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South Dallas Native and WWII Vet Publishes His Memoirs

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A few days before Memorial Day, Los Angeles-based preservationist Susan Deal Booth has posted to The Huffington Post an essay about her father, World War II veteran Harry William Deal, who served aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Susan also runs a publishing house, through which she just published her father's memoirs about his time in the service, Venus Rising -- which, says the publisher's note, "culminates with his description of an otherworldly experience he had off the shores of Japan in 1945." It's notable because Harry Deal was born and raised in Dallas and writes extensively about his boyhood here:

My father starts the memoir telling about his youth growing up in deep South Dallas and it includes priceless stories such as the dozens of ways my grandmother could prepare turnips when that was all they had to eat, and of being 10-years-old and without the 10¢ entrance fee for the State Fair, where he was handcuffed to the perimeter fence by a Texas Ranger for trying to sneak in. He grew up jack-rabbit hunting with his friends and was a member of the local South Dallas Twilights "gang." These were the rough-and-tumble days of Texas during the Great Depression when it was possible, no acceptable, to dip Jax beer from a bucket on the floorboard of a 1935 Chevy Rumble Seat Coupe and drink while driving across state.

I suddenly got the craving for a Jax beer. And a book I know my dad would read. --Robert Wilonsky

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.