Helping a Friend with His Memoir

July 28, 2009 at 8:06 pm | Posted in Perspective | Comments Off on Helping a Friend with His Memoir
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It’s hard to believe, but almost eight years ago I helped a long time friend write and produce a memoir about his life up through retirement from the Air Force in 1966. We’re talking about someone born in 1918, so he was a young 48 years at retirement and a spry 83 when he wrote the book.

My role, beside bugging the hell out of him to write the manuscript, was to edit and arrange layout, typesetting, and printing. Even though this memoir was strictly for family and friends, it was my first effort at making a book, and I loved it.

I had met Manny when I was a young Air Force captain in 1970, and we’ve been best friends ever since, despite the 26 year age difference. We’re peers; having had some of the same military and life experiecnes, believing in God and country, and knowing that good always trumps evil. Manny and Bernice, his wonderful wife of 66 years, are my best friends.

Manny’s first memoir (and I say first because we just finished his second) was a huge hit with everyone. But, they lamented, “It stops in 1966 and you’ve had so many exciting experiences since!” Well, now they can read about Manny and Bernice, and their family, from 1966 through 1987, when Manny retired again. I bet you’re thinking, “What about the period from 1987 to the present?” Manny assures me that, if the Good Lord is willing, he’ll pen the final phase.

I have to tell you, working with Manny to produce these two memoirs for his family and friends has been a cherished experience for me. We worked hard and long to make two good stories, but one of the most interesting parts of these times has been that he and I have never disagreed over a single item. Just as we have in life, our work together on his memoirs has been a time of respect and admiration. What more could one ask? A fun experience and a great time!

Thank you Manny and Bernice for sharing so much with me. I am better for it!

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