When Cord Scott and I were planning the Launch day of his book FOUR COLOUR COMBAT, this date, April 16, stood out for its special meaning. The following is a note from the author we’d like to share:
This book is a personal one for me. All books are, but my ancestors guided this one. When I was in graduate school, 2008 was a difficult year initially. I had lost my job as a college administrator just before, and I was struggling to find work. I was also researching my dissertation when I applied for and was accepted to attend, a battlefield tour with the Gregg Centre from New Brunswick to the battlefields of Sicily and Italy. I felt that my grandfather, Jerry Smetana, who served with the Third Infantry Division in World War II and had been on this ground, guided this application.
While I was on the trip, I was able to see so many places Jerry saw, and I wondered what he felt as he looked upon these same areas. I also gained a far greater appreciation of the incredible fighting that the Canadians endured. I was able to connect with some great friends and colleagues, who influenced me in terms of writing (a book review of the Canadian contingent in Korea) and research (a visit from the other American on the trip on a cold day in Tokyo of all places!). And most of all it was this trip that allowed me to connect and share in the camaraderie with this group. I am still in awe of what they have produced for history and am proud that they continue to run that tour and others as well.
This book officially launches, today, April 16, the day after my grandmother Evelyn Smetana (nee Davis) would have turned 98. While 2008 started with sadness and angst (grandma passed in January that year), I was able to persevere gaining work by the fall of 2008.
There are other personal recollections that I hold dear, but this book comes from both the lows and highs of life. For those who struggle with doubt or those who think it can’t be done, I am the embodiment that it can. Neither of my grandparents written about here ever rose above an eighth-grade education; however, their first-born grandson was the first to graduate from high school, the second family to graduate from college, and the first to earn a Doctorate. Ever forward, ever forward.