Hi I’m Lucy Rose and I’ve co-written a new book with my brother Jerry Rose: The Journalist: Life and Loss in America’s Secret War. But before I get to that, let me tell you a little story about my big brother and me…

The year I turned seven, Jerry, my big brother, left for college. From that time on, he was a visitor—almost never home for more than a few weeks at a time. But these weeks became the luminous islands of my life.

When I was a little girl, he would read poetry to me from a small light blue volume—his voice resonating in the quiet of the room:

“…In a kingdom by the sea,
That a maiden there lived whom you may know
By the name of Annabel Lee…”

On a winter evening, when I was in sixth grade, Jerry came home for Christmas vacation and organized a play-reading— “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” We all took parts—Jerry, my sister Nancy, Mother, Dad, and me. My father’s English was choppy—an immigrant from Poland, he tripped over even the simplest words, never mind Shakespearean English. Mother was somewhat better although her English was freckled with certain distinctive mispronunciations—like she called “scissors” “stizzers” or “salad” is “sawood”. A stranger once asked her if she was from Boston and ever since she was convinced her accent is genuine American. On that evening, while we passed parts back and forth, I thought their Polish-accented English wasn’t quite befitting the solemnity of the reading.

About two weeks after our evening of play reading, my sixth-grade class took a trip down the hall to the school library—a bright room, lots of windows, blonde furniture, and a good supply of books. This was a required activity, and each of us was expected to check out a book. I glanced down at the offerings—there was nothing I wanted. The librarian approached:

“Where is your book?”

“I don’t want any of these books,” I said.

“Pick a book,” she insisted.

“No thank you,” I said, “I have my own books at home to read.”

“What do you read?” she demanded to know.

“Shakespeare,” I said.

***

THE JOURNALIST: Life and Loss in America’s Secret War by Jerry A. Rose and Lucy Rose Fischer will be published by Spark Press in August 2020. This true story captures the dramatic and perilous life of a young journalist in Vietnam during the very early years of America’s Vietnam War. His sister has drawn on her late brother’s journals, letters, and other writings to craft his memoir.

More about me here: https://lucyrosedesigns.com/

 

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