Dear Kathy,

That is a rousing good story you’ve shared with us.  I read the book over the past two evenings with great interest.  Tom Delvaux is a pretty good author, but it’s very clear that your marvelously inventive Dad fed a lot of love into the making of this book, for the passages that dwell on his experiences have a special lilt and sparkle in them, though of course the stories about his parents and each of the other three brothers come through strongly as well.  As a former Navy parachutist who spent some student time in the wooded parks of Munich, I can appreciate the providentially gentle landing your father made into that tree (though I find it easier to believe he was worrying about his hip than about that abandoned chocolate bar as he was coming down).  And the immediate aftermath of his landing, as he is surrounded by German civilians trying to figure out what to do with him, comes through as perhaps the finest dramatic moment in the book.  The stories of the POW camp and his inventions that upgraded camp cuisine and his arrival back in West Hartford are also really choice moments in the book.  And that composite drawing of images from his war experiences on page 90 is superb piece of illustration (I wish I could see it full-sized and in color).  I would love to see some more of his work some time – does he have a website with some of his other illustrations as his brother does?  My mother, a former college art teacher who died two months ago at age 92, was also a fine illustrator who did a lot of work on behalf of my father’s submarine in WWII as well as annual family Christmas cards and lots of illuminated manuscripts for presentations to donors of Berry College during my father’s 24 years as Berry’s president.

Thank you so much for sharing this treasure of your family.

J. Thomas Bertrand, J.D.

Senior Counsel and Director of Governmental,
Partnership & Interfaith Relations
Co-Chair of National Advisory Board                                  

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