Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Making Old Soldiers Happy

Day 177 of the "What are you reading, and why?" project, and Monday was the day of making old soldiers happy. Well, not really old, just there and back. During World War II or the Korean War. OK, yes, probably old. My dad was in the army during the Korean War, though he did not go to Korea, and he is pretty darn old!

So, back to the topic of reading! On Monday, a veteran of the Korean War came in looking for a book called Raid at Inchon: Left Behind the Lines by Katherine Jones. Borders had sent him over to us at Babbitt's because they didn't have it and noticed that it was offered used online. We looked on the shelves in our Military History aisle, the Korean War section, just in case, but no luck.

So I Googled Katherine Jones! I love Google! Anyhoo, I found a website for her, info on ordering that particular book directly from her, and info and a phone number for ordering through Author House. So I made that old soldier happy!

Then, later that day, an old soldier called me on the phone. "I'm looking for a book," he said. "Do you have time to hear my story?"

"OK," I said, and he told one! It was a story about being on a ship with other soldiers going back and forth to Pearl Harbor and then one day not being allowed on the upper decks. He said he then read the book The Revolt of Mamie Stover and figured out what was going on! They were transporting prostitutes! The book is actually a novel by William Bradford Huie, but it was based on Huie's wartime experiences, and is about a woman abused by Hollywood who turns into a war profiteer of this particular sort!

Well, this is a book we actually had, a Signet paperback mentioning the film version, but not the 1951 cover pictured at the Wikipedia article. You can see the whole cover, front and back, above! It used to sell for a few cents, but our glamorous well-read copy was now around $20, as a vintage edition. He definitely wanted to read it again, so we sent it off. And he didn't know about the film, which he can now also seek out! What old soldier wouldn't want to see a film set in Hawaii and starring Jane Russell?!

So I made another old soldier happy!


Anonymous said...

I tried to catch up on your recent blogs and did, but have other things to do right now. Appreciated your comments about the death of the 31-year old young man.

Anonymous said...

I am too computer illiterate to do this right. I thought I had posted a coment earlier.

Kathleen said...

Dear Anonymous, you did post your comments correctly! They just don't get published till I review them via email.

SHS said...

I like old soldiers. The first story I workshopped at Iowa is a WWII story. Because I like challenges, as well.