Miscellaneous Rumbles



Some of you are my pals on Facebook and are already aware. But others have kindly inquired over the past several years about the book.

Well I am pleased to finally announce here, after seven years, that the book is indeed under contract with Texas A&M University Press. We just signed on the 1st of this month.

As a refresher, the book is (tentatively) titled BLACK DRAGON: The Experience of a Marine Rifle Company in the Central Pacific. It's a thorough wartime tour across the Pacific with a rifle company, Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines, which they referred to as 2-F-23.

(For you Gyrenes, that's a pre-war reversal thing that was done in the 1st and 2nd MarDivs. The 23rd Marines were formed of many 6th Marines, and they brought it with them. A little Marine history there for you.)

I have to tell you that, back when I took this on, I never imagined that it would turn into what it's turned into. But some of you know me enough to understand what I mean when I say, "Wow."

We've lost several of the guys in that seven years, but still have a few. They were all thrilled about it and, I must say, that they did dig deep and reveal details buried long ago in order to get it right. And, a few years ago, when I had the first very rough, unedited draft together, the folks in the newsletter pooled money and we bound copies for all the guys and wives so they could read that. It was a good move in many ways.

Back in 2013, the first several months were spent digging out the old micro-cassette tapes from reunion interviews, notebooks, emails, letters, formal recorded interview/debriefs. Those micro-cassette recordings I had never listened to afterward, yet I could immediately see the room or setting and placement of the guys in conversation just like it was 20 years earlier...as though no time had passed at all.

I plugged those into a Tascam, digitized each one, then transcribed each one, word for word. That includes conversations in the background that I could make out.

When you take all of that text, assign it to each person, and put it in one authoring software like Scrivener (and Evernote), not only is it finally in one place and easy to get to, but it now becomes searchable dialogue. You can then find, place, and sequence what Len mentioned when we were sitting at the picnic table in Asa's back yard in Savannah, Georgia in 1997. Or who ever mentioned Dengue fever? If you've properly framed a historical scenario and sequence, now you have a first person account.

Yes, it is precisely like going through all the boxes and dresser drawers to find scattered puzzle pieces and finally putting them back into one box. There's no picture on the box, but you know what it's supposed to be -- just not sure what it will end up looking like, of just where all the pieces you have on hand will fit. That's because they never quite knew either. That became the job of the historian. Get the history laid out, then figure out where the veteran pieces fit. (not the other way around, at least not usually)

Enough of that.

It will be a year or so before in-stock, barring additional "2020".

Appreciate everyone's encouragement all this time. Hard to believe 7 years is past.


Congratulations. It’s a great thing you’ve done for the Marines and their families, as well as saving first hand history of brave men that otherwise would disappear in the ether.


Much congratulations to you, Steve! Well done.


congratulations, Steve !!!


Congrats, Steve! I'm sure your book will be an inspiration to many people.


So happy for you, Steve. I know this has been a major effort and you've got many hours involved. Can't wait to see it go into final print.


Congrats on this very worthwhile endeavor.


Really nice to see this completed. Thanks for all your efforts in bringing this all to life.


Fantastic thing you did! Congrats on getting it done!


Congratulations!! This sounds like a HUGE effort on your part! Here's wishing you all the very best of results.


Yeahman! A project like that is a long and grueling road, and not everyone has the determination to see it through. Big work, work with doing. Congratulations. Looking forward to a deep and involving read.


Congratulations Steve, I can’t wait to get my copies.

I can only imagine how many times you stopped and reflected on the resiliency and valor of those men.

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