In the business of books, an author needs to trot several steps ahead of her shadow.
BIG WAR, Little Wars was released on Amazon two days prior to being introduced on July 26th at the Chino Valley Library Summer Reading event. A copy is now available to check out of their library.
Before there was time to write about the Chino Valley introductory event, plans were being laid out like puzzle pieces for a whirlwind trip to present a personal copy of the novel to the role model for sharpshooter Raymie—a main character in the story. To hand deliver a copy had been a long-time dream of mine. Ray (Bud) Bowers is a ninety-one year old World War II veteran living in Oregon. He is one of my eight cousins who served in, and survived, the Big War.
Son Terry flew me to Seattle, drove me to Oregon—to make the personal presentation on August 23rd—with a turn-around trip back to Washington. I returned to Arizona on the 25th in time to pull up the Albany Democrat-Herald article online that covered the presentation. The puzzle pieces had fit together as snuggly as such pieces are meant to do.
I was presented with two pens handcrafted by special people to sign the books that awaited the words I write in each of them—ENVISIONING PEACE WILL MANIFEST PEACE.
I do believe in the power of envisioning.
Ninety-one-year-old Albany resident Ray “Bud” Bowers has a claim few other men could possibly make.
After the end of World War II, Nazi leader Hermann Goering was handcuffed to Bowers, a guard at the Nuremberg Trials.
Bowers, an Army soldier, initially was brought to the trials of the German war criminals because of his skills with a rifle.
“They first planned to do a firing squad,” explained Arlene Eisenbise, of Prescott Valley, Arizona.
Eisenbise, 82, has recently released a work of historical fiction based in part on Bowers’ experiences during and after World War II. She made a trip to Albany this past weekend specifically to give Bowers a copy of her book.
“I’ll have fun reading this,” Bowers said, as he was presented with a copy at his home on Saturday.
Eisenbise said the book is really more fact than fiction. Part of the book’s dedication include a nod to Bowers.
“Big War, Little Wars” is available online through Amazon and other retailers, and more information about it can be found at ArleneEisenbise.com.
Eisenbise said she began interviewing Bowers in the late 1990s and started work on the book, which is told through a teenage girl on the homefront during the war.
“There’s so few of our World War II veterans left, and I thought it was such an important story,” she said.
“Veterans don’t really talk much about it, so I felt really privileged that Bud told me what he did,” Eisenbise added.
She hopes the book eventually makes its way into schools.
Bowers has lived in Albany for about 60 years, said his daughter Debby Scheele of Albany.
He worked as a appliance salesman for Sears & Roebuck in Albany before retiring.
His son Bill Bowers still lives in Albany.
Scheele said her dad has great stories to tell about the war, such as when he was walking down a street in France and randomly ran into his brother.
Neither man was aware the other was in the country.
Scheele said she was excited about the book.
“I think it’s a special tribute to a special man,” Scheele said.
Kyle Odegard covers public safety for the D-H. He can be contacted at 541-812-6077 or email@example.com.
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