Letters from my Son. A Texas Boy's Journey to the RAFby Dolcie Suggs Ehlinger
“Perhaps many of you have not had the experience of taking a trip by air, for you who have not, I am going to tell you of a trip I took from Austin to San
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Rooted in the great state of Texas, the adventures of Early Willson Junior immerse the reader of Letters From My Son in life during the depression, the beginnings of World War II and society goings on.
“Perhaps many of you have not had the experience of taking a trip by air, for you who have not, I am going to tell you of a trip I took from Austin to San Antonio, Texas.
I boarded the fast monoplane at the Municipal Air Port, Austin, Texas. In a moment I saw a man, dressed in a white suit, board the plane; on his cap I could see the letters “Chief Pi-lot”. The motors were gunned up very much, and presently the small plane was rolling across the field. Faster and faster it went, and in a second we shot into the air.
The town of Austin looked like a large checker board spread out in every direction. When we started on our cross country flight, we were flying very high and going very fast, but to me it seems we were going slow. The below country reminded me of a large patchwork quilt I have seen Mother making. We flew over rivers, small towns and farms. On coming into San Antonio, we flew over. “Randolph Field”. We flew over the heart of town, and on out to Winburn Field, where we came down for a graceful landing. As long as I live I shall consider this as the most outstanding trip that I have ever had. “
-Robert Early Willson, Jr. 1934, age 15
And so it began. A journey that would take a simple boy from Texas to the big city of New York to rub elbows with Dorothy Lamour and Cab Calloway, on to the historic field from which How-ard Hughes and Amelia Earhart soared into record books, and finally across the ocean to “give his all” in World War II with Churchill’s celebrated Royal Air Force of Britain. A journey that lay hidden in a trunk for almost fifty years and a story unspoken by a family unable to ever stem the pain of their loss. And it began in a dusty box of letters that Early Jr. himself told of his ex-hilarating and tragic life’s journey. Recently selected as a finalist in the USA Best Books 2011 Awards in the category of Non-Fiction Narrative, this book was released in November 2011 and is available in most book-stores and online.
- BN ID:
- Safe Goods/ATN Publishing
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 7 MB
Meet the Author
Dana Ehlinger’s interest in family genealogy was sparked by the mystery of her unknown uncle, Robert Early Willson Jr. When she found the hidden trove of his letters, she embarked on her own journey to find out the story of Early’s life. Letters from My Son, A Texas Boy’s Journey to the RAF shares Early’s triumphs and losses amid the background of the Depression and the start of World War II. Dana lives in New Orleans, LA where she is an active member of Rotary Club, Louisiana State University Delta Gamma Alumnae, and manages an architectural firm. In her spare time she is a world traveler and pursues a variety of hobbies much like her Uncle Early Willson.
Karen Guelfo Ehlinger graduated from Baton Rouge High Magnet School, Louisiana State University and University of New Orleans with degrees in Theatre, English Literature and Communications. Karen produced the 2007 animated film, Flatland. She became familiar with the letters of her mother-in-law’s uncle when they were first discovered and worked with Dana to learn more about Early’s life and the times. In writing Letters from My Son, A Texas Boy’s Journey to the RAF, Karen found herself fascinated by Early’s struggle to find his place in a world of modern marvels, high society and the growing specter of World War II.
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