ONE SUNDAY MORNING began as a memoir written for Louis Mathieson’s family. Its title derives from the Sunday morning attack on Pearl Harbor where Louis was serving aboard the USS Oklahoma. When the manuscript was in its initial stage. Louie asked me to read it and to offer suggestions. It was my opinion, and that of others whom I asked to review the manuscript, that Louie’s story should he told in his own words and in his own style. The format of reminiscence and the conversational tone, which so engages the reader, we felt should not be compromised by editorial intervention.
We have an opportunity, through Louie, to experience what it meant to be a member of what Tom Brokaw describes as the Greatest Generation. Louie’s life journey takes us through his childhood years during the Depression, his participation as a young adult in the Civilian Conservation Corps designed by FDR to provide employment for the nation’s young men, the abrupt entry of the US into World War II at Pearl Harbor, and the establishment of a peacetime world and return to home and family.
There was another Sunday morning milestone when he met Vera Payson. It is a tribute to Louie’s romantic nature and good judgment of people that he recognized how important Vera would be to the rest of his life. After more than fifty years of marriage, they still represent what today’s generation describes as “soul mates.”
In Robert Kennedy’s words, Louie dreamed of things that never were and said “why not?” Louie dreamed of “the house on the hill overlooking the water” and it came true. He dreamed of raising a fine family, and it came true. ONE SUNDAY MORNING reveals not only the details of that “day of infamy,” but also the indomitable spirit and accomplishment of one of its survivors.
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