The Tail Gunner Guest Stars at Kirby’s Lane

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Kirby Larson is an inspiration. We first met at Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, then again when I was producing ColumbiaKids online magazine. Kirby was one of our first “One Day in History” fiction shorts authors, and we were lucky to have her. Soon after she was nominated for the Newbery award for her novel Hattie Big Sky. I like to think that her ColumbiaKids story about a boy who had to leave behind his dog to go to a World War II internment camp was the inspiration for a number of her World War II era books that followed, but I know that’s probably a stretch. She had them in her all along.

DASH by Kirby Larson. Can't wait to read it.

DASH by Kirby Larson. Can’t wait to read it.

Kirby’s work and her indefatigable spirit are just some of the reasons why I was so honored to have her ask me to be a guest on her blog, Kirby’s Lane. While THE TAIL GUNNER and Kirby’s historical fiction books are quite different in approach, they do tackle the challenge of catapulting readers into the past, into eras that current generations can hardly comprehend. I’m very excited to begin reading Kirby’s recent release DASH, the story of a young Japanese girl who must leave her dog behind to go to an internment camp at the outbreak of World War II. Sound familiar? I thought so too.

Want to find out more Kirby and her work? Pop on over to Kirby’s Lane, a place for readers and writers. You’ll be  glad you did.

Mission 31: Object of the Day ~ The Port of Missing Men

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March 18, 2014 — We’re shaking it up with a card from the Port of Missing Men found in the KBL Family Collection.

Port of Missing Men card

Card from the Port of Missing Men, 1943. KBL Family Collection

Not to be confused with the Port of Lost Men — which was, in fact, the name of a book (by Meredith Nicholson), an estate (of Millicent Rogers), and a movie (based on the book)—The Port of Missing Men was a restaurant and bar in Yonkers, New York.

It was a colorful and lively establishment, as is reflected in the card collected by Dad en route to Basic Training. An ad in the December 24, 1941 edition of the Herald Statesman thanks the Port’s patrons and pledges “to serve the public the best food obtainable, cooked by the best chef in the city, at reasonable prices.” The fact that two years later, when Dad passed through in ’43, they were serving up “Port Victory Special Cocktails” gives a whole new twist to that commitment.

Don’t miss the chance to Party Like It’s 1945!  Help fund the production of THE TAIL GUNNER novel through March 31. 

—Stephanie Lile