The Book Is Here!
"THE POMPEY HOLLOW BOOK CLUB"
A Tom Sawyer inspired book for all ages. It’s a heartfelt story about growing up in the shadows of WWII. A relationship between a very special dad and his son. You may laugh, you may cry – but you’ll never put the book down!
The Pompey Hollow Book Club – circa 1949
In 1949, at the Delphi Falls cemetery, six unlikely heroes – eight to ten year olds, (five boys and a girl) racked their brains for a name to call their new "club of valor” to celebrate the first heroic odyssey they’d just completed, against all odds. “We need a special name,” Randy suggested. Dale Barber thought it up – The Pompey Hollow Book Club. It’s a club name no mom in the county would stop us from leaving the house for, even on a school night.” Dale was eloquent. No objection; everyone spit and shook hands making the name law.
Being as Mary could hit a mighty home run; the boys made her - to the best of their understanding, at the time - America’s very first girl president.
It all made sense. As small children they witnessed a world at war on the Saturday picture show’s newsreels. They listened to the War in darkened living rooms on static-whistling radio broadcasts from London, North Africa or the Pacific, with only their imaginations as the picture. They were ear witnesses to bravery, selflessness and sacrifices every single day for half their young lives. The first half, during a war that took 70 million lives throughout the world.
Children of the 1940s learned right from wrong the easy way – and they learned by example that all things were possible when they all came together. It was the very ingenuity and spirit they witnessed in the 1940s and mimicked that made the imagination of the Pompey Hollow Book Club possible. The D Day invasion of 1945 was monument to the reverence the kids of the early forties, had for, those they called - their heroes - who fought and died for world freedom. D Day became their benchmark for the protection of freedom’s minimum standard.
Living in a city (Cortland, N.Y.) for the duration, Jerry watched the impact of the War in every family window with a star or heart child drafted, killed or missing from that home. He couldn’t read but he could count the lists of the names, of the dead, taped to shop windows each day. When Mary’s father returned from France and Italy, in uniform, after the War, she ran and hid under her grandmother’s bed, shaking in fear, not remembering his face - he had been gone so long. Randy and Bobby Mawson went through the War in shrowds of darkness, and were asked to take on certain adult responsibilities around the house, in their dad’s absences – while not being able to hear about the secrets their dads were working on at the Carrier plant in Syracuse – for submarines, bombers and tanks. Dale had to work the farm a little harder, as a child, with the adults drafted. Bob Holbrook, the oldest boy of four at the time, had to step up to the plate at four – after his father was drafted to serve in Europe. He had to help his mother any way he could.
Kids from the early forties didn’t take kindly to invasion and they had an even shorter tolerance for bullies of any kind. If you want to see an American child of that era become a Pompey Hollow Book Club flag bearer, just let anyone threaten their family, friends, or someone weaker and helpless. You will see D-day all over again.
Jerry's new book: The Pompey Hollow Book Club
Posted on July 11, 2016
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