I was in Kentucky for a book signing
for the Carter County Homemakers Group
In May 2012
The Libertyville Patch
Local Author Gives Back
Granddaughter of the inventor of retractable landing gear enjoys
helping others after writing book.
Barbara Sellers visits a patient in the nursing home and shares her book with her.
As a child, Barbara Sellers would look up at the sky in fascination of flight and astronomy. As she grew older, she learned more about her grandfather, the inventor of retractable landing gear, who took the first powered flight in the commonwealth of Kentucky."Every time I was at an airport I would look at the planes noses, and it looked like they were smiling," Sellers said. "I wish that Matthew was alive to see what has come of aviation."
Matthew B. Sellers was her grandfather and the subject of her book, A Moment in Time. Matthew was born in Baltimore and spent most of his life in Kentucky pursuing his studies and inventions in aviation. Sellers said not only did she learn more about her grandfather's work through writing the book but she also learned more about him as a person.
"He was very quiet. In his diaries, when he was going to meet a girl, he would draw a big empty circle because he didn't want people to know about that kind of stuff," Sellers said. "He suffered from migraines. There are days where his diaries will say, 'Headache today.'"
Through her travels for book signings and other events, Sellers has used the book's profits to help others in need.
"It's been a really big opportunity to give back," Sellers said. "I gave to The Grahn Community Center, near my grandfather's home. Kids on average were only having one meal a day. They were just ravaged last year by all of the floods, and it's really bad down there."
Over Christmas Sellers visited Kentucky again and donated to the Olive Hill Historical Society. Her donation will cover the insurance costs of her grandfather's artifacts.
In addition to monetary and book donations, Sellers says she enjoys spending time with children from the area and teaching them the history behind aviation.
"In May, I may be traveling to Holland for a kite workshop where I'll give a speech about some of the work Matthew did," Sellers said. "My book is selling in Germany, England and the Netherlands."
She has been named a Kentucky Colonel by the Commonwealth of Kentucky and an Admiral by the Department of Energy. In her spare time, she also visits veterans in the nursing home and brings them copies of her book.
Sellers, a 14-year Libertyville resident, says she hopes to write more books about other members of her family."My grandfather on my mother's side, Clark Robinson, was in both World War I and World War II," Sellers said. "He was a prisoner of war in Germany and escaped. My great uncle, Albert A. Robinson, wrote a series of journals chronicling the experiences of the war along with collecting letters written to their wives at home."
Sellers also plans to compile a portfolio of her mother's watercolor paintings. Her mother, Gail Sellers, painted in southern California where she was a well known local artist until she died of colon cancer in 2004. Seller says she will donate a portion of the proceeds from the watercolor compilation to colon cancer research.
Sellers manages a website about her book and Matthew B. Seller's work at www.matthewbsellers.com. In addition to writing, she is a licensed and practicing real estate agent who also spent time as a licensed paramedic for four years.
| NEWS from AMK
Barbara Sellers to be at the Annual Fly-In Sunday, August 22, 2010
A weekend full of activity starting with the 5K run and Pump and Run on Saturday morning followed by an Arts and Crafts Festival and Talent Showcase in the Courthouse Square Downtown. The Special Olympics Car, Motorcycle and Truck show also held that day. On Sunday it’s the hugely popular Fly-In Breakfast and Show at the Mt. Sterling Airport with a delicious breakfast and a fantastic display of planes of all types, free hot air balloon rides and air plane rides are available for those who want the full experience.
Barbara Sellers, author of the story of Matthew B. Sellers, II who had the first powered flight in Kentucky, "A Moment in Time" will be on-site Sunday.
"A Moment in Time" is the biography of Matthew B. Sellers, II, one of our nation's first Aviation Pioneers. This book contains one of the most extensive collections of laboratory notes, pictures, correspondence and personal diaries of any aviation pioneer in the United States. See pictures of the kites, gliders and quadraplanes that Matthew built and see the retractable landing gear he invented in 1908 and patented in 1911. Some of Matthew's artifacts, including engines, propellers, air foils and a control arm can be seen in two of the Smithsonian's museums in Washington, D.C. Other artifacts can be seen at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, the Olive Hill Historical Society and the Northeastern Museum of Kentucky in Olive Hill, Kentucky.
Barbara states there is mounting evidence that the Wright Brothers did not have the first powered flight in the United States. You will read why in a special chapter she has dedicated to other aviation pioneers. "I feel that other aviators did actually fly before Orville and Wilbur. I have spent the last few years extensively researching this topic and my hope is that history books will change and the reader will learn about these other great flyers. They certainly are due recognition for their efforts. Matthew was a fascinating grandfather that I never knew, as he died before I was born. I feel a special connection to him now after finishing this book. He was a genius. He was inventing things every day. He was the first to prove the theory of 'The Lift and Drift of Arched Surfaces" and holds the patent on this as well."
Matthew Sellers had the first powered flight in Kentucky on December 28, 1908. He was sought after by other aviators for his advice and was appointed to the first Naval Consulting Board in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson and Thomas A. Edison. I think anyone who reads this book will be truly fascinated to read what my grandfather accomplished in his lifetime and how he contributed to and changed aviation history.