Don and Cheri
Cheri Swan did all the work, I should have been doing, while I was writing my book. (Swan archives)

In composing this barmy biography, more than three-years faded from the Georgian calendar and my life. When not writing several hours a day, I was researching, recalling events, or at least thinking about the book. (I’m slow, can’t spell or type very well.)

Everything I should have been doing didn’t get done, or Cheri did it alone. In fact, I let lots of things go. Writing a biography, especially like mine, stirs up a lot of emotion, both pleasant and painful. Painful, as in nightmares that returned with their tormenting curse. Cheri blamed them on me reliving the war as I wrote about it, and insisted that I take a break.  Was all this an excuse for being an even greater pain in the ass to live with? Yes, just not a good enough one. Overall, my writing proved to be more conducive than consumptive.

Thanks to Tom Kirkham, my friend of many years, for his encouragement with the highest compliment, “I hope I live long enough to read your book.” He did. My wonderful brother Dale who provided health care for my parents for many years and for his invalid wife for some twenty encouraged me while writing, My Life At The Limit.

Along the way, when I was discouraged, a reader comment raised my morale, kept me churning out words, especially those from Mike P.  Friends from high school that I had not seen or spoken to in years, self-identified as some of my greatest fans. As I have never advertised my book — only publicity was Cheri mentioning it on her Facebook — I was surprised when some professors, and others, at the University of Denver, fortuitously discovered my book, and sent me congratulatory notes.

IMG_0319Thanks to my pets for their unconditional love. Nevertheless, when one landed in my lap, then laptop, and another started chewing on my cane, it was a none too subtle demand for me to take a break and them for a walk.

When my beautiful, wonderful and understanding wife, Cheri, signed on for this project, she couldn’t have imagined that I’d be working on this autobiography, three years plus. She was at times frustrated, nevertheless, she encouraged me, kept me on some semblance of a schedule, and most importantly, she made sure I completed My Life At The Limit — inspiring me to finally fulfill a promise I made to myself and others more than 50 years ago. 

Finally, I leave you,
My dedicated readers, with what Elvis was fond of saying:

“Thank You, Thank You Very Much!”

Don in 1974

BOOK II follows

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