Bruce Catton and how did I get addicted to the CW

by Jim Lamason on October 16, 2008 · 0 comments

Hi all,

Once again its been a very long time since I posted here. But I wanted to share some thoughts on a favorite author of mind

I was about 12 to 13 years old. So that would have been 1964.  For Christmas that year, I recieved the American Heritage book on the Civil War. The year before I recieved from my parents a readers proof copy of this Hallowed Ground. The editor of the first one was Bruce Catton. And he was the author of the second one as well.

One Saturday, my parents informed all of us that we were going to take a trip into New York City.
Well my American Heritage book at that point was going with me every place I went. So naturally I had it with me for the ride into the city. My brother was with me, our sister who was in her late teens was most likely working or home studying.

After a few stops for some sight seeing the next thing I know we are in a book store some where on 5th Ave. And we got into this long line with other folkds. I didnt even ask why we were there till we got within 10 feet of the table. In front of me signing away was BRUCE CATTON..!!!! The line slowly but surely got to the point where I was standing in front of my favorite Author.. Good morning young man he said.. And what can I do for you?? I pulled my book from where I had clutched it to my chest, and replied, would you please sign this for me ? Sure was his reply. What is your name? I gave it to him and as he is signing it, my mom is going on and on and on, on how much I loved to read about the Civil War and how much I treasured his writing..

He finished and handed the book back to me.. Looking me straight in the eye.. Well son never lose that passion for this time in our nations history.  I

Time marched on and shortly after I got married, my parents came over and dropped off a couple of boxes of books. I dove in looking for my two copies of the American Heritage. I had gotten another one for my birthday the following year. I found the book. Wwell I thought it was the one. I open the front cover to find NOTHING!

Shortly afterwards my mom passed away. I found out from my dad, she had cleaned out some of my things and thought well I didnt NEED TWO copies of the AHCW.. So she gave one away to a church rummage sale.

So out there some where is a signed copy of the AHCW.. And its autographed to Jim.. If you come acrossed one like that,. Let me know.

But I will never forget Bruce Catton. In closing I have mourned different peoples passing. Mr Catton passed away in 1978, And as a 27 year old, I cried at that annoucement,

But I did have one piece of solice, The men who he wrote about those veterans, while I like to think for the last 30 years he has been rubbing elbows with the veterans, with that pipe of his between his teeeth, sitting around some heavenly camp fire listening to their stories.

Thanks Mr. Catton.

Jim


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