, thinking as He thinks, and then acting according to His understanding.

In Christian education, the issue is how teachers can educate students such that they accept God’s Word as their own personal standard and act consistently with its principles. The educator must teach, as John Stott wrote, both “micro-ethics” (personal morality) and “macro-ethics” (social responsibility), and both must be based on the principle of godliness.

[Excerpt from Teacher: Teaching and Being Taught, Dennis L. Peterson, 2017, p. 81. Available at]

Copyright (c) 2017, Dennis L. Peterson


When many people feel the first hints of an oncoming cold or when the flu season looms, they immediately run to their doctor. Others do nothing, come down with a full-blown case of cold, bronchitis, pneumonia, or flu–and then go to see their doctor. Thousands (millions?) of others, however, reach out at those first signs for something much simpler, vitamin C supplements. And they do so (even if they don’t know it) because of research conducted by one man: Linus Pauling.

Pauling is like Jekyll and Hyde, and people either loved or hated him. Both his scientific research and his political positions caused polar reactions among those who knew him.

Linus Pauling was born on February 28, 1901, in Portland, Oregon. His father operated his own drug store, and that might have had something to do with the love that Linus developed for chemistry and health. He was always conducting experiments with a friend’s chemistry set and in his science classes in school.

When he was 15, Pauling already had amassed enough credits to graduate, but he lacked two history courses. He asked his principal if he could take the two classes at the same time and was refused, so he dropped out without getting his diploma. Nonetheless, he worked at various jobs (grocery boy, machinist, etc.) to raise money for college so he could become a chemist, and soon Oregon State University admitted him. (His high school awarded him his diploma 45 years after he dropped out–and had won two Nobel Prizes!)

In 1925, Pauling was awarded his PhD in physical chemistry. Then, on a Guggenheim Fellowship, he studied under famed physicists in Germany, Denmark, and Switzerland. Upon his return, he taught at Cal Tech. In the late 1920s, he began publishing the results of his research of chemical bonding. During World War II, he conducted research for the military.  He also wrote a textbook titled The Nature of the Chemical Bond, and in 1954 he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Pauling’s chemical interests then turned to the applications of vitamin C to health problems. He conducted research on how colds and the flu reacted to mega-doses of vitamin C. Later, his research shifted to the application of the vitamin to treat cancer. Generally, the medical establishment regarded him as a quack. Even the Mayo Clinic repudiated his claims, but he fired back that their own experiments were not conducted according to the same standards (e.g, not taking large doses and taking the vitamin orally rather than intravenously), so they could not expect to get the positive results he reported. Other people, however (holistic health practitioners and common citizens), began to turn to vitamin C rather than traditional medicine to treat their common colds and flu, and they affirmed that Pauling’s findings proved effective for them. He published his research on the uses of vitamin C in mega-doses, including atherosclerosis and angina, in How to Live Longer and Feel Better. He made vitamin C a commonly consumed dietary supplement.

After the war, however, Pauling’s activities began to take a different turn. He began to promote nuclear disarmament and to call for an end to war under any circumstances. He became the darling of every Communist peace effort that came along. He circulated petitions against war generally, nuclear war specifically, and was outspoken in his opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He even contacted North Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh personally. He won his second Nobel Prize, this one the Peace Prize, in 1962 and the Lenin Peace Prize in 1968 as a result of those efforts.

Pauling’s critics, both political and scientific, viewed him as an apologist for Soviet-style communism. The National Review called him a collaborator and “fellow traveler” of the Soviets.¬† He sued William Rusher, the publisher, and William F. Buckley, the editor, but lost both the law suit and his subsequent appeal.

Despite the fact that Pauling had himself taken massive doses of vitamin C, he died of prostate cancer on August 19, 1994, at the age of 93. Had his regimen of daily massive doses of vitamin C contributed to his longevity? No one knows, and the debate over the effectiveness of vitamin C supplements continues.

But on this date in 1954, Pauling received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. And be the merits or demerits of his second Nobel Prize whatever they might be, he is the only person to have been awarded two unshared Nobel Prizes and only one of two people who have been awarded Nobel Prizes in different fields. (In my humble opinion, I think he would have contributed so much more to the world had he stuck with chemistry and left politics out of it! Whenever I begin to feel the first signs of a cold, I reach for my vitamin C.)

Thinking about Recalls

It finally happened. After all these years, I got my first recall notice. It was for my car. I called the dealer to schedule an appointment and was told that the first available slot was for nearly six weeks from that date. The scheduler said they had been inundated with recalls for that particular problem.

Was the recall really necessary? I asked.

Yes, it involved a potential safety issue, the scheduler told me. Constant abrasion of a wire in the steering column could wear through the insulation around it, exposing a wire and resulting in the airbag’s suddenly deploying. Not something one wants to happen in traffic or when he’s speeding down the highway (at the speed limit–or faster). So I scheduled my appointment. After all, the problem was to be repaired at no cost to me.

Well, today was the day. I pulled the car into the service area and produced the recall letter as instructed. As the service manager was checking me in, I made small talk. Had he had a lot of people bringing in their cars for this problem? Not really, he replied. In fact, he couldn’t remember seeing another one before mine. (Then why had the scheduler told me they had been inundated with them, and why had I had to wait nearly six weeks for the appointment?)

It shouldn’t take long, the service manager assured me when I told him that I would be waiting. An hour and a half later, a service person came to the waiting room to tell me that I absolutely needed to have two filters replaced and the cooling system flushed–for only $170 plus taxes. (I politely declined and later replaced the filters, which I already knew had to be replaced) myself.)

This incident set me to thinking about recalls. Why do they occur? Some of them are to resolve legitimate problems, of course, but how is the average person supposed to be able to discern whether the repairs are actually necessary or if the dealer is just trying to make a fast buck? After all, auto engines are so complicated today that even people who were whizzes with auto mechanics a quarter century ago scratch their heads in amazement when they raise the hood of the average car today. Caveat emptor! “Let the buyer beware!”

That incident also made me think about other kinds of things that often need to be recalled. After having spent decades in the publishing industry as both an editor and a writer, I never cease to be amazed at how often, no matter how carefully one examines the printed page or how many different sets of eyes examine it, mistakes still slip through. Factual errors, omissions, typos, and other problems pop up no matter how careful one is. One’s mind is blinded to what is obvious to first-time readers of the material. One’s mind supplies words that are missing because he or she is too familiar with the content. Often, such mistakes are inconsequential, but at other times they can be critical. Once the product goes to print, it’s too late to correct the errors. Oh, an errata list can be issued or a second edition produced, but that only draws attention to errors that perhaps might not even have been noticed if we hadn’t publicized them.

Even more dangerous, however, are our spoken words. Once uttered, they cannot be recalled. The damage has been done. “I’m sorry” comes too little, too late. That’s why preventive care is the best way of dealing with those problems, just as it is with auto mechanics–don’t let them happen to begin with. It’s better to pray, as the psalmist did, “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips” (Psa. 141:3). And as Abe Lincoln famously said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt!”

Whether one is referring to auto mechanics, one’s physical condition, the printed word, or the spoken word, preventive maintenance is always better than a breakdown or a wreck.

Copyright (c) 2017, Dennis L. Peterson

Just the Little Things

In my last post, I recounted how I got sidetracked while searching for a particular poem, and I ended up sharing some thought-provoking tidbits from a 1920s salesmanship paper instead. Well, today I am sharing that poem–before I get sidetracked and lured down yet another rabbit trail.

In much of life, it’s the things that we too often view as “little,” or insignificant, things that make a difference in our lives. That night light in the hallway that keeps you from breaking your neck when you get up for your midnight snack. A brief word of encouragement to a friend. A gentle but understanding touch on a friend’s arm when we do not know what to say. A small act of kindness done for someone with no thought of what we might get in return. Those are the types of things that often mean more than words can say to the recipients. This poem, attributed to someone named Grace Haines (among others, including the ubiquitous “Anonymous”), says it all.


Oh, it’s just the little homely things,

The unobtrusive, friendly things,

The “won’t-you-let-me-help-you” things

That make our pathway light.

And it’s just the jolly, joking things,

The “never-mind-the-trouble” things

The “laugh-with-me-it’s-funny” things

That make the world seem bright.

For all the countless famous things,

The wondrous, record-breaking things,

Those “never-can-be-equaled” things

That all the papers cite,

Are not like little human things,

The everyday-encountered things,

The “just-because-I-like-you” things

That make us happy quite.

So here’s to all the little things,

The “done-and-then-forgotten” things,

Those “oh-it’s-simply-nothing” things,

That make life worth the fight.

Don’t despise the day of small things. What “little” things will you do for others today?

Copyright (c) 2017, Dennis L. Peterson

A Trip Down a Rabbit Trail

Whenever I begin to do online research, such as find a specific detail or statistic, there’s a good chance that I’ll end up being distracted by some interesting but irrelevant bit of information, and off I’ll go, wasting time by chasing down the proverbial rabbit trail. Sometimes, however, that little side trip can be instructive, fun, and sometimes even productive.

Such was my fortune while looking for a poem that I wanted to quote in this blog post. Alas, you’ll just have to wait until a later post to find out what that poem was because I want to share with my readers what got me sidetracked. Maybe you’ll even find it instructive, too.

My “find” was a collection of issues of Retail Clerks International Advocate, apparently a newsletter for salespeople, published in 1922-23. Each issue included a section of pithy comments designed to improve individuals’ salesmanship skills. The feature was titled “Pointers for Clerks on Salesmanship.” I found several of the statements are good advice for not only selling but also for living life. Here are several of the gems.

  • “The employee who simply ‘puts in the time’ is by and by put out.”
  • “No man can learn to enjoy life until he first learns to enjoy his work.”
  • “When you begin to fight back at the little daily annoyances, then you are the worse for them. Try to ignore the little things.”
  • “Your reputation will outlast your riches. Put reputation first.” [I would substitute character for reputation in this instance.]
  • “We all benefit by being called to account for our mistakes. If no accounting was ever necessary, we would all fall oftener.”
  • “Winning back a customer who has quit buying of your house because you have offended him, or because he thinks the house did not treat him right, is a tough proposition. . . . It takes great tact and a lot of diplomacy, and yet a diplomacy that does not show itself. The art of arts is to conceal art. . . . It will pay to acquire the art of the diplomats. It will pay better to avoid offending customers.”
  • Truth builds good will–your greatest asset.”
  • “Integrity is the foundation of prosperity.”
  • “The merchant or clerk who has reached the point where he thinks he cannot constantly improve on his methods is a ‘has been.'”
  • “Let your work be your best advertisement.”

Think about some of these statements for a few days. Then check back on Friday to find out what important poem I was going to share but that was put on hold while I chased that wackety wabbit down the sidetrack of distraction.

Copyright (c) 2017, Dennis L. Peterson