Elephantastic Heroes

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

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2 responses to “Elephantastic Heroes

  1. Oh, Kitty. Just ask the Ryans what they think. You’ll see who is right.

  2. Great notes as usual! And the Ryan controversy rages on — and is NOT stupid. Clearly they are one and same person!

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