January 2017 @ Karen S’s with everyone but Karen C. (she’ll be back!)
Snow earlier today, but no major storm. A variation on the Storm Theme of recent years.
Neighborly News: Hardware City closing in March (maybe Strosniders coming); Town Planning for empty gas station & Savannah’s = zippo; so many fails at the Frankly Pizza site (but it’s holding); Dish & Dram = new winner (3 pm Happy Hour->KP Moms can hang to 4:15 then meet the bus)
Sue: GRAND BABY GIRL DUE IN JUNE! So fun!
Kitty: Madeline getting MARRIED June 10 @ JP + Union Station Party
Choosing last names – who, how, why???
Aging well: Mary’s mom (99), Sue’s aunt (98)
THE BOOK: Elephant Company: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke
Katie picked it because:
– craving nonfiction
– loves elephants
– despite being wary of yet another WWII theme/setting, this was so unique >> risked it
- we underestimated elephants before this book (or at least Asians)
- we want it to be a movie!
- some patches of writing were ‘fact listing’ and the start was a bit slow while the end seemed a bit rushed – perhaps the pacing was impacted by whether or not Croke had detailed/extensive primary sources…after all, this is not a novel (though it almost reads as one)
- SO HEROIC – the people (all of them) and the elephants. Wow.
- Why so much PR on this being a WWII book? It’s so, so much more.
- Wife Susan was just so cool in the face of the lifestyle & jungle realities (early training with wacky uncle poppy)
- curmudgeonly mentor relationship – well wrought & ‘entertaining’
- the return to England = another fascinating chapter
- relationship with Burmese elephant handler and the layers of reality/hardship of the handlers = so well handled by Croke
- Oh-So-British: the teas, the cutlery, the protocols for everything
- priority: keep it all streamlined & healthy for the benefit of the ELEPHANTS
- relationship between people and elephants = so nicely revealed
- his running his hands over elephants to analyze/diagnose them was so organic, advanced and impressively right
- we liked it!
So disappointing to end such a great discussion with The Stupidest Conversation Ever: Ryan Reynolds/Ryan Gosling, twins or not? [NOT!]
Next Meeting: Kitty’s / Karen S’s book