Posts Tagged ‘abc labs’

No need to wait to buy my book about Charles W. Gehrke, From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks, which will be published this fall.

Right now you can save 20 percent on the book and buy it for $16.00—a savings of $4 off the $20 cover. Choose from three delivery options: Pick it up at an event (A release party will scheduled soon), pick it up at the Compass Flower Press office, or have it shipped to you. You will be notified by email immediately when the books are in hand.

Pick it up at an event (date to be announced) or at Compass Flower Press office at 315 Bernadette Drive, Suite 3, Columbia, MO 65203. Cost: $16.

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Or have it shipped to you directly for $20, plus tax and shipping.

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So what’s From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks about?

Charles W. Gehrke was unflinching. Determined. Persistent.

He grew up among the poorest of the poor, yet carried only happy memories of those early years. Out of necessity he learned the value of hard work, as he and his brother helped support their family even as children — but he never complained and never stopped working even during his final days on this earth.

In the 1960s, his work searching for amino acids, the building blocks of life, drew the attention of NASA which would soon launch missions to the moon. Charles was tapped to investigate the lunar samples for signs of life. Spoiler alert: He didn’t find any — but a transcript I uncovered of a radio program from that time shows that he thought he would.

In 1968, he did something else unusual at the time and brought his research to the marketplace, launching ABC Labs, an firm that today employs about 300 people and was the first tenant of Columbia, Missouri’s research park, Discovery Ridge.

The book, From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks highlights the adventurous life of Charles W. Gehrke, a biochemist, entrepreneur and family man.

Published by Yolanda Ciolli’s firm, Compass Flower Press, and designed by Ginny Booker, the book will be released in September 2015, but you can reserve your copy now and be the first to get From Melon Fields to Moon Rocks.

Buy it here now:

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Or have it shipped to you directly for $20, plus tax and shipping.

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This website, diannaobrien.com, highlights examples of my work as a reporter.

charleswgehrke.com focuses on the book I wrote with Charles W. Gehrke, one of the founders of ABC Labs. Founded in 1968, today, the company is one of Columbia’s largest employers and one of the anchor tenants in the newest research park, Discovery Ridge.

columbiahistoricplaces.com highlights information on historic places in Columbia and Boone County, Missouri. The website includes information on buildings and places named to Columbia’s Most Notable Properties List as well as those on the National Register of Historic Places.

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At last, a draft of the book written about Charles W. Gehrke is complete. Charles and I had been working on the book since early spring of 2007 and thankfully I had most of the information I needed to complete the book before he passed away on February 10, 2009. But it was difficult to proceed without his input.

However, even after his passing, Charles provided everything I needed — he’d saved boxes of files and his daughter Susan Gehrke Isaacson and Jon Gehrke were very generous is allowing me to pour over all the documents Charles had saved. I found handwritten notes covering one of the toughest times in his life, the 1991-1992 struggles at ABC Labs.

Now, I start another part of the journey toward making the book Charles and I envisioned a reality — finding a publisher. I am optimistic it won’t be long before the book, “From the Melon Fields to the Moon,” will be in print.

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