“They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can never repay. They gave us our world. And those simple sounds of freedom we hear today are their voices speaking to us across the years.” ~Bill ClintonFormer President Bill Clinton
An Introduction of The Book By Author and Writer Roger Stark
“They Called Him Marvin” crosses the boundaries of several genres.
New Adult readers can read the letters and a story of someone their own age being in love trying to make a family and fighting a war. Military readers can follow the development of the B-29 and join Dean and the crew on a few missions and even learn what being a “Special Prisoner” in Japan was like. History buffs can expand their knowledge of World War 2 and the interactions of nations.
Looking for a love story? Dean and Connie have a passionate love for each other, that is why their is a Marvin. Their passion is described with dignity. Finally, the reader interested in religion and spirituality will learn Dean attended a new church with a soldier friend. He liked the church so much he joined it and met a girl he liked so much he married her. His faith carries him through the difficult things he has to endure.
Bill Clinton said it best: “They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can never repay. They gave us our world. And those simple sounds of freedom we hear today are their voices speaking to us across the years.”
Let us remember them and honor the sacrifice of all the Dean’s, Connie’s, and Marvin’s.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I would describe myself as a reluctant writer. But when a story comes along that demands to be told, you pick up your pen. Six years ago I heard the story of a friend’s father in World War II. I was so moved by his telling of the story that I asked if he would allow me to write it. The result is the soon to be published “They Called Him Marvin.” My life has been touched in so many ways by being part of documenting this profound story.
My career as an addiction counselor (CDP) now retired, lead me to write “The Waterfall Concept; A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery,” and co-author “Reclaiming Your Addicted Brain.” After my counseling retirement, I decided I wanted to learn more about the craft of writing and started attending classes at Portland Oregon’s Attic Institute. What I learned is that there are an mazing number of great writers in my area and they were willing to help others improve their skills.
Please read “They Called Him Marvin” when it releases this September, 2021 and NOT because I need book sales, rather because we all need to remember what they gave for us.
My next project is already underway, a memoir of growing up in Southwest Washington state called “Life on a Sorta Farm.” My wife of 49 years, Susan and I still live in the southwest Washington 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.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK and THE BEAUTIFUL BACKSTORY
Such a man was 1st Lt Dean Harold Sherman, B-29 Airplane Commander.
“They Called Him Marvin” is a history. A history of war and of family. A history of the collision of the raging politics of a global war, young love, patriotism, sacred family commitments, duty and the horrors and tragedies, the catastrophe that war is.
It all starts when Dean accepts an innocent invitation to attend Church with his friend Stanley, who’s girl friend happened to be the best friend of Constance 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.
Lt Sherman enjoyed the experience so much he joined the church and married the girl.
Not all the characters are human. The B-29, it’s development and history assumes a role as a main character.
The war, as all wars do, has two sides. The lives of a Japanese family, the Kiyoshis, and their interactions with the B-29s is woven throughout the narrative.
At first glance, the story does not seem to end well for Lt Sherman his wife Constance and the newly born Marvin. His B-29 is shot down over Nagoya, he is captured and labeled a war criminal for the incendiary bombing of the city. But that is definitely not the end of their story.
Their history is partially documented through the sixty seven letters exchanged between a twenty year old Dean and his still teenaged pregnant wife. The un-edited letters provide their own words to help tell the story. When Marvin was born, 18 Feb 1945, Dean without knowledge of the Marvin’s birth wrote:
“Whenever I hear nice soft music, I think of you. And when the sun comes up so bright and fresh in the morning, I’m reminded of you. When I take a short walk in the moonlight I have the pleasantest memories of you and all the wonderful times we have spent together. Darling, those things mean all the world to me, an I keep thinking of the something new that has been added to us, and the blessings that have been ours continuously all being added up to make the future all ahead of us better to live for and more to be desired.
I guess you know from these things that I am ever so glad I married you, although it never could have been any different because we were just meant for each other. All the incidents and happenings that brought us together, though they may seem like accidents, seem to me to have just been part of a plan that been so plain that we just couldn’t see it. I just keep getting more and more in love with you all the time too, Honey.”
The day Dean was shot down Connie, again without knowledge of his situation confesses in her 14 May 1945 letter:
“I’m in a rather odd mood tonight Honey, and it is most all about you and Marvin and me. I have been trying to decide whether or not I would write to you tonight most all evening. I wanted to, but I didn’t know if I could express my feelings as I would want to, and, as I feel them. As you can see Honey, I have made up my mind to try. How well I succeed remains to be seen.”
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I will add that you may read many of the early ARC reads and reviews already coming in for this amazing book even before it’s release on Goodreads here>>> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56853641-they-called-him-marvin?ac=1 and there are many! I will be sharing more updates and new about the Author, Roger Stark. I think the beautiful letters exchanged between Dean and Connie could be another ROMANCE book. What a amazing opportunity to be privy to those 60+ love letters. As Roger said, “those love letters are part of HISTORY”…
~Catherine Lyon of Cat Lyon’s Reading Den