God has a way of putting the right people in our lives at the right times and I never cease to be amazed when I experience this. Last Wednesday I stopped in at the historical society to look up some businesses in the old city directories. As I walked in, there were four ladies and a man already sitting around a table chatting. I found the directory I needed, sat down and started flipping through it. My ears perked up when I heard one of the ladies ask the man about a meeting she thought he had attended. They went back and forth for a minute, my interest growing until she mentioned she was trying to get the information for someone who had asked on Facebook. (You know the page You grew up in…. ) I smiled and spoke up. “That was me,” I said. The lady turned around and the man came over and asked what exactly I was trying to find out. I explained I was trying to determine what year the last family left the area on North Merritt Island that was bought by the government for the space program. This led to a wonderful conversation about a few of the families they knew of from the old days.
I’ve also been looking for Vietnam veterans to get feedback on a battle a scene in Jessie and a friend saw me mention this, again on Facebook, and offered to ask his dad some questions. We shared a couple of emails and he arranged for me to meet his dad over the weekend to get a real sense of what it was like to be on the ground in Vietnam. Meeting Bill, hearing his stories and his feedback on the scene I had written was a humbling experience. I was nervous about interviewing him and asking him to relive a painful time, but he was so kind and easy to talk to the time flew by. Not only was my need supplied, Bill was actually involved in battle the same time as my fictional character.