I am a Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Since 2014 I have served as Chair of the Norman Lane Jr. Memorial Project (http://www.NormanLaneJrMemorialProject.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The Project is dedicated to the memory of a 27-year-old Vanderbilt University humanities graduate, who was killed in action in Vietnam on March 29, 1968. His adopted hometown was Brownsville, Tennessee, where I grew up—60 miles from Memphis. A complementary YouTube Channel (https://tinyurl.com/Al-Claiborne-YouTube-Channel) has been developed to augment the history addressed by the Lane Project and this WordPress site.
As a major part of the Lane Project, I published a series of stories on this site over 2015-2019, with the theme: “The Families, the War, and the Remembrance.” These include the stories of family members—my father and his two brothers, my mother’s favorite cousin, and others—who fought and, in some cases, died in the Second World War. The series then transitions to its major focus on the Vietnam War; most, but not all, of the installments tell the story of 1stLt. Norman Lane, USMC, the Vanderbilt English major who became a Marine and went to war. A complete annotated Index, with a Table of Contents, can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/Index-Feb-3-2019
Since October, 2019, continuing with the theme, “The Families, the War, and the Remembrance,” I have published a new series of stories focusing on Owen Burgess, who was a great family friend. In his youth, Owen Burgess had served as navigator with a B-17 Flying Fortress crew as they flew into battle over occupied Europe in the late summer and early fall of 1943—until they were shot down over Germany on October 8. Owen spent 19 months in a POW camp, returned to Brownsville after the war, and ultimately became editor of the weekly Brownsville newspaper in 1962. This series is continuing, but a complete annotated Index covering the first eight installments can be viewed here: https://tinyurl.com/Index-Owen-Burgess
Over the months of August-November, 2020, I published a five-part series, “History, and ‘Time Past,’ ” reviewing the 33-month cycle of racial violence and civil disorder that struck a number of America’s major cities, beginning in the Watts section of Los Angeles on August 11, 1965, and continuing, in the aftermath of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination, in Memphis, Chicago, Washington and other metropolitan areas over Palm Sunday weekend, 1968. Particular attention is given to the February 29, 1968, Report of the National Advisory Commission—the Kerner Commission—on Civil Disorders. The intent is that, in looking back on these events from more than 50 years ago, perhaps we can better judge life in America today. A complete annotated Index to the series can be accessed here: https://tinyurl.com/Index-Time-Past
I can be reached by e-mail at ALC@CSB.WFU.EDU. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.