After almost 10 years of on and off work (mostly off), tons of research, a trip to the National Archives in College Park, MD, and the good fortune of having spoken with hundreds of veterans, interested persons, and those who truly wanted to see the book come to fruition, I can say it’s done. At least the print version is done and is available at Amazon. A Kindle version is also available.
The book languished for more time than I care to admit, mostly because I didn’t know how to proceed. I had a lot of information, poorly organized, and a very poorly written partially completed first draft. I didn’t know enough to know that I needed an editor, but just as I was thinking this project wasn’t going to get completed, fellow 298th veteran and clarinetist Harry Reinert and I started talking. He is a retired German teacher, published author, and he graciously volunteered to try and find a way to tell me that what I had was a pile of junk and what to do to make it better. We started working in earnest on this toward the end of 2013 and it took a lot of drafts, a lot of “am I gonna get through this !@#$#@! thing?” and a whole bunch of hours slogging through the garbage, culling out the gangrene (there was a lot of it) and inputting some much better stuff.
In the process I learned more about the skill and art of writing. It’s thanks to Harry that this book is ready. Oh, by the way, he’s creating a DVD version of the book as well. This version will contain the print book text, somewhere close to 500 photographs, sound recordings, videos, and copies of historical documents for those who really want to dig into the history of this band and the history it was part of.