Bonnie Park Signing
Join us in welcoming local author Bonnie Bedford Park, with her debut Six Weeks for Boat Mail!
Saturday, February 11th @ 3pm!
About the book:
At a highly-intense emotional time, circa 1942, Robin reads her mother’s words: “So
much has happened this last year... It makes me feel that the months and years are
going by altogether too fast.” Two daughters married, two sons-in-law – both suddenly
commissioned as U.S. Army officers – one grandson with another grandbaby on the
way. Moreover, by virtue of his birthplace, Robin’s brother serves mandatory time in the
Chilean cavalry, eager but unable to join Uncle Sam’s Navy due to a citizenship snafu.
In the compelling sequel to Brides of 1941, baby boomer Bonnie Bedford Park picks
up the threads of this niche non-fiction mid-century time capsule scaffolded by
handwritten letters. With truth at the center of the story, and a style that remains true
to the humorous interjecting voice of the author, she drives the DeLorean headlong
into the quandary-filled lives of young newlyweds, Robin and Buster Bedford, among
other startling characters living under the shadow of WWII.
Twenty-two-year-old Robin sails from New York Harbor aboard Grace liner S.S.
Santa Elena bound for her childhood home in the Chilean Andes, the “El Teniente”
copper mine company town of Sewell. That’s where her parents, Lelia and T. Wayne
Skinner, live and work. For a hot minute (and to her mother’s chagrin) Robin forgets
about the ring on her newlywed finger.
Sworn to serve the U.S. Army, Buster writes to his bride from Fort Bragg, North
Carolina: “... these maneuvers are going to be made as much like real war as is
possible...” Unbeknownst to anyone, this foreboding moment in U.S. history pivoted
to America’s last peacetime Army training exercise preceding the Japanese attack
on Pearl Harbor. Sensing imminent danger, Buster begs Robin to return. Yet she
safeguards her planned itinerary as if carrying out a diplomatic mission at the
behest of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Shamelessly traveling alone as a married
woman, December 7 pins her whereabouts in Rio de Janeiro.
Japan’s dastardly attack on December 7 changed the war’s entire strategy and the life
plans of most young Americans who adopted Buster’s way of thinking, “May God see fit
that such sacrifice will be sufficient to preserve the way of life I love.” His personal aims in
1942? That... “a group of willing, intelligent, and forceful young men (like him) might yet
produce that World government for future peace and continued prosperity for all.”
“Eighty years hasn’t made a great deal of difference,” says Park. “Evil world leaders still
exist, as do wars and threats to democracy, buggered air travels and supply chains, book
bans, gender inequality, and the challenges of parenting.” She adds, “Thankfully, history
has taught us how that war ended.” Although, in her world, it’s not over until the third
book in her trilogy is released next year.
About the author:
New Jersey born Bonnie Bedford Park landed in the right place at the
right time when she staked herself permanently in the Beehive State circa
1970s. Skiers and red rock arches were yet to dominate Utah license plates,
but with a master’s degree in “Leisure Studies” she was paid to promote a
sleeping giant – the resort town of Park City, Utah. Upon retirement from
a successful career as a recreation district administrator, Park pivoted
to embrace a new calling fueled by a passion for historical research and
the discovery of hundreds of old letters. Married for over forty years to
an enthusiastic collector of WWII memorabilia and restorer of vintage
military vehicles, Park’s chosen non-fiction genre naturally aligns with
their museum-inspired home.