About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

REMEMBERING OUR HEROES--DEC. 7, 1941 by Cheryl Pierson

<b>I wrote this blog a couple of years back to commemmorate what President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared "a day that will live in infamy"--December 7, 1941. I won't be blogging here again until December 28, and I know this is early, but I wanted to share it with everyone so that we will never forget. As time passes, the men and women who lived through it are dying off. In my lifetime, they will all be gone, those warriors who went to battle for our freedom in World War II. During all the holiday preparations, please take time to remember with me what took place in our country on that day, a little over 70 years past.

Driving down one of the busiest streets of Oklahoma City today, I noticed a flag at a local business flying at half-staff. It was the only one on that block. I’m sure many people wondered about it.

But I remembered.

December 7, 1941…the day the U.S. was brought into World War II with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.

Through the years, my mother recounted tales brought home from “over there” by her relatives who enlisted. She talked also about the rationing here at home—how difficult it was to get needed items, and how impossible it was to get luxuries. She was 19 when the U.S. entered the war—just the very age of so many of the young men who were killed in the surprise attack on December 7, 1941. Was there a man of that age who didn’t rush down to sign up for duty after that fateful day? Many of her fellow students and co-workers did just that, and during the course of the next four years of war, many of them were lost.

My father tried to sign up, but his lungs were bad. He was turned away. I think he was always ashamed of that, even though it was through no fault of his own. Until the day he died, he had one of the most patriotic hearts I’ve ever known. Secretly, when I was old enough to realize what that might have meant, I was glad that he had not had to go to war. I knew that would have changed everything in my world.

Being as close as it was to Christmas made the deaths of the men at Pearl Harbor even more poignant. Just done with Thanksgiving, looking forward to the Christmas holidays to come, so many young lives snuffed out in the space of minutes. Watching the documentaries, hearing the old soldiers that are left from that time talk about the horror of that day, and of war in general, brings tears to my eyes.

I’m always amazed by the generations that have gone before us, and how they stood up and faced adversity when it was required of them. Being human, as we all are, the unknown was just as frightening to them as it is to us. We tend to forget it, somehow, because of the luxury and comforts of our modern lives that we have become used to. We have let ourselves become numb, in a way, and what’s worse—we have forgotten.

We have forgotten what the generations before us sacrificed for us, their future. We have forgotten how to honor the memory of those men and women, and what they did, individually and collectively.

I counted flagpoles the rest of the way home from that one, lonely half-staff flag—about a mile and a half to my house. There was only one other pole along that route that flew their flag half-staff in memory of that day seventy years ago. A day that ended in smoke, and fire, drowning and death…and war.

Something peculiar occurs to me. I have been alive during the time when the last surviving widow of a veteran of The War Between The States died. I have been alive during the time that the last survivor of World War I died. There are not that many survivors left of World War II. Yet, our schools pass over these huge, world-altering events as if they are nothing, devoting a page or less to them in the history texts. Think of it. A page or less, to tell of the suffering, the economic impact, the technological discoveries, and the loss of humanity of each of these wars.

No wonder our society has forgotten the price paid by those who laid down their lives. When we don’t teach our children, and learn from the past, history is bound to repeat itself.

President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 7, 1941 as “a day that will live in infamy.” That statement, spoken so boldly, believed so strongly, held so close to the hearts of that generation, is only true as long as the next generation, and the one beyond that, remembers.

<b>Well, many years have passed since those brave men are gone
And those cold ocean waters now are still and they’re calm.
Well, many years have passed, but still I wonder why,
The worst of men must fight and the best of men must die.

From “Reuben James” by Woody Guthrie

I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Have you ever written a WWII story? I've often wanted to, but have never done it. Maybe one of these days...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!


Please remember the blessings of food, family, and freedom... 

And keep your eye on that sneaky turkey every minute...



Friday, November 2, 2012

Meet Bret Lee Hart and his "Cracker Westerns"

    Bret Lee Hart

I have worked in the field of Marine construction in Tampa Bay, Florida, for twenty three years working on barges setting the piling for docks, boat lifts and Marinas. Working on the intercostal water ways and beaches in the Florida sun is a wonderful thing for a young man, but at the age of forty six the physical labor of building begins to take its toll. Without 401 K’s or retirement packages in the industry and the thought of skin Cancer looming, sometimes you have to think into the future instead of living in the moment.

The housing bubble burst and business slowed to a crawl cutting back on my hours of work by giving me an extra day off during the week, so I set down the fishing pole and beer and opened the laptop. Being a Florida boy and a longtime reader of Louis L’Amour, Cracker Westerns made sense. 

The hero, Hunter James Dolin was born, named after my fourteen year old son, Hunter. The Half-Breed Gunslinger and Hunter James Dolin, the first two books in the series, have been published by Western Trail Blazer and are available in both ebook and print.

The Fangslinger and the Preacher came about from my love for the paranormal and my love of faith, along with Clint Eastwood's spaghetti Westerns and Steven King's, The Dark Tower, Gunslinger series. It will be available soon.

I have been with my wife Carrie for twenty years (which is an accomplishment in itself) and have two children. Hunter has recently moved to Utah for a year, a drafted Goalie by the Regulators AAA Hockey team in Salt Lake City. Karlee Dawn is my lovely and talented twenty year old daughter, the artist of the Half-Breed Gunslinger series book covers.      

 ~ Novella, YA, Cracker Western ~ In 1860 there was more open range cattle in Florida than in Texas. It took a special breed of man to live there, and an even harder man to survive. Hunter James Dolin, half white and half Indian, was such a man. A gambler by trade and a gunslinger of necessity, Hunter attracted trouble wherever he traveled. But with his two Colt Walkers and Bowie knife, he could handle almost anything. 


~ Novella, YA, Cracker Western ~ Spurred by revenge... Gunfights and gold... One man against the odds... Hunter James Dolin survived the revenge war of Myakka, FL, by killing those harming him and his loved ones – all but one. Hunted by the Army, the gunslinger seeks refuge in the swamps. Then word arrives of the location of the one that got away. A new battle of revenge begins as the hunted again becomes the hunter. 


My official author bio:
Bret Lee Hart, a second generation Floridian has spent the last twenty five years in Marine construction; he is married and the father of two. His mother’s maiden name is Emerson, as in Ralph Waldo, and on his father’s side Edgar Allen Poe can be found hanging from the family tree. With this blood line of writers and named after Bret Harte, from his western short stories, it was inevitable his imagination would find its way into print. The Half-Breed Gunslinger is the first book of a series, with many other adventures to be unleashed from the storyteller's mind in different genres, including Fantasy and Paranormal.   

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