First, one local author has written about a subject of local interest. Marfe Ferguson Delano hails from my neighborhood of Tauxemont and has written several children's books. Her latest book, Master George's People: George Washington, His Slaves, and His Revolutionary Transformation, is about George Washington's slaves and the process that led towards their emancipation at his death.
General Washington's impact on our country cannot be underestimated although his views on slavery were never widely promoted. He was one of a handful of Founding Fathers from the south who freed his slaves at his death. Several started the communities of Gum Springs and Springbrook (the area where West Potomac High School stands) today.
Next, this summer I ran into Chuck Santangelo at the Waynewood Fourth of July Parade. His novel, Turning Point, focuses on how our country might have turned out differently if the Supreme Court had reached a different decision on December 12, 2000 and Al Gore had been elected President.
Chuck worked in the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administration in various agencies. He's also been interviewed on CNN, Newsweek, Time, and the Associated Press. His novel is a fictional account, but it's the kind of book that makes you realize that elections have consequences - even if they are decided by less than 1,000 votes nationwide.
Finally, Bellehaven resident, Steven Hayes has a new novel out called Light on Dark Water. Hayes is a Vietnam veteran and avid sailor. After college, he enlisted in the Navy and earned a Bronze Star and a Navy Commendation Medal for heroism in combat.
According to the Mt. Vernon Voice's interview with him, he describes his novel as follows:
The novel is the story not only of a battle for survival at sea, but of one man’s fight with his own memories of war and his sense of incompleteness, anger and remorse, according to Hayes. It is a story of coming to terms with the raw interplay of loss and grace that is the essence of life itself.
The book is clearly a work of fiction,” says Hayes, “but the story is drawn heavily from my time in Vietnam and my days sailing on the Chesapeake Bay and in the Atlantic.” Corbett Hale , the novel’s main character, knows the sea is an inscrutable lady – one day calm, the next a fury. But as he sets sail with a crew of three heading to the Bahamas, Corbett cannot know what awaits them as he guides his beloved sloop, Gilead, into the Atlantic. Sailing south, he confronts haunted memories from a time spent on another water, in another part of the world. As the violence of the sea tests the crew’s courage and skill, Hale finds himself both pulled back into the turbulence of the Vietnam War and forward into a life-and-death struggle for rescue and survival.
Support your fellow neighbors and check out their work. We are lucky to have so many talented people in the 44th District!