Last month I wrote to you about the launch of Tammy Sue’s book, Wounded Song, Today I’m happy to tell you about the launch of my own book, Saving Lou, held Saturday, September 23. It would have been impossible to hold an event like this by myself, so I want to give kudos to the wonderful people who made it all possible.
Barb, Maryalice, Cyndi, Bill, Clint, Edria, Jim, Marilyn, all stepped up to help with set up, sign in, picture taking, cashiering, chairs, raffle prizes, and so much more. I could write an entire blog just on the wonderful contributions each person made.
We started with a trivia quiz with eleven questions pertaining to the ‘30s and ‘40s. No one could answer all of them, but one woman won with eight correct answers. Then four members of my writing group each read portions of my book.
Barb read from 1934, when Lou is 11. Here is an excerpt: Lou pulled out a fresh sheet of paper, held it close to his face and began to write. Dear Mom and Dad, I’m real sorry I put salt in the sugar bowl. Anna and Emma would never do that. And if Larry had lived instead of me, he probably wouldn’t have done it, either. I’m sure you wish my brother was the one who survived and not me. He wouldn’t do the stupid things I do and you’d all be happier with him than you are with me. I hope you’ll forgive me. Louis
Nancy read from 1935 when Lou is 12 and working in his dad’s dealership garage with Gus, the mechanic. Lou’s second week on the job had him working in the showroom surrounded by gleaming new Cadillacs arranged invitingly on the mirror-finish floor. Gus outfitted him with a bucket of suds and a mop and exact instructions on how to wash the floor without splashing any water on the expensive cars. . .. Lou started dancing between the cars with the mop as his partner. One moment they were bowing and twirling and the next moment Lou slipped on the wet floor. The mop went in one direction and Lou slid into the bucket of water, knocking it over and splashing water in every direction. The bucket crashed into one car and Lou crashed into another.
Ellen read from December 7, 1941 when Lou is 18 and an announcement comes over the radio that Japan had just bombed Pearl Harbor. From that moment on, all regular radio broadcasts were discontinued in an effort to keep listeners up to date on the news from Hawaii. On Monday, President Roosevelt made the sobering announcement that Congress had met and the United States had declared war on Japan. He said, “Yesterday, December 7, is a date which will live in infamy.” Three days later, while the country was still reeling from the Japanese attack, Hitler declared war on the United States. Now the country was fully involved in war on two continents.
I read a portion from 1942 where Lou, 19, having completed basic training at Great Lakes, is assigned as an aviation mechanic on the USS Hornet. After its first mission, the Hornet sails to Hawaii and Lou steps out on land to survey the devastation of charred buildings and ships and oily debris scattered across the beach. Lou thought back to when he heard the news of the Pearl Harbor attack on the radio. At that time, he was sitting safely in New Haven, now he was standing on the spot where it had happened. The full import of the event hit him that what he was looking at was more than a news item, it was tangible evidence of evil.
Jim gave the last reading, from 1945 when Lou is 21. Lou is stationed on the USS Enterprise and a kamikaze pilot is heading for the ship. Hearing a louder than usual engine noise, Lou looked around and saw a zero on course to hit the deck just a few yards away from where he was standing. For a moment, he froze as he made eye contact with the pilot, seeing fear in the young pilot’s eyes as he realized he had just seconds to live. Then Lou saw Danny standing in the plane’s path, fire hose in hand. He’s too close, thought Lou. He’ll get hit. Lou rushed over and tackled Danny, pushing him out of the way a split second before the crash. They both landed on the deck, dazed for a second, then Danny rose and scurried away to help put out the plane’s fire while Lou remained on his stomach on the deck. Suddenly a deafening boom sounded as pieces of metal and human bodies shot into the air. Lou heard cymbals crash next to his head and felt his body lift and come back down with a thud. Then everything went black.
Now for the commercial announcement. Saving Lou is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle. It’s a story for people young and old and everyone in between.
My sincere thanks to everyone who came to support and encourage me in this book launch, making it an event to remember!
Quote of the Day:The only limits to the possibilities in your life are the buts you use today. Les Brown