I was impressed with Ray Schaaf on our first meeting. Although he was ninety-three years old, he looked, sounded, and acted decades younger. He came to me for help publishing his memoir.
I love to help people tell their personal stories—everyone has a story and should tell it. Although I don’t usually expect these personal stories to appeal to a wide audience, I believe each story creates a great legacy and should be shared with family and friends.
This book is an exception to my expectation that a general audience wouldn’t be interested in the memoir of someone who is not famous or infamous. Ray Schaaf served on thirty-five bombing missions in World War II, and amazingly, he remembers details (including the rest of the crew members, the targets and missions, even the serial numbers of the planes!) of nineteen of those missions. In a time when so many people, especially young people, know little about our history, this book will draw readers into life before, during, and after World War II. Just reading how life was in Ray’s early years compared to how it is today will be eye-opening to people who can’t imagine life before cellphones, computers, and social media.
Of course, you would expect to see a high rating from the editor of a book, but it’s the story—not my polishing—that merits a 5-star rating. Whether you’re a history buff, a World War II aficionado, or clueless about history, I think you’ll enjoy the book—and maybe learn something as well.