Thursday, May 5, 2022

READ AN EXCERPT: THEY CALLED HIM MARVIN: A HISTORY OF LOVE, WAR, AND FAMILY BY ROGER STARK




Title
: THEY CALLED HIM MARVIN
Author: Roger Stark
Publisher: Silver Star Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance/WW2/Family Saga

18-year-old Pvt Dean Sherman goes to church with a friend in Salt Lake City. He meets 16-year-old Connie that will become his wife. After Pearl Harbor Dean applies for pilot training and is accepted. Dean joins Connie’s Mormon Church and they secretly become engaged.

By the time Dean has commissioned a pilot, Connie is 18 and they marry and are together for a year and a half before he ships out as an Airplane Commander of a B-29.  Connie is pregnant with their son, Marvin.

A Japanese family is introduced, the Kyoshis. She is an important member of the Community Council he is a builder of water guns used in fighting fires and is the neighborhood fire captain.  A son Reo will go off to war and train as a fighter pilot. 12-year-old Son Riku has a reappearing role in the story concerning the B-29’s bombing of Japan. They also have 6-year-old twin sisters that are sent to Hiroshima early in the story for their safety.

The crew of 44-69966 arrives in India after a month of flying. Letters start arriving for Connie. Discussion of the B-29s development of strategic purposes is explained.

In Japan Reo Kyoshi goes off to war and the Firebombing of Tokyo occurs. 15 Square miles burned down to the sidewalks. 100,000 casualties and a million people homeless. The Kyoshi survive the conflagration but lose their home.

Marvin is born. Dean returns to duty and his plane is transferred to the Marianna Islands in the Pacific. Some 67 love letters are exchanged between Dean and Connie.

Dean’s plane is shot down over Nagoya Japan, the crew is captured and sent to Tokai Army Headquarters. Connie keeps writing letters that cannot be delivered. She has no idea he is in a Japanese prison.

Prison conditions are horrible, beatings and interrogations constant. Connie receives the war department telegram listing Dean as MIA.

A sham trial is conducted the crew is found guilty and their sentence is carried out the next day.

Almost 50 years later, Dean comes to Connie in a dream/vision and confirms his love for her and that they will yet have a life together.

Book Information

Release Date: September 1, 2021

Publisher:  Silver Star Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0578855288; 333 pages; $17.43; E-Book, $2.99

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3BnQYnD

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3JsqVi1

IndieBound: https://bit.ly/3BnQYnD

Barnes & Noblehttps://bit.ly/3Lv4sD3

Book Excerpt:

January 1941, The Story Begins

Stanley Carter started all this. 

He was just a kid, a student at South High in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

A Mormon boy, as many in the region are, and member of South’s ROTC program. In fact, the student commander of the Army ROTC at South. His duties occasionally took him to the Fort Douglas Army Base a couple of miles east of the city. 

Entry to the Base included the obligatory stop at the guard house, a box of a place parting the road at the Fort entrance. Bookended by road barriers normally open and standing at attention during the daylight hours, on foot visitors such as the bus riding Stanley Carter were invited to enter the building and make themselves known.

On this particular Saturday afternoon he presented his credentials to one Private Dean Harold Sherman, Military Policeman.

  Stan handed Dean his papers, with the greeting, “Hello Private 

Sherman how are you doing today.” 

The Army blouse complete with stark white name tags and chevrons of rank prominently displayed make such identifications easy.

Dean studied Stan’s papers and without looking up, asked, “So Stanley, are you heir to the Carter’s Little Liver Pills fortune?’

The question humored Stan, “That would be nice, but no such luck. I am just a high school kid with definitely not rich parents.”

“How about you Private Sherman?”

“Me? I am just a Montana ranch hand that came here for Basic Training and am now OJT with the Military Police.”

“Your new to these parts then?”

“Been here a couple of months.”

“Do you know anyone in Salt Lake?”

“Other than military buddies, not a soul.”

“Well you know me now.”

“Yeah, I guess I do know one person from Salt Lake now.”

Stan wandered off to fulfill his post duties but he couldn’t stop thinking about the affable Military Policeman. After completing his errands, Stan went looking for Dean and was glad to find him still on duty, shuffling papers in the guard house.

“So Dean, I have been thinking.” Stan said.

‘“You probably shouldn’t do too much of that.” kidded Dean.

 “Your right, it gets me in trouble all the time. Dean, I want to help you with your problem of not knowing any one in Salt Lake.”

“What exactly do you have in mind?”

“Tomorrow I am going to my girlfriends house, come with me, she would love to meet you and then you will know two people here.”

His Sunday, non-duty day, social calendar incredibly bare, Dean answered, “I could be talked into that.” 

“We are going to meet up at church and then go to her house.”

So there was that thing Mormon’s are known to do, veil an invitation to attend church so that it seems entirely harmless. 

By the end of church the following day, Dean would actually know three people from Salt Lake City. This because Stan’s girlfriend, Carol Woffinden, happened to be the best friend of Constance Avilla Baldwin, who also just happened to attend the same Waterloo Ward of the Mormon Church, who also didn’t have a boy friend, and who was also more than happy to make a visitor feel welcome.

Dean innocently walked into all of this. 

Mormons have a special interest in non Mormons, or Gentiles as they call them. You see, a Mormon is never far from, or without, his missionary zeal. If you’re not a Mormon and your going to hang out with a Mormon for very long, you’re going to get zealed.  For Dean Harold Sherman, it was to be a life altering dose of zealing.



About the Author


I am, by my admission, a reluctant writer. But some stories demand to be told. When we hear them, we must pick up our pen, lest we forget and the stories are lost.

Six years ago, in a quiet conversation with my friend Marvin, I learned the tragic story his father, a WW2 B-29 Airplane Commander, shot down over Nagoya, Japan just months before the end of the war.

The telling of the story that evening by this half orphan was so moving and full of emotion, it compelled me to ask if I could write the story. The result was They Called Him Marvin.

My life has been profoundly touched in so many ways by being part of documenting this sacred story. I pray that we never forget, as a people, the depth of sacrifice that was made by ordinary people like Marvin and his father and mother on our behalf.

My career as an addiction counselor (CDP) lead me to write “The Waterfall Concept; A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery,” and co-author “Reclaiming Your Addicted Brain.”

My next project is already underway, a memoir of growing in SW Washington called “Life on a Sorta Farm.” My wife of 49 years, Susan, and I still live in that area.

We raised seven children and have eleven grandchildren. We love to travel and see the sites and cultures of the world. I still get on my bicycle whenever I can.

You can visit Roger’s website at https://theycalledhimmarvin.com/ or connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.





 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your help, greatly appreciated! Roger Statk

    ReplyDelete