To find a publisher for my book, “I Remember Dad,” is a burning obsession within my heart.
In Search of a Publisher
By Richard Mabey Jr.
The book publishing world has radically changed in the past 20 years or so. Most book publishers will not even accept unsolicited manuscripts. It’s not about content any more, but it’s about WHO wrote the book. Hence, a ghost writer’s dream.
I once did a ghost write of a book for a prominent doctor in Central Pennsylvania. Never again. At the time, I was writing feature articles and human interest stories for Public Opinion newspaper. The good doctor did not understand that I could not devote 24 hours a day, seven days a week to the ghost write of his book. The fellow may have been a good doctor, but he was such an incredibly arrogant human being.
My beloved father, with my dear mother, holding me when I was a little baby.
Now, living in Central Florida, I am ever so mindful of the ticking of the clock. At 62, the desire to see my book, I Remember Dad become published, burns brightly in the core of my heart. I think that my dad is very representative of the type of man who helped to make America great, after World War II. Something that no big-mouthed, insulting, billionaire candidate for President could ever hold a candle to.
My dad at 17 years old.
At 17, Dad cried his eyes out when he heard that his older brother, Edward, was lost at sea. Uncle Ed’s ship had been hit and sunk by a German ship. It was quite a while before my grandparents got the news that their son was saved by a British Naval ship. For Edward was bobbing up and down, off the coast of England, for some time before he was rescued.
My dad, the proud soldier of the Seventh Army Air Corps.
Something must have pierced my father’s heart. Dad, somehow convinced his mom and dad to let him join the Army Air Corps. My grandfather had lost his brother in World War I. My grandmother’s grandfather was killed in the Civil War. My grandparents endured the pain and sorrow of waiting to hear what had had happened to their son Edward, after his ship had been sunk by enemy fire. So, they weren’t too eager to have another son go off to war.
My dad, standing next to a propeller of a B-25 bomber plane at Hickam Field in Hawaii.
After basic training, Dad was transferred to Hickam Air Field in Hawaii. This was the home of the famous Seventh Army Air Corps. Hickam Air Field was right next to Pearl Harbor. When I say “right next to Pearl Harbor,” they were essentially the one and the same place. At 17, my dad saw the aftermath of that horrible attack of the Japanese. I can’t imagine how devastating that must have been. It is something that Dad could hardly ever talk about, throughout his entire life.
The insignia of the Seventh Army Air Corps.
The Seventh Army Air Corps was a proud fighting group. It was one of the finest units of the entire United States Army Air Corps. As an interesting note, the Seventh Army Air Corps had its very own newspaper. Dad never said one word about this. This is how modest my dad was. During his stay at Hickam Air Field he was given an award for outstanding service of an enlisted man.
Dad kneeling on the wing of a P-51 Mustang fighter plane.
After my dad went Home to be with the Lord; my mom, my sister Patti and I were going through Dad’s war memorabilia. There, neatly folded on the bottom of this box, was a page from one of the Seventh Army Air Corps newspapers. As we unfolded the page, there we saw it. The page featured a story all about Dad; his outstanding service, his willingness to help others, his leadership qualities, and his “all for one, and one for all” spirit.
Another photo of Dad at Hickam Field.
I think a lot of the leadership skills that my dad learned, helped him a lot to become a great Scoutmaster, later in his life. When I read this article, that was published an issue of the Seventh Army Air Corps newspaper, I cried. The article described my dad to a “T”. That whole “can do” spirit that Dad carried with him, his whole lifetime, was recognized in amazing detail by the writer of this particular article.
Hickam Air Field as it looked during World War II.
My dad’s barracks were amazingly close to the attack site of Pearl Harbor. If you look closely, at the above aerial view of Hickam Field, you can see my dad’s barracks. Looking just slightly to the right hand side of the center of this picture, you’ll see eight white rectangular buildings. They stand in four rows, with two buildings side by side, in each row. Then, in the lower left hand corner and in the lower right hand corner, you can see how close Hickam Air Field is to the ocean. And, that’s how close my dad’s barracks were to Pearl Harbor itself.
Another photo of Hickam Air Field during World War II.
There are a considerable number of photos of Hickam Air Field on the Internet. Sometimes, I cannot help but to wonder if Dad wasn’t in one of those photos. Here’s the thing. The scuttle-buttle at Hickam Field was that the Japanese were going to attack there again. This was no joke. My dad told me, many times, that the entire Seventh Army Air Corps was continuously prepped for another attack by the Japanese. By the grace of the good Lord, the Japanese never attacked Hickam Air Field a second time.
Dad and Grandma, right after Dad returned home, safe from the war.
Both Dad and his brother, Edward, came home from the war, safe and sound. By the grace of the good Lord, neither one had suffered wounds. A true blessing. Right after the war, Dad and Uncle Ed started up their own trucking company. They were very successful for many years. Then they found it nearly impossible to compete against the big trucking companies that were sprouting up in the 1960’s. So both Dad and Edward began working for a large trucking company in Paterson, New Jersey.
Dad and I ready to report to a Friday night scout meeting.
In September of 1964, I joined Boy Scout Troop 170, which was sponsored by Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Lincoln Park. Dad signed up as a Committeeman. In the summer of 1965, Scoutmaster Andy Polishuck resigned as Scoutmaster. Then, in September of 1965, Dad was appointed as Scoutmaster of Troop 170. A position that he held in great honor for nearly 30 years.
My dad was a great and wonderful Scoutmaster.
Dad loved scouting. He saw it as his ministry. Dad would often say that it was better to teach a boy the moral path, than try to rehabilitate a wayward man. My dad took that philosophical perspective very serious. He was, truly, a great and wonderful Scoutmaster.