It’s been several weeks since I posted a blog regarding what was happening to Dad and his family. My last posting found my grandparents and three aunts evacuated to the new Soviet capital of Kuibyshev, while the location of my Uncle Pete was then unknown. I left off in March 1942.
I began this blog nine months ago, and at the time, I didn’t plan where I was going with this. A large part of writing my blog was to determine if anyone other than some close friends, family and my very polite book club would have any interest in reading my father’s story. I am surprised with the interest this has generated both in the United States and in over forty countries throughout the world. A few readers have stopped by only once, while many others have made return visits. The number of viewers, though modest in size, was still unexpected. I wish my dad knew.
During the last five years, I have been researching and writing Dad’s story. Initially, I wrote it to my three girls so they could have a sense of their grandfather’s early years. As I uncovered more details and met more people who helped me learn the specifics of his travels, the format of the story evolved to its latest final version, which is his story written as accurately as possible along with letters to him, from me, intertwined within the book. These are the imagined conversations that I had with Dad as I put together his story, so I decided to include them in my book.
I wanted him to know where and how I unearthed the details of his early life. The discovery that documents, including handwritten letters from him, are stored at the National Archives would have thrilled him. Learning that a journalist from the UK included information about Dad’s family in his novel would have excited Dad.
I wanted him to learn about the woman from New Zealand—Bumblebee —who tried to find his brother’s grave, and although unsuccessful, was kind enough to photograph the cemetery for me. (A Bumblebee Searches for Tony-Random Act of Kindness)
I wished to share my excitement in locating the grandson of the woman he met on the boat traveling from Japan to San Francisco in 1941. I wanted to tell him about locating Jerry Aagaard, a man who received his passport in Moscow on the same day as Dad. My conversation with Leo Melamed, the man who was the founder of financial futures and former chairman of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange would have tickled Dad as well.
Now I am finished and have decided to see if I can find a literary agent interested enough in my book to take this on as a project. I don’t know what I am doing, and perhaps, in the end, I will self-publish a few copies for my family and friends. I am researching the process, looking for agents interested in my genre, and trying to craft letters according to their individual submission standards. I expect many rejections, but I only need one acceptance.
I realize what a persistent man my father was, so I am hoping this trait is genetic. I will remember his tenacity whenever I get discouraged. I plan on blogging a bit about my adventures in publishing for those interested in the procedure, but I need to end the story now. I can’t give away the ending, can I?Perhaps I will throw out a carrot or two in the coming months. I just don’t know. But for now, you will have to wait to discover what happens to my grandparents, three aunts, Uncle Pete, and Dad. All I will tell you is that Dad’s entire family did not join him in the States.
Thank you for your interest.