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"A full moon, thousands of stars...but no Margie"

"A full moon, thousands of stars...but no Margie"

ISBN: 9781098327750
Regular price $80.83 USD
Regular price Sale price $80.83 USD
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"A full moon, thousands of stars...but no Margie" offers weekly accounts of love letters written by the author's parents during World War II. Readers will get a glimpse into the daily lives of those deployed and those left behind. The actual words of the letter writers tell the story, and the reader will experience first-hand the joys, fears, frustrations, monotony, hope, and love of a generation of young people cast into the extraordinary times of a world at war.

The narrative begins with the story of a close-knit neighborhood "gang" of friends not far from their high school years enjoying summer vacations from their jobs in Detroit, Michigan. The attack on Pearl Harbor changed their futures immediately, and "getting in" to the service became a necessity. The disparate reality of when and how military service was achieved and its impact on the families of the soldiers who spread across the globe changed the nature of their relationships. The "gang" of friends and their families would never be the same.

Military service opened new opportunities for these soldiers from Detroit to visit parts of their country and the world they probably never imagined they would see. The author's father, Joe, carries the bulk of the narrative, and he experienced a number of firsts in his lifetime as a result of his service. Joe learned to ride and care for horses in the cavalry. He visited states to which he had never been, and he met, trained, and lived with soldiers from across the United States. Joe traveled thousands of miles over the expanse of the Pacific Ocean to reach New Guinea, Australia, and the Philippine Islands. He flew in an aircraft for the first time.

Joe often expressed loneliness and frustration about missing his "one and only Margie," and he developed a growing disdain for the Army, particularly its officers, that he reported in the form of "gripes." He displayed a curious mixture of intolerance and empathy for the native people he encounted in the countries of the Pacific. Joe outwaited all of this through a religious reliance on the daily letters he wrote to "his girl" back in Detroit.

Margie proceeded on the same letter writing course, but her notes left out much of the loneliness and frustration she was truly feeling. She viewed her letters as "talks" to keep Joe up on all the latest news and gossip back home. She tried always to be upbeat and informative in order to diminish the vast distance between her and "her boy." Once in a while, Margie reported the times that she felt worried and anxious and the times she cried herself to sleep, but she mostly kept those feelings out of her letters.

In a world today with instantaneous communication possibilities, it is difficult to contemplate that a letter sent by Margie, with the mundane news of a particular day, wouldn't reach Joe for nearly two weeks. Even more difficult to fathom in this era of online ordering and delivery, is the reality that packages mailed from Detroit often took many months to arrive in the Philippines.

Without letters, Joe and Margie, along with millions of other service members and their family and friends back home could not have navigated emotionally the years they were apart. Their personal story is a tiny particle in the vital history of the United States during World War II, but hopefully, it will remain as a solid touchstone for the generations of descendants who will follow these two sweethearts from a closely-knit neighborhood in Detroit.
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