Reviewed by Donald Dirnberger (Eastern Caribbean/Antigua 1977–79)
It is not the road chosen but rather the life one lives upon the journey taken.
(An understanding of the poem by Robert Frost.)
Every Day Since Desenzano, A Tale Of Gratitude by fellow RPCV Patrick Logan is a book written about a father and a son living their lives through their words and their gift of giving and sharing through service to others. Learning the importance of family often takes many years, and carries each on different journeys, but in time we come to cherish those who, with gratitude, understand us, even when we did not.
In his book, Patrick Logan recounts, through his father’s, his mother’s, his family’s and his own searching and seeking, and through a journey to reconnect by understanding how words written, reminisce memories of a love held dear.
Generations of forefathers heeded the call when asked to carry the burden, and as Patrick’s father spent his days apart from his new wife, the words sent to her would in time connect in much the same way. As family, we serve one another, sharing, caring, praising, teaching, loving, and in time the roles reverse — that is how Patrick embarked upon his own voyage of self-discovery. That discovery took him, after his own service to others as a life-long teacher of language, back to his roots found in the letters sent home from his father to his mother.
Different service to others leads each to one’s own way of journeying. Some return home and there remain, serving family, friends, religion, community at peace with their choice. Others, restless from seeing the world through the eyes who came before them, embark, like a nomads, but always assured of home.
Logan uses the letters and poetry of his father, the diaries of the 88th (Blue Devils Division of the US Army) Regimental HQ, and his father’s maps of Italy, to encounter people of that country, and to re-trace, as much as possible, his father’s steps during the second World War. These are interwoven, intermingled in a moving and touching masterpiece of prose that touches the heart of all men for we are all like our father’s we do not know until much later in our lives. Many of our generation were born of our father’s who served, and came home to seek peace and solace from what they had witnessed and helped to put an end to.
But we were never quite privy to the depth until either they shared it with us, or, in their passing, we discovered it through their diaries, letters and keepsakes. Thank you, Logan, for your taking the time to connect and then share with us his and your journeys. May your road always lead you back home, if only in your memories and your heart.
One was a father, the other a son.
Reviewer Donald E. Dirnberger (Peace Corps/Eastern Caribbean [Antigua, West Indies] 1977-79) served as a curriculum development specialist; a CCV (Crisis Corps [now Response Volunteer]) Honduras 1999) as a project resource specialist; and continues as an AmeriCorps Volunteer, 2021-22, Habitat for Humanity – Metro Denver/new construction project leader.