Letters, Words, and Moments in Time: Xulon Press Honors Pearl Harbor Anniversary with Release of Book 70 Years in the Making

Filed in From the Desk of... by on December 7, 2012 1 Comment

One year ago, before I became a full-time staff editor at Xulon Press, I received a call from someone on the Xulon acquisitions team asking if I would be interested in taking on a freelance project. The project, he explained, would be some combination of ghostwriting, line editing, manuscript development and material compilation. In the Land of the Editor, this basically meant that he had no earthly clue what this author actually needed.

Xulon Press author Larry FridleyEnter Larry Fridley. Born July 26, 1924, in Hazel Green, West Virginia, he was a former sailor in the United States Navy, and one of the most jovial characters I had ever had the pleasure of meeting – although it was just over the phone.  Larry served aboard the U.S.S. St. Louis, affectionately dubbed The Lucky Lou, which was the only ship to successfully escape Pearl Harbor during the attacks of December 7, 1941. Upon his return to the U.S., he embarked on the beginning of a long and successful professional career, but the tales of the escapades of Lucky Lou continued to pound in his head and his heart, to a beat which demanded an audience.

And so he began to write.

For seventy years, Larry Fridley recorded and collected stories: both his own, and from others who had served aboard the ship’s noble decks. He made copies of newspaper articles, magazine excerpts, ship’s logs, captain’s letters; anything he could get his hands on. It was in an old cardboard box – several inches deep – that these materials arrived to my door.  By the time I had dug my way to the bottom, I was hooked.  I had no idea where to begin, but I was in.

For the next nine months, I helped Mr. Fridley put the pieces of the puzzle together. Countless phone calls, rewrites, and (more than a few) late nights later, Xulon Press is proud to present The Saga of the Lucky Lou, just in time for the seventy-first anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor.  A mere seven decades after Mr. Fridley began pecking away on an ancient typewriter, this incredible story is out of the box and ready for your nightstand table. The beat in Larry Fridley’s heart has been transcribed into letters, commas, and paragraphs, bound and printed for generations to relive.

The Saga of the Lucky LouI love Mr. Fridley’s book because it represents the notion that there is never a story without significance. That the battering winds of time can do nothing to tatter the significance of someone’s story if it is genuine and honest and real. That every moment carries within itself its own merit, truth, and revolutionary potential. That in the retelling of these collective moments, that transformative power is captured and ripples out from us to the readers we touch. Our stories carry significance. Our stories can alter history. Our stories deserve to be heard.

This was the last writing project I decided to take on before coming on here as a copyeditor at Xulon Press, and I could not have asked for a better conclusion. As we approach the seventy-first anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, I am humbled and grateful to have had the chance to give something back to the military which sacrificed so much for us that morning.

As we pause for a moment to reflect, let me leave you with this question: what story does the beat of your heart tell today?

Bon Voyage!

Find Larry Fridley’s book The Saga of the Lucky Lou in the Xulon Press Bookstore.

Tags: ,


About the Author ()

Brittnee Newman, Marketing & Communications Strategist for Xulon Press, has been a blogger, freelance journalist and editor for just over half a decade. She joined Xulon Press as an editor in 2012, and now supports the company within the Marketing Department. Follow her on Twitter at @XulonBrittnee.

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. avatar Bonna Newman says:

    Brittnee we couldn’t be prouder of you than we are right now. What a enteresting article. I was very young when this all happen at Pearl Harbor, but i remember my family crying, i ask them what was wrong and they told me, i didn’t know what it all meant, but i felt their pain. Love you, You will accomplish any thing you set out to do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *