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Meeting Mr. James E. Martin was a recent serendipitous pleasure. While at a craft show this weekend, I overheard him telling someone about his old pet dachshund. Being a dachshund person myself I was overjoyed at the opportunity to chat with someone about this marvelous little dog. During my conversation with this lively gent he mentioned his military career and how he has written about some of it in his book, "Life on the Monkey Bus". I was rather ashamed of myself because when I walked by his table eariler I only noticed two of his books, those being for children and I kept walking.


I also picked up, "Ebbie" and he told me that book was only about his life and I would probably find it boring. Well, Mr. Martin I was far from bored with your story.


Ebbie gives it to you like it is. There is no sugar coating in this story. It is about real life and it's all too often unpleasantness. There is however briefly, moments of sunshine in an otherwise life of drudgery. He is a mere tot when surrendered into foster care during the 1920s. All through his life he only wants what all children want; to be accepted and loved. Unfortuneatly for Ebbie he is unable to hold on to it for long. After two foster families and three years in a cold orphanage where the children are treated as livestock he is fostered by a farming family. Made to pull more than his share of work for his room and board, nothing else. Ebbie is never encouraged to feel like one of the family.


It is a heart wrenching story. When I met Mr. Martin, I assumed that he was too young to be a WWII Veteran, much to my surprise he is entering his 87th year this November. Each year on his Birthday he climbs a mountain near his house. 13 people will be joining him this year. He said he does it in about an hour and a half, it takes everyone else over 2 hours.


To talk to him you'd never know he had to carry those burdens of yesteryear. He has a kind face without a hint of bitterness in his sweet smile. I just loved him and his wife, I told them that I wanted to come home with them. :wub:


He was drafted into the Army in 1942 and came back to marry his childhood sweetheart. His military career, although not chronicled in this book, includes most of WWII, all of Korea, and some of Vietnam. He was a paratrooper, and told me he has over 250 jumps.


Thank you Mr. Martin for sharing your story with us.


I have his phone number and address if anyone would like to contact him to order his book. It is $16 and he will gladly sign it if you ask.



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Ah, I saw your review on Amazon. It's great when you get to share your views with others.


I sure thank you for posting this here. What a wonderful opportunity to meet him at the craft show. On an average day, you never know who you might run into, and once again this proves the point.


Here's to Ebbie "Mr Martin". God bless you sir!

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