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Tuesday, 05 February 2008

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I'm a few years too young to have experienced the writings of Ernie Pyle in context. I did live in Albuquerque NM for a number of years where Mr. Pyle grew up and maintained a home.

His house was drawing visitors all the way into the 1980's and may still be doing so. I drove by the house many times but without the personal connection with his war correspondence I never understood why anyone would visit there. Now that I'm somewhat older maybe I can understand this a little better.

An interesting piece was on TV's "History Detectives" this week about Ernie Pyle's portable typewriter. It includes data about his death. I'm sure it will be replayed and is worth watching for it.

I read one of his books while in high school. He had a grand view of the everyday GI and I can understand why they loved him. He told their story and lived it with them. If you can find a copy in an old book store, get it. Its a quick but special read.

How strange, he looks really peaceful. I have read somewhere that he didn't really want to go to the Pacific Theatre, having had quite enough of war in Europe. Maybe he had some kind of premonition that it wouldn't end well for him there.

Here's a column from South Bend, a talk with the gentleman who has the picture of Mr. Pyle.

http://www2.southbendtribune.com/stories/2008/02/05/nation.20080205-sbt-MICH-A1-Not_a_picture_you__h.sto

Kudos on publishing that photo, painful as it may be.

Although it was perfectly reasonable to withhold it at the time, now it's a historical document, an endpoint to and a comment about the career of a guy who simply did what he believed he was supposed to do.

-jbh-

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