What is THE BAMBI?

You must be asking yourself a question …

That question might very well this;

What is THE BAMBI, and why was it written?

Well, it’s a combination of two things from my personal life. First, it’s a highly fictionalized account of my two love affairs from the late 1970s into the early 1980s. Fictionalized because it was set during the late 1930s through to late 1944. I was sure that no one would ever believe that I, a disabled man with Cerebral Palsy could date, much less fall in love with (or have the emotional capability to) a normal female, especially one as beautiful as Donna Licsak (who Aglaii Fedorov was modeled after). But, I wanted to tell people how I fell in love with Donna.

The second thing is …. it was my way to realize a dream that I knew/know would never become reality. That is to be a naval officer and a PT boat skipper. The novel began life as a short story that I had to write for a writing class in college. The professor suggested that I turn it into a full blown novel. Over a summer, I showed it to Donna and she loved it and told me that I should get it published. So, from 1982 to 2012 and 2013, it went through many drafts and rewrites and was stopped and shelved many times. But, to honor my promise to Donna, I decided to self-publish it.

In order to do this novel, I used a number of sources; my memories of my college days, my knowledge of PT boats and a book named HELL ON KEELS, a history of Squadron 12, and a unpublished memoir from a man named Dr. Prout. Those two sources were used to give the novel a whiff of historical accuracy. But other than that, it is fiction, save for the real ‘history’ of the two love affairs in it.

A reviewer on Amazon claimed (unfairly) that I stole PT-191’s name and history. That’s as far from the truth as you could probably get. I would never do that, I love PTs and their histories. I respect it and I hold the men who served on them in highest regard and esteem. I used the 191 as a back drop because she’s my favorite PT, especially in her 1944 to 1945 configuration. I meant no disrespect to either her or her crew. I used the 191 as a way to pay homage to her, her crew and her last skipper, Don Clarke. Mr. Clarke befriended me in the 1990s and was a very nice man who loved the 191. The love he had for her was obvious.

That is why it was written, and that is what it is.

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