The staff at Cave Art Press is greatly saddened to learn of the death of local resident John Tursi. Over the last several months we have been working on a reissue of John’s memoir, Long Journey to the Rose Garden. This book was originally self-published in 1989 by John and his friend and co-author Thelma Palmer.
My husband Don and I have long thought John’s book to be a colorful real-life story deserving of wider readership, and John and Thelma agreed late last year to our proposal to re-publish it. The original book covered John’s hardscrabble Depression-era childhood in Brooklyn, his two years with the Civilian Conservation Corps at Deception Pass State Park, and his experiences as an Army engineer in World War II. We made some editorial revisions and added two new chapters at the end, based on recent interviews with John, that cover John and his wife, Doris’s, retirement years in Anacortes as community volunteers and philanthropists. We have also given the book a new title, A Long Way from Brooklyn: An Italian-American Journey. The book will be available to readers by the end of this month—so the timing of John’s death is unfortunate, not least because he never got to see the completed new edition of his life story.
It is not our intention to exploit his passing as a marketing opportunity, but we thought it important that his story be told. A Long Way from Brooklyn will be available at Watermark Book Company in Anacortes and from us at CaveArtPress.com. The eBook is in production and will be out shortly.