One on the Ground is Karen Wielinski’s compelling memoir, based on her experiences resulting from the crash of Flight 3407 into her Clarence home. When her husband Doug died along with 50 passengers and crew he become identified as the “One on the Ground.”
February 12, 2009 was an ordinary evening at home for the Wielinski family of Clarence Center, New York. Karen said good night to her husband Doug as he left their family room. Minutes later her world and her home came tumbling down around her. This compelling memoir is the story of life before, during, and after an unthinkable tragedy.
Thanks To Those Who Attend Talks and Signings
It has been such an honor to travel around Western NY and bring the story of One on the Ground to so many wonderful people.
Reinstein Public Library
1030 Losson Rd., Buffalo, NY
(Open to the Public)
North Tonawanda History Museum
712 Oliver St., North Tonawanda, NY
(Open to the Public)
Sacred Heart Parish Altar & Rosary
5337 Genesee St., Bowmansville, NY
Professional Business Women of Polonia
The Columns, 2221 Transit Rd., Elma, NY
St. Gregory the Great Senior Organization
1210 Youngs Rd., Williamsville, NY
Ladies of St. Philip the Apostle Parish
950 Losson Rd., Buffalo, NY
PEO, Orchard Park, NY
(Time to be advised at a later date.)
Kenan Center Arts Council
433 Locust St., Lockport, NY
(Time to be advised at a later date.)
St. Mary’s Parish
6919 Transit Rd., Swormville, NY
Eastern Niagara County Retired Teachers
(Time to be advised at a later date.)
Would you like to have Karen speak at your event or organization?
My cat, Mia wants to remind everyone, that I have plenty of books remaining!
I would love to meet more of you, so if you have an organization that would like to learn more about One on the Ground I hope to hear from you.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Two Days of Remembrance for the 10th Anniversary
Usually the anticipation of nearing another anniversary of the tragic crash of Flight 3407 begins around Thanksgiving. With the landmark approach of the 10th anniversary on February 12th, the event began tugging at me during the summer. Preparations had already begun for two days of remembrance.
Observing the anniversary by myself, or with family and friends is one thing, but surrounding myself with the other 3407 families and seeing their pain brings me a deeper level of grief. It will be an emotional time.
I think it is important that although we will relive that tragic night during this anniversary, we should perhaps remember instead the wonderful lives the victims of Flight 3407 lead, and continue to remember in our thoughts and prayers all those who keep them in their hearts.
AM Buffalo Interview
As the anniversary approaches, I am fortunate to have had opportunities to share the “One on the Ground” story with several media outlets. I appreciate their interest in this historic event that affected so many people. Our local television affiliates plan special programs on February 12th, and I recently appeared on WKBW’s “AM Buffalo” program on January 10th.
Meeting Local Authors
I was one of the participants at the Newfane, NY Public Library’s local author day on May 18th. It’s always great to meet other authors. My table “neighbor,” George Rollie Adams, took this wonderful picture of the “One on the Ground” quilt. George’s novel, “South of Little Rock,” is set in a small town in southern Arkansas in 1957, where its residents are dealing with social change. His past work affiliations include an active role in the Buffalo Historical Society, and at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester.
I also met Jamie Scalise, who with Bob Dicesare, wrote “He’s Out!” the story of prison escapee Richard Matt, her estranged father until she reconnected with him a few years before his escape from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, NY. Jamie is a lovely lady, and her story is fascinating.
Sharing With Special People on May 20th
Talk about challenging—I had two chances to share “One on the Ground” with some special people on May 20th.
My morning talk introduced me to the Bibliotherapy Groups at ECMC in Buffalo. They all had read the book, so I enjoyed their feedback and I could update them on additions to several stories that have occurred since publication. Sitting together around a big table, conversations flowed easily. Surprisingly, one man even shared that he used to be our paperboy on Hagen Street in Buffalo back in the 60s and 70s!
They said I inspired them, but I can honestly can say THEY inspired me. Thanks to Catherine Greer and Lisa Keenan for making this meeting possible.
I then traveled to the tiny village of Sinclairville near Jamestown NY to speak in the evening at their library. This library is the heart of the village, and it was a pleasure to share my story with almost 20 people, many whom had read the book. Special thanks to librarian Beth Hadley for inviting me.
May was a great month that included nine book events and the sale of over 75 copies of One on the Ground.
Thanks to all for welcoming me so warmly.
So Many Books, So Little Time
On July 11th, I met a great group of ladies, the “So many books, so little time” book club in the City of Tonawanda, NY. Their faces lit up when then saw me, and that is still something I have a hard time comprehending. Hey, it’s just me! Their praise of me and love for “One on the Ground” was humbling and much appreciated, as was their very generous donation to the scholarship fund. Part of the perks derived from giving these talks is hearing the attendees tell their own stories, sharing similarities with them and hearing how my book has touched them.
Erie County Fair
It was an enjoyable day at the Erie County Fair on August 10th. It was encouraging to have so many people stop by to talk with me about “One on the Ground” at the Historical Building. Thanks to everyone who bought books and supported the scholarship fund.
A Day In Ellicottville
I spoke to the Ellicottville Historical Society on August 14th. Thanks to Ellen Sirianne for the invitation, and thanks too for dinner. I enjoyed meeting so many supportive people.
It’s been awhile since I visited Ellicottville, so I stayed overnight at the Jefferson Inn B&B, and explored the town the next day. I was happy to support small business and the economy of Ellicottville, as I took advantage of the shopping, eating and drinking opportunities of this great little town.
Burchfield Penney Art Center
It was such an honor to have an opportunity to speak at the beautiful Burchfield Penney Art Center on November 1st. I was moved to tears by the introduction I received from Wendy King. I so appreciated her heartfelt review of One on the Ground. Despite a rainy night, turnout was good, and since many had already read the book, there were great follow-up questions. It definitely was a memorable night.
A private “writers” launch for One on the Ground took place on February 25th 2017. What better way to celebrate publication of the book than a gathering of writers — amateur and professional — along with my Librastream publishers, Sallie and John Randolph, and designer/creative team Leslie and Jeff Taylor of Buffalo Creative Group.
Many of the attendees were either my current or past classmates from Rick Ohler’s East Aurora creative writing classes. They provided support and encouragement as the pieces of this book were read week-after-week over the last few years.
Ed Drantch and Aaron Mason from WKBW also participated in the celebration. Ed helped announce the release of One on the Ground, with his wonderful segment that aired February 10th.
Buffalo News reporter Joe Popiolkowski, who had been supportive during the Long Street Memorial dedication and the trial, also joined us.
My daughters, Kim and Jess, were also on-hand to meet these creative people in my life, as was my cousin Jan Frappier, who has become one of my staunch writing critics.
Being surrounded by those who have guided and encouraged me during this book journey was both humbling and gratifying. It was a memorable afternoon.
Doug loved to delve into history. Collecting allowed him to preserve the past, and he always loved the opportunity to share what he learned with others. He especially enjoyed bringing history to life for high school students by sharing his Viet Nam War experiences with them.
After the crash my daughter Lori said that since her dad had always loved history, it seemed only fitting that he was now a part of history.
The Douglas C. Wielinski Memorial Scholarship Fund was established in 2009 to provide assistance to students who have a genuine love of history. It is my hope that profits from the sale of One On The Ground will enable more students to benefit from this fund.
If you are so inclined to help in this effort, donations can also be sent to:
Thank you for considering to honor Doug in this way.
~ Karen Wielinski
Clarence High School Awards
I give talks all the time, so why is it so difficult to talk at the Clarence HS Awards. It didn’t happen ten years ago, and it almost didn’t happen when I attended the award ceremony on June 3rd. I felt that since this year marked the ten-year anniversary of the crash, it was the right time to speak. I did it, but boy was my voice shaky and I had to pause to get a grip several times! I composed myself in time to congratulation to this year’s recipients: Maria Bienko & John Hewson.
I was disappointed in myself for not being able to control my emotions during the presentation, but I have come to the conclusion that all the connections our family has had with Clarence makes it so difficult to speak there: I worked in the District Office Personnel Department for fourteen years, all four of my daughters graduated from Clarence, Doug discussed his experiences in Viet Nam with the students many times, and the school was tremendously supportive to us following the crash. A thank you note from one of this year’s recipients, Maria Bienko, also provided solace. She wrote, “As you described what this scholarship meant to you in your speech…I couldn’t help but to be moved to tears, so when you called my name, I was immediately hit with a sense of honor and gratefulness.” Thanks for making me feel better, Maria.
Congratulations also go out to Romeo Anthony, the recipient of this year’s scholarship at Hutchinson Technical High School. He will be pursuing a career as a History Teacher.
Pick up a copy at one of our local bookstores! Currently in stock at these locations:
Profits benefit the Douglas C. Wielinski Memorial Scholarship Fund