I was going through some documents this morning and ran across these letters/notes. They are from people who read my first book and it was an encouragement for me to write my next two books.
My name is Agnieszka. I ‘m from Warsaw, Poland and I am Stephen’s friend. I’d like to thank you very much for signing your book for me. I began reading it on Tuesday when I said goodbye to Stephen at the airport in Cracow and I was so deeply engrossed in reading that I barely noticed my plane touched down in Warsaw again. I enjoyed tremendously the part about your childhood in Florida and the part about your service in Viet Nam is just unbelievable.
Thank you so much for the book. It is a treasure and so well written that somebody like me who has only learned English as a second language can understand almost everything without referring to a dictionary.
I hope one day when I come to visit Stephen in GA I will have a chance to meet you and talk to you about the things you described. I’d really like to know more.
I’m looking forward to meeting you.
Subject: One Great Read
Thank you so much for the privilege of reading your book. I sat down to read some last night around 10 and couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I laughed so hard at the sloth story I thought I was going to wake the kids up.
You have a true gift, your writing style is like we’re sitting across the table after dinner and having a couple of beers. Your stories are priceless and it’s even better they’re true.
You don’t know this, but my favorite author is Pat Conroy. He has a way of telling stories about the south, my south, and the military, family, friendship, etc. that makes you wish you were a part of his story. And you, my dear man, write like Pat Conroy. The only difference is, this is your first book, and it took him 2 or 3 to develop the writing style you have. I look forward to your next one, and your next one, and your next one.
You are a natural-born storyteller, which is a complement coming from the Irish. You are a true American treasure Jerry, and they don’t make them like you anymore.
I hope you have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas, Jerry.
“Just finished it…. Have to gather my thoughts as currently I’m in complete tear breakdown mode… ”
“Where do I begin… I guess I should start at the beginning… Your words flowed off the pages as if we were on your porch enjoying a beer, chatting and watching the deer pass. The way you choose to present yourself in the books – as is – this is me – loved it!! I can picture you, broom in hand, faking your own misery for the sake of your recruits…. Priceless.!!! You’re the reason people want to learn and strive to learn, a creativity for improving everyone around you is a magical gift… Loved every minute of it and ponder how tasty the lobster was, considering all the work and people involved – (had me cracking up hahaha) and as I finish the first epic part of your life’s journey, I feel satisfaction for knowing such an awesomely strong human, someone that was trained and trained others to be tough and defend…..and who has a giant heart… 🙂 ”
Subject: My First Forty Years
“Jerry, I finished the book tonight and I remember laughing to each chapter until the end of the book where I cried and still am crying as I write this because I was there at the time and I have been there myself. God Bless”