Oneida/Herkimer Library System Meeting – 3/2/11

It was a great opportunity for me to have been invited to attend the librarian meeting of the Central New York School Districts on March 2, 2011. It was a long drive but the weather cooperated and there were only intermittent flurries that I had to deal with and just drive cautiously through. I looked forward to addressing this group of individuals whose jobs are so central to the education of our children and it was an honor to have been asked.

Although, I have to admit that I felt a little zombie-ish after the long drive. I had a bit of a headache and worried about feeling so sluggish; however, I didn’t really dare to have any caffeine at the risk of talking too fast and too much attempting to tell about everything I could possibly cram in and not having it make sense. So I used my head and avoided the caffeine rush that I’m sure that the wonderful librarians would have appreciated had they known. As it was, I enjoyed telling them about my Father and about my experiences in writing the story. As librarians, they are aware of the incredible resources that there are at our fingertips making this world unbelievably small and understanding how my impossible dream to retrace my Father’s journey became reality. I explained that my father represents a generation of heroes and that my mission has been an attempt to keep the memory of their sacrifices for us in WWII alive. (I probably repeat this phrase a lot but I can’t stress enough the importance and it has been my focus since my Father’s death. Every group that I address hears it.)

I went on to explain that the story is written uniquely as if it is actually my Father writing it and I mentioned that I feel it is as close as it could possibly be to being written by him because in every area from his past that I traveled I felt his presence – as if his memories became mine; like I was seeing and remembering for him. There is no feeling like it in the world. My first visit to Dad’s territory was in 2005 and I cried because my Father wasn’t with me until I walked where he walked and realized that he was! And that has been how it was in every chapter that I have pursued of that lifetime that he had put away.

I am grateful to the ladies and gentleman in attendance for their kindness and for the interest that was shown in my endeavor.