From Conversing With a Friend
To a Cool Christmas Present!
Sir: midst surrounding words and planes
You learned yon stories from your Dad
Of war, and challenge; what remains
From strength to fight combatant mad.
You gathered them in your sweet nest,
Where writings flow while fingers move,
To share with us the verve and zest
That folk did offer to reprove
What's wrong, at times, in vicious foe.
And those of us who were not there
Can read these writings, then to know
A courage, same, as they did share!
© Paul L. White
When I ask about Rick Barry, my best friend smiles regarding his nephew (I can tell he’s smiling, even when we’re just speaking by phone), and tells me the tale of Rick’s father, Tom. He loved flying airplanes, and would, when my friend and his sister were children, rent a Cessna four-seater plane, and take them for a fifteen minute ride.
While a lad, Rick told his Mom: “I want to write a book.” She never faltered, never doubted, and said: “if that’s what you want, just go right ahead and do it!” Rick’s subsequent confidence can still be seen when he comments on Facebook today.
When my friend told me Rick is a writer, the first words out of his mouth were Gunner’s Run. Tom started flying planes when he was young, and, as Author Barry puts it:
My dad Tom served in the U.S. Constabulary, a sort of military police in the occupation forces in Germany immediately after WW II. 1947-48. He learned to fly airplanes as a teenager, but not in the military.
At any rate, come Christmas Eve, 2021, I bought the tome on Kindle as a Christmas present to myself. I considered it an honor, and still do.
This is a novel about a 19 year old War 2 vet who was shot down in his plane. He had to “run” to escape capture. The people he met were genuine, humble, and loyal to the Allied cause.
Through his entire journey, there were two factors which haunted our protagonist: one, what about God? Is He real? And two, that girl he really liked back home, what was she thinking of him now?
Mr. Barry is known for writing “page-turner” books. That was certainly the case with this one. I believe I read it all in about three sittings. When finished, I had questions galore! I wanted to know more about some of the characters. I wanted the telling to continue, now that the war was over, and our hero was back home.
I’m a fan of Robert Ludlum and John le Carré. This book certainly falls into their category. I do hope a movie will someday be made from it. And I hope to meet Rick Barry in the future, with pen in my hand, simply listening to his stories!
To his credit, Mr. Barry demurred my choice of putting him, and his book, on my "Heroes" list. In his own words:
I will mention that I feel a little uncomfortable being on any website with the word "Heroes" in it. I'm certainly no hero, although I've been privileged to meet a few heroes in my life.
It's been my own experience, especially while dealing with those in the music industry, that people who are very talented don't consider themselves to be so at all. To create the Heroes in Gunner's Run, well, Mr. Barry, you kind of have to be one yourself! :-)
When I asked this author what he'd recommend as a follow-up read, he offered: The Methuselah Project. It stars a WW2 pilot. (What else?) LOL. I've ordered mine, and can't wait to begin it!
Paul L. White
You can get this book on Amazon by simply clicking here. Mr. Barry's website is at rickcbarry.com.