Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finding Ourselves

On May 10th, 1944, the young crew of a B-17 bomber joined hundreds of others just like it on a mission to destroy a WWII Nazi aircraft factory tucked away in the pastoral fields of Austria. 

© 2009 Patricia Scarborough  Warming Glen 9 x 12 pastel
Before the day was over, that plane and many more would be hit and their crews lost.  One such B-17 was piloted by 2nd Lt. Stanley Dwyer of Hastings Nebraska.  Left behind were his mother, father, and a sister who would never know the exact circumstances surrounding the crash, except to know that his plane went down, the whereabouts of half its crew unknown.  His only brother, Harold, soon to become a pilot like his elder brother, would ask a simple question some 5 decades later that would lead his family on a journey into their family’s history,  across the Atlantic to the site of the crash to witness its devastating results, and to the stories of healing for men and women on both sides of the conflict.
That question planted a seed which would be remembered a few years later when a devastating house fire required the opening of a long-forgotten trunk holding the physical remains of Stanley’s life.
Close friend Kay Hughes is the daughter of Harold Dwyer, brother to 2nd Lt. Stanley Dwyer, and author of the just released book ,“Searching for Stanley, Unforgotten Hero of World War II”.

Handsome Husband and I are honored to be a very, very small part of the Dwyer’s and Hughes’ search for Stanley.  It has been a pleasure to watch Kay blossom from an already very capable woman into a fierce defender of her family’s history, guide to WWII events, agent of stunning coincidences,  and now published author. 

Harold  Dwyer and Kay Hughes at a recent book signing for "Searching for Stanley, Unforgotten Hero of World War II”.
Journalist Gene Fowler said that writing is easy; all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.  In my experience, painting is the same. Ideas are born and nurtured until they are mature enough to be revealed.  Hours of solitary work are required, mixed with study and research, then more hours of solitary work.  Feelings of ineptitude, sometimes painfully drawn out, weave themselves into the determination to see this idea through to the end. Then there is the unveiling of the product of those hours of work, wondering if the skin is thick enough for what lies ahead.
Kay and I have shared hours of conversation discussing these issues. Her questions have stirred me to understand more fully my creative process. Her determination to write her first book to share the story of an uncle she'd never met, and see it in print, has inspired me to set high goals for myself, and to believe that I will achieve them, just as she achieved hers.
Follow along as Kay and her family begin their journey in the ashes of a house fire and travel back in time to Glasco, Kansas, where Stanley was born. Follow the family to Austria where they sift the earth looking for clues to Stanley’s final moments side by side with members of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.  Then join them in Scottsville, nestled among the wheat fields in northern Kansas, at the family plot where 2nd Lt. Stanley Dwyer has finally, at long last, been laid to rest.
The question Harold asked that inspired this epic adventure?  Chapter One, page 16  of  “Searching for Stanley, Unforgotten Hero of World War II”.  Discover for yourself how a young man who died too young lives on in the hearts of his family and friends.
©2009Patricia Scarborough  Highway 6, East of Hastings, Nebraska 12 x 9 oil


Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Ooo, I'm glad you posted the Amazon link. I loved the bits I read just leafing through it, & think I'll buy my own.

And I LOVE the Highway 6 painting! Those colors are just amazing.

Patty said...

It's worth a place on your bookshelf P/H. I thought the Highway 6 painting was appropriate, since it goes right by the Hastings Munitions plant, where WWII bombs were kept before being shipped overseas.

Karine said...

Both paintings are wonderful. You really have a delightful way of capturing light. That is so hard to do.

Beautifully written post. I will check out the book!