Amelia Earhart: What The General Public Never Knew

About Tod Swindell

Home Page: Amelia Earhart
About Tod Swindell
Drumming Out False Earhart History
The Curious Mrs. Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam
Past Significant Amelia Earhart Disappearance Investigations
About 'Operation Earhart' (1960-1970)
The 1980s and 1990s Words Of Monsignor James Francis Kelley On Amelia Earhart
Comparing Amelia Earhart To Irene O'Crowley Craigmile (Surname 'Bolam' added in 1958)
Wikipedia Deceitfully Misleads the Public About Amelia and Irene
Newspaper Fraud Tried To Hide The Truth In 1982

About Tod Swindell And His Amelia Earhart Investigative Research And Forensic Analysis Journey:   


Tod Swindell
Writer, Filmmaker, Amelia Earhart
Historian & Investigative Journalist



Born in Yonkers, New York, Tod Swindell was raised in Southern California and Bucks County, Pennsylvania. A Cinema Arts graduate of the University of Arizona, his curiosity toward Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance took form in the early 1990s, while he was researching stories for the CBS television series, 'Miracles and Other Wonders' hosted by Darren McGavin. The premise of the show was later spun into, 'Encounters of the Unexplained' hosted by Jerry Orbach, that featured Tod's original research in an episode devoted to the Earhart mystery. His interest in the subject further escalated in 1996, the year he came to know Lost Star author, Randall Brink, who introduced him to renowned Amelia Earhart world-flight investigator, Joseph A. Gervais, that ultimately led Tod to embark on his own Earhart truth-seeking journey.
A veteran of the motion picture industry, beyond specializing in the research and development of film properties, Tod is also a free-lance journalist with published articles on the subjects of sports and pop-culture. (See more about his career and interests at the end of this section.) 


My Earhart Journey  


By Tod Swindell

After embarking on a career in the film industry, in the 1980s and 1990s I found myself on location a lot. While in between shows I researched and developed motion picture properties for a satellite NBC-Universal company (Desperado Films, Inc.) and my interest in what really happened to Amelia Earhart took hold after a movie script caught my attention. It was titled, "Amelia Earhart: The Final Chapter" by accredited WGA screenwriter, David O'Malley. His effort was largely based on the 1980s investigation of T.C. "Buddy" Brennan and Mike Harris, and it affected me to a point where after reading it, I reached out to David O'Malley. After that I began to more deeply study the other Earhart disappearance investigations I had earlier perused; Fred Goerner's grounbreaking work from the 1960s, and the other significant ones that had been led by individuals I personally came to know; Randall Brink, Joseph A. Gervais, and Rollin C. Reineck.
Further down are some images from a documentary film journey I also embarked on, one dedicated to correctly profiling the interrelated life stories of Amelia Earhart and the highly enigmatic woman who was reluctantly dragged into the limelight in 1970, Mrs. Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam.
My main work, an MSS titled, Protecting Earhart, went through a number of revisions before its first 'complete' version was copyrighted, after I inserted a one-hundred page section that featured key forensic comparison elements generated since the early 2000's. [Of note, no one had forensically compared Amelia to the 'post-1940 Irene' in question before.] Beyond the samples from the complete analysis that appear in, the MMS itself has yet to be formally published with the exception of private editions of my own pressing.
Prefacing what the overall, Amelia Earhart & Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam effort entailed; in the 1930s, when the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile was a budding pilot, she and Amelia Earhart knew each other. For sure this was true, except, according to the two most formidable World War Two veteran researchers I came to know, Gervais and Reineck, it was the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile who entirely went missing those decades ago, not Amelia Earhart... entirely... as history had promoted since 1937.
The late Joseph A. Gervais, who was the original 'Amelia became Irene' discoverer -- and who from 1965 to 2005 (the last forty years of his life) was more knowledgeable than anyone else about it, explained the catch: The original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's left-over identity ended up being given to Amelia Earhart for her later-life use under a Federal Witness Protection Program, so the former world famous pilot could privately live out the rest of her days. He included how unknown to the public, Amelia's new name and identity acquisition most likely took place during the late World War Two era with highly instrumental, albeit surreptitious help from the indomitable, J. Edgar Hoover. He determined that Hoover, in alliance with the U.S. executive branch via U.S. military intelligence, had learned that Amelia Earhart, had quietly managed to survive her so-called disappearance, and that while doing so she was subjugated by trying circumstances. [Thus, her later life friend and confidante, Monsignor James Francis Kelley's comment: "After all she'd been through she did not want to be the famous Amelia Earhart anymore."]
Gervais first, and then Reineck as well, ascertained that such a truth was discovered in the mid-1960s, and it was revealed in 1970, but it failed to gain a foothold in the annals of official history after it was strongly rejected by the former Amelia Earhart herself, and a contingency of individuals that supported her.
The two war veterans were also clear to point out that Amelia's post-war alias was more a product of a tight inner circle than a vast conspiracy.
Due to the limited amount of people who were clued-in about it, and the 'official silence' always observed by the U.S. and Japanese governments toward the matter, the story that broke in 1970 about Amelia's post loss existence as Irene, evolved to be regarded as a 'hoax' by the general public. This is why the debate over who the post-1940 Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam really was, or used to be, never reached a hard conclusion... until recently, when the forensic analysis results displayed the obvious reality of Amelia's post-1940, name-changed existence.    


Above, noted Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Walter S. Birkby,  
was an advisor on the human comparison analysis and was
intrumental in providing document examination experts. 


Joseph A. Gervais accepting his Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers achievement award.

Before I began orchestrating the forensic analysis, I had noticed Gervais and Reineck's level of seriousness and combined it with the good nature of their characters. After all, both had served in the Air Force during World War Two, with Gervais eventually retiring as a Major, and Reineck as a Colonel. I then conducted an initial assessment of the common conclusion they drew, that was backed by decades of their own investigative research. So ultimately, I wanted to determine if what they professed to know about Amelia Earhart was actually trueI recall asking myself, "if they're so certain, then why has this still not been settled?"
Either way I felt that answering the, 'did Amelia became known as Irene' question once and for all provided an automatic hook for a documentary. May as well add, though, getting it done proved far more challenging than I originally anticipated. Why? For starters, let's just say Amelia Earhart's family, the original Irene's family, the Zonta's and the 99's, (prominent organizations Amelia had belonged to) a couple of college history professors, and people at the Smithsonian Institution either laughed at the idea or outright signaled me to, 'hit the road, Jack!' when I asked them to weigh-in on what I was doing.
Needless to say... I kept going anyway, and in the end the truth of Amelia's post-loss existence as Irene did manage to clearly shine through.


Above: "She was not the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile. Anymore it is obvious she used to be known as Amelia Earhart. A post-World War Two pact made between the governments of the United States and Japan, that still exists today, has long prevented the general public from embracing the truth about Amelia's ongoing existence as 'Irene' in the United States after the war." Tod Swindell



Above: Amelia digitally combined with her future self; the post-war Irene. 


A First Person Review; Twenty Years of Amelia Earhart Investigative Research

Below: Graphic artist, David Harlan designed this illustration to be included in the promotional material for my Protecting Earhart book and documentary. Note the ocean waves vectoring toward the 'Carmen Sandiego' looking Amelia on both sides--and her inverted plane image that is shown flying away from Howland Island. Dave did a good job there. Amelia actually took the veil-faced photo of herself while looking into a mirror before she became famous. An AE selfie... gotta love it.



Above is a portion of a larger group photo taken at the Joseph A. Gervais Amelia Earhart Society of Researchers 'Lifetime Achievement Award' ceremony held on February 5, 2000. Top row left to right: Then head of the Oakland Western Aerospace Museum, Ronald Reuther; Amelia Earhart historian-journalist, Tod Swindell; Mr. & Mrs. John Bolam, the post-war only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam's survived in-laws, who both recognized their later life sister-in-law as the 'former' Amelia Earhart. Bottom row, left to right: 1967 Amelia Earhart World Flight duplicator, Ann Holtgren Pellegreno; Amelia Earhart Lives author, Joe Klaas; and renowned Amelia Earhart disappearance investigator being honored that day, Joseph A. Gervais.


Filming Protecting Earhart with cameraman, Doug Peters. From 1999 on, production took place in California, Kansas, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington DC. I shelved it to further develope the forensic analysis so I could ultimately include it. I copyrighted the analysis in 2017, and am now in the process of completing Protecting Earhart.   


A frame from my near two-hour long filmed interview with my friend and collaborator, Major Joseph A. Gervais, USAF (Ret.) It was the last 'broadcast quality' interview he gave. From 1965 to his dying day in 2005, he never disavowed the truth he discovered, that stated Amelia Earhart lived well beyond the World War Two era after assuming the identity of Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, a name that originallly belonged to a budding pilot Amelia was acquainted with in the 1930s. It turned out he was right. The forensic analysis concluded that three Twentieth Century women were attributed to the same Irene O'Crowley Craigmile identity, and that sometime after 1940, Amelia Earhart became the third one. As it turned out, people who had doubted Joseph A. Gervais, were too quick to judge.


A frame from my interview with Joe Klaas. Joe was a WWII POW in Germany for over two years. He authored the 1970 controversial book, Amelia Earhart Lives, that was chiefly inspired by the decade long investigation of Amelia Earhart's 1937 disappearance conducted by Joseph A. Gervais. Klaas's book boldy included Joseph A. Gervais' 1965 discovery and photo of the former Amelia Earhart living as Mrs. Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam. The former Amelia sued he and Gervais for libel, not for implicating her for who she used to be, as was widely assumed. I consider my interviews of both Gervais and Klaas as great achievements... even though a lot of people have a hard time understanding why.    


Pilot-Author, Ann Holtgren Pellegreno, who in 1967 duplicated the world flight journey of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, (successfully...) gifted me this great photo she took over the left engine cowling of her Lockheed Electra as she zoomed by Howland Island that year. Howland was the target Amelia and Fred failed to locate thirty-years prior to 1937, just before they went missing. Somehow I ended up working on two film projects that featured man and woman flying duos in peril in their airplanes; 'Six Days and Seven Nights' and 'Spin.' It's interesting how few ever noticed another Earhart-Noonan cinematic homage, where at the end of the classic motion picture, Casablanca, a man and woman climb aboard a Lockheed Electra that takes off and disappears into a dense fog.  


Above, Victor Laszlo and Ilsa Lund are aboard this Lockheed Electra that takes off into a dense fog at the end of the movie, 'Casablanca.' Once they get through the fog their weather report is, "ceiling unlimited." This timeless-classic, atop my personal list of all time favorites, was directed by Michael Curtiz. It premiered five years after Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan went missing in Amelia's Electra.

Two side-note metaphors: In Amelia's day, Lockheed named its airplanes after stars in the sky. In 1932, the plane Amelia flew solo across the Atlantic in--that made her the first woman and only the second person to ever do such a thing--was a Lockheed "Vega" named for the brightest star in the Lyra constellation. Amelia did become her own bright star after accomplishing that feat. "Electra," on the other hand, the name of the plane she flew when she went missing, is a star in the Pleiades 'seven sisters' constellation. The sister-star named 'Electra' is referred to as the "weeping sister" because her illumination is not as bright as her other sisters. Electra is also referred to as the "lost star" since it is hard to see her, but you know she's there. This is how my friend, Randall Brink, came up with the title for his classic, 1994 best-selling Amelia Earhart investigative book, Lost Star: The Search For Amelia Earhart. Amelia Earhart truly did become a lost star akin to Electra of the Pleiades. For after July 2, 1937, although she couldn't be seen anymore, many people continued to believe she was still alive and out there... somewhere.




Pilot 'Grace McGuire' took the above 2017 photo of me being interviewed for her documentary in front of her rare Lockheed Electra 'Model 10' edition, the best existing replica of the Lockheed Electra 10E Amelia Earhart owned, flew, and went missing in with Fred Noonan. Grace worked hard for years restoring this beautiful aircraft. She recently transferred ownership of it to the Atchison, Kansas Chamber of Commerce that is now raising funds to build a Museum-Hangar for it at its municipal airport. Atchison, of course, was Amelia's birthplace and original hometown. Grace McGuire was friends with Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, Amelia's sister, and as a tribute to their shared namesakes, Grace named her Lockheed, "Muriel." (Muriel Earhart Morrissey, knew her sister, Amelia, as 'Irene' in her later life years.) Into the 2000's, Grace had been planning a world flight adventure in 'Muriel' with Larry Heller, the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's 1934 born son, slated to serve as her flight navigator. The flight never materialized but for awhile it appeared to come close to doing so. Grace also once visited and even slept on Howland Island in a tent! She is a very special person. I'm not the only one sporting that opinion of her.


A Theory of Relativity?
Above is a 1985 photo of Amelia Earhart's sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, with Lockheed Electra restorer and pilot, Grace McGuire. Colonel Rollin C. Reineck took this photo while the two were together in Hawaii commemorating the 50th anniversary of Amelia's solo Hawaii-to-Oakland flight.
People have often remarked about Grace McGuire's strong resemblance to Amelia. It's no coincidence in my book, just as Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's sudden post-World War Two resemblance to Amelia Earhart was no coincidence either.
Grace McGuire is a terrific person, except she as well is somewhat of an enigma. She was raised by adoptive parents in Scotland before she relocated to the U.S. in the 1960s while in her teens. She has mentioned that she is 'related' to Amelia Earhart, without specifying the way she is related. I suggested to her that she may be Amelia's secret granddaughter; she negated that, although I had brought it up in reference to a never confirmed rumor of Amelia having experienced a family-secret pregnancy in 1924. If such a rumor were true, Grace would fit the bill age-wise as Amelia's granddaughter. There was also some connective tissue: Grace was a friend of Amelia's sister, Muriel, before Muriel's passing took place in 1998, plus she knew Monsignor James Francis Kelley, who helped Amelia become 'Irene' after the war; she affirmed she had 'acquainted' Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, (the post-1940 Irene) and she has long been a friend of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's son, Larry Heller. That's quite a woven web of separate interrelated elements.
While the 'secret granddaughter' notion may seem far-fetched to some, beyond the, "I'm related to Amelia Earhart" mention of Grace's, there is actually no public record to back it up. So... one has to start somewhere with that information.
My ninety-page screen story, "Amelia's Blessings" that Rollin C. Reineck expounded on in the last chapter of his book, Amelia Earhart Survived, is a historical novella that covers Amelia's missing year (biographically) of 1924. It suggests that Amelia possibly concealed a pregnancy and gave birth to Lloyd Royer's child in Canada, (Lloyd Royer was a plane mechanic friend and business partner of Amelia's who did propose to her before she left California with her mother in 1924, headed for the east coast by way of Canada) and how eventually, her still concealed child was taken in to be raised by the O'Crowley family of Newark, New Jersey, after Amelia suddenly became famous in 1928.
Is it pure insanity to even suggest such an idea? As mentioned, Grace herself says it isn't true. Yet another part of my Study did solidly determine that the person in the photograph directly below, who was positively identified to me by the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile's 1934 born son as, "my mother, around 1940", was not the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile, nor was she the post-1940 Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, AKA the former Amelia Earhart.
It is a less-focused-on part of my study results that says no one knows who the person in the photograph below really was or where she came from. In 1984, an elder O'Crowley family friend described a young 'live-in helper girl' of the O'Crowley's who was about "16 or 17" in 1940, as she recalled. Where no evidence of such a 'live-in helper girl' exists within the O'Crowley family archives, it could make sense where the person below was she. Not to leave out, this very same photograph, and more of the same girl came from the former Amelia Earhart's own photo collection bestowed upon her later life friend, Diana Dawes: 


At his attorney's office in Manhattan and in writing as well, the person above was identified to me by the 1934 born son of the original Irene O'Crowley Craigmile as, "my mother, around 1940". The analysis results left it certain she was not his biological mother, and she certainly was never known as 'Amelia Earhart' either.
Evidently, after the original Irene's son was imprinted with her at a young age, the person above went on to serve as his surrogate mother. The above photo was more likely taken in the mid-1940s. Based on her dress and formal pose, it is possibly a college graduation photo from when she was twenty-one or twenty-two. (Leaving her birth year estimate to have been, 'around 1924' as conveyed by O'Crowley family friend, Lucy McDannel in 1984, who recalled their 'live-in helper-girl' as "16 or 17 in 1940.) To this day no one knows who this person really was or where she came from. My postulatation that she may have been the non-recognized biological daughter of Amelia Earhart and Lloyd Royer is only that, a 'postulation' or 'educated guess' based on an, 'if this, then that' supposition. Again, my logic included an awareness of how this photo (and others of the same girl) came from the former Amelia Earhart's own collection bestowed upon her later life friend, Diana Dawes. Diana died in 1998, just a few months after Amelia's sister, Muriel, died. Diana Dawes, by the way, (see news article clip below) firmly believed her later life friend, the post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, did used to be known as, "Amelia Earhart". Tod Swindell


The above excerpt was part of a 1987 newspaper article.

"Foudray calls the investigative research of Gervais and Swindell, ""Just the tip of the Iceberg."" "All the evidence all put together, I feel like she [Amelia] did survive. I think she survived and came back to the United States, but that she wanted her privacy." Lou Foudray, former proprietor of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas, quoted from interviews conducted by Lara Moritz of KMBC TV, Kansas City, and by The Topeka Kansas Capital-Journal's, Jan Biles.


Above, a 2016 photograph of Lou Foudray, Earhart historian and former caretaker of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum on the front porch of the home where Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, Kansas. Lou lived there for many years and was one of several 'Earhart-learned' individuals who spoke of Amelia's rumored 'family secret' pregnancy from her pre-fame years.


USAF Colonel, Rollin C. Reineck in 1944 

"Your work relating to Amelia Earhart and Irene O'Crowley Craigmile is absolutely outstanding. There is no other way to describe it. I'm convinced you have solved the mystery." Author-historian, Colonel Rollin C. Reineck, USAF (Ret.) in response to Tod Swindell's Amelia Earhart investigative forensic research and comparison analysis.



Senator Hiram Bingham
& Amelia Earhart


Distinguished and proud with her
trademark wings and pearls.



Irene-Amelia in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia in 1976.
Note the signature flower-pendant she often wore.





The post-World War Two only Irene O'Crowley Craigmile
in East Hampton of L.I. New York, in 1965. [Gervais photo.]
She was appeared nowhere as 'Irene O'Crowley Craigmile' before
the end of World War Two because she used to be Amelia Earhart.
The world public, however, was never supposed to know about it.


Above is an old newsprint photo of the original Irene Craigmile shown in 1930 with her then-husband, Charles Craigmile, who died the following year, and her father, Richard Joseph O'Crowley. Below they're enhanced.




"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Arthur Schopenhauer

From the time I was born I've always been the same person. Toward the end of her defamation lawsuit that ended in 1976, the post-1940 Irene O'Crowley Craigmile-Bolam, told a newspaper reporter the same thing, "I've always been the same person." That was a true statement she made, although she definitely did change her name during the course of her lifetime.
People sometimes change their names for different reasons. Stefani Germanotta did it for a professional stage-name reason. So did Alecia Moore. Cassius Clay and Lew Alcindor did it as homages to their religious beliefs. Amelia Earhart? She did it for her own deep rooted personal reasons--and out of respect for the three countries she ended up being unwaveringly devoted to during the course of her lifetime; the United States, England, and Japan.
If you feel I'm stretching things here, I'm not.
Try to visualize, if you can, that the reason the 'name-changed' reality of Amelia Earhart was kept out of the public eye was more practically based and easier to explain than people realized.
According to the conviction displayed by the former Amelia Earhart herself when she was known as 'Irene' during the last half of her life, and the post-World War Two viewpoints maintained by the United States, England, and Japan as well, it is fairly certain their common vantage point came from a post-war agreement the averred how no one from the world public was ever supposed to know that Amelia Earhart lived-on after she went missing -- and in time changed her name.
It appears clear enough by now that Amelia did such a thing by way of a multi-nations endorsed, and conjointly agreed upon Federal Witness Protection Program [FWPP] carefully arranged via the U.S. justice department. Such an arrangement was most likely spurred ahead under the guise of J. Edgar Hoover and the U.S. federal government.
Still not convinced? Then consider this: No executive government branch from any of the three above mentioned countries has ever come close to offering an opinion about the 'Amelia became Irene' suggestion, even though it is certain all were aware that it made national-news headlines in the U.S. in 1970.
It is equally true as well, the executive branch of the U.S. federal government has never officially investigated the 1937 disappearance and subsequent missing person case of Amelia Earhart. If it ever offered an opinion about it at all, it was always in an off-hand, non-commiting way. Tod Swindell    

More About Tod Swindell






Tod Swindell's major film production work began with Universal's 'Desperado' westerns for NBC, executive produced by Walter and Andrew Mirisch. For several years he made MOW's around the country for Desperado Films, Inc., eventually serving as its president while heading its story rights acquisition division. His producer credits include The Woman in the Moon, The Legend of the Phantom Rider, Ghost Rock, Spin, and Secret Agent Dingledorf. Over the years he has been credited on numerous other film productions with Geronimo, Major League, Six Days and Seven Nights, and Tin Cup listed among them. His past television series work includes The Young Riders, Legend, The Game, and The Magnificent Seven. Tod holds the registered copyrights on a variety of Amelia Earhart intellectual properties including Protecting Earhart, that exclusively features his self-conceived and orchestrated,  Amelia-to-Irene forensic comparison analysis, the first study of its kind ever embarked on.
Of his other endeavors, Tod's company, Grizzly Adams LLC, houses the Grizzly Adams trademarked brand and is a business partner of the Vital Ground Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting grizzly bear and other wildlife habitat in the Pacific American Northwest. His new children's book, Grizzly Adams and the Bridge to the Meadow is available in retail outlets and through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kindle. A portion of all Grizzly Adams Company proceeds goes to Vital Ground.
Tod likens the life of the real Grizzly Adams to that of Amelia Earhart, calling them "two of the most famously misunderstood figures from American history."
Tod is the son of California Classic Film Hall of Fame member -- and Texas Literary Hall of Fame member, the late Larry Swindell. Tod's late mother was Equity Theater actress, Eleanor Eby, who, while on Broadway, singularly endorsed her UCLA friend, Carol Burnett, to be welcomed into New York's well known Rehearsal Club for aspiring actors. From there, as the story goes within Carol's homage to Ellie Eby in her book, One More Time, she launched her famous career.
Tod's maternal grandfather, the late Earl Eby, played a role in boosting the career of his good friend, Danny Thomas, when in the late 1930s, he offered the then struggling Thomas to come stay with him in Chicago and do radio show work. (Tod has been a steady contributer to Danny Thomas' St. Jude Medical Research Center over the years.) Earl was also the Director and Co-Head of Hollywood's 'Lux Video Theater' in the 1950s.
Tod is married to his 'Aether Pictures' and 'Grizzly Adams Company' partner, Julie Magnuson Swindell. The two split their time between Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest.


With Richard Farnsworth on Desperado: The Outlaw Wars in Mescal, Arizona, 1989


 On Posse in 1993


Trying to direct some buffalo near Flagstaff, AZ for Legend, 1995 (they didn't listen very well)


 Above, in front of our Air Force loaned C-130 on Vestige of Honor filmed in Thailand and North Carolina, 1991


Calling the roll on the Dehavilland Beaver for Six Days and Seven Nights filmed in Hawaii.


With Saginaw Grant on The Legend of the Phantom Rider, Cochise Stronghold, 1999


With the new 'Kitt Car' on Knightrider 2000, San Antonio


Shooting with the Piper Cub for Spin on the Sopori near the Mexico border, 2004.


Adventuring the Napali Coast.


Above, playing for the Beachwood Canyon Bucs in L.A., 2014. Baseball is a long-time passion that runs in the family. In Texas, my paternal grandfather, Reece Swindell, was a catcher who caught Dizzy Dean and Satchel Paige in the early 1930s. His catching for Satchel Paige was a fluke; Paige was barnstorming through Texas with his team when his catcher broke his hand in a bar fight the night before Reece's team was to play his, so Reece ended up catching both his own team's pitcher and Satchel Paige the entire game. Reece's brother, Fred, played center field; his other brother, Ray, played second base for their north Texas semi-pro club. (It was common for American towns back then, especially in Texas, to have their own semi-pro baseball clubs.) Reece caught Dean when his north Texas team scrimmaged the Houston Buffs in 1931. Dean pitched for the Swindell brothers' team to even the contest against the Buffs. 


College days, late 1970s 


With friend, Raz, in Willits, California, 2009, once home to Seabiscuit.

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