Thursday, December 28, 2017

World War II Veteran

My good friend, Ed Gitlin, turns ninety-nine years old this month. He is an avid reader of history, has a quirky sense of humor and survived war trauma including being a prisoner of war in Germany during World War II.

Ed taught me so much about World War II as we worked together on his biography. It was released under two titles, but is the same book: For Liberty: A World War II Soldier’s Inspiring Life Story of Courage, Sacrifice, Survival and Resilience and The Best Chicken Thief in All of Europe.

Happy birthday, Ed.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Storytelling with Kids

I enjoy telling stories to my two-year-old grandson. In my family there is a tradition of Horace the Flying Horse stories. My mom told them to me, I told them to our three kids, and I now share them with my grandson. These involve seeing a small speck in the sky, it gets larger and larger, and suddenly Horace lands to take the listener on an adventure. The child climbs aboard and holds on tight. Then Horace flies into the air to go to some near destination or distant land. After the adventure, Horace returns the child to the starting point.

My grandson also loves cars and trucks. I invent action stories for him using his vehicles. We line up a bulldozer, dump truck, cement truck, road roller and street sweeper. I tell him the following and he acts it out with the proper truck. “A new road needs to be built. First, the bulldozer clears the dirt. Then the dump truck unloads gravel. Now the cement mixer arrives to dump cement. The road roller rolls the road. Finally, the wind blows leaves on the road so the street sweeper comes along to clear the leaves. He never tires of acting this out.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Who Would You Like to Sit Next to at Dinner?

At a book club holiday party I attended this week, we all answered the question of who we would like to sit next to at dinner (living, dead or fictional).

I chose Nikola Tesla. The reason being that I read extensively about the eccentric inventor when doing research for my international thriller, The Tesla Legacy.

He was on the autism spectrum with a number of strange quirks, one of which was to do things in multiples of three. When he went to dinner, he insisted on having three, nine or eighteen napkins served to him with his meal. I would like to see this.

But more important was his brilliant mind. He could invent things in his head and go directly from mental image to design without a blueprint. And he had a concept to generate electricity through the air or ground without wires. I would love to discuss this with him.
Who would you choose and why?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941

I grew up in Hawaii so the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, was a significant event to hear about in my childhood.

Both of my parents were in Honolulu on that date. My mother worked for Globe Wireless (a communication company of that era) and opened the office that Sunday morning. Needless to say she didn’t get home until late at night with all the messages that needed to be sent and received.

Both of my parents recounted stories of getting blackout curtains up and having to obey a curfew. But on December 7, 1941, they also had to deal with rumors such as the water supply had been poisoned, the Japanese had landed or were coming back.