A. I only serve tea.
A. Yes, he was. That’s what got me started doing oral history. He was a wonderful storyteller, but he was in and out of hospitals the last few years of his life – gout, prostate problems, heart attacks, a quadruple bypass. He had a heart attack when I was 30 years old, and I realized I’d forgotten most of the stories he told about World War II. So I bought a little Sony recording Walkman and was going to take it with me when I went to visit him in the hospital. I forgot the tape recorder, he got out of the hospital, and died two weeks later. That was in 1980. Seven years later I discovered a newsletter addressed to him from the 712th Tank Battalion Association – that’s the outfit my new book is about.
A. I wrote to its editor, and asked him to put a notice in the next issue saying if anybody remembered a Lieutenant Elson, would they get in touch with me?
A. Sam and I found three veterans who remembered my dad. I explained that I remembered very little from his stories – the name of a fellow lieutenant, Ed Forrest, who was killed, and that my dad said there was something about Ed that gave him the impression Ed either didn’t want or didn’t expect to come home. His evidence was that Ed readily volunteered for an exceptionally dangerous mission in Normandy. He speculated that Ed’s father may have been a minister who didn’t approve of him going off to war.
Q. I certainly will. Please check out Aaron Elson's Oral History Audiobooks Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.
A. And if there are any other authors reading this who'd like to interview themselves, email me and I'll be happy to post your interview on my blog.
Q. One more thing. Is there an excerpt from "The Armored Fist" available?
A. There'll be one in my next blog post. Oh, one more thing.
Q. What's that?
A. I'd like to recite a little poem:
At the bottom of this page
You'll see some
Hit the Share button
Hit the Tweet thingie
Inform your Facebook buddies
Q. That doesn't rhyme.
A. It's free verse.
Q. It is?
A. It didn't cost anything, did it?