Randy Vanwesterdyke is the six-year-old protagonist in the short story, The Cure. That story was the catalyst for my companion novels, Hawk Dancer and Cloudburst. It makes for a great Christmas story, a terminally ill child and how estranged neighbors come together the night before Christmas Eve, 1957.
A number of endearing novels feature a cute kid. It is certain to make a hit if the kid faces some sort of near insurmountable challenge. This is Randy. Orphaned at age one and gradually succumbing to a terminal illness, he steals hearts.
I asked my Uncle, (editor and researcher) to select two characters from my novels for new stories. One should have a list of ten things that go right. The ...view middle of the document...
Although I can agree that migrating to America can be a lucky thing, I am not too sure that doing so in 1916 was lucky.
I asked Sgt. T. Douglas to do some research on Earl’s history for me, and find out what was going on in Holland at the time. Seeing as I speak Dutch, I was a bit suspicious of Earl as a first name for a kid from Holland, and of the current spelling, Vanwesterdyke.
Sure enough, Sarge found things his son didn’t know. Earl’s birth name is Jelle (pronounced yell-lee). His last name was misspelled by the English and became more or less his new legal name when he arrived in the States. But, why the change of first names?
The upcoming issue of the Birch Clump Village Reader will explain that.
The world was in the middle of World War I in 1916. Holland was a neutral country. Well, almost neutral. She was free, because of neutrality, to trade with England or with Germany, and did. Therefore, the UK blockaded Dutch harbors and seized Dutch boats. An infestation of German U-boat submarines sunk practically anything in sight including Dutch ships.
Then, a massive...