By Kathleen Kaska
My dad was a man of few words. I suspect his reluctance to communicate had more to do with having four daughters and no sons (he had six brothers) than not having much to say. But I could always get him talking when I showed him old photographs taken of his service in the Army during World War II. The photos loosened his tongue and put a smile on his face. It wasn’t that his wartime experience was enjoyable; but having served his country was his proudest accomplishment.
I just joined the staff at Cave Art Press. My first (self-appointed) task was to read every book the Douglasses have written. Because of my dad’s stories, I was especially intrigued by Réanne’s recently released book, The Shelburne Escape Line. I’ve read many books, fiction and nonfiction, about the sacrifices and bravery of the unsung heroes of French Resistance. But until I read The Shelburne Escape Line, I never fully understood why those secret underground operations were paramount in winning the war against Nazi Germany.
The Shelburne Escape Line begins with a compelling history of the Resistance and the dangers and risks involved in rescuing Allied airmen shot down over France. The book also includes personal accounts of several survivors involved in the Shelburne operation. Reading their poignant stories also gave me a deeper understanding of my dad’s experience.
I wish I could turn back the clock a few years. I can only imagine conversations with Dad if he could have read this remarkable book.
To read more about the history and heroes of the Shelburne Line find it on the Cave Art Press website.