Monday, April 30, 2012

Turning Swords into Plowshares

Last night I listened to Peggy Reiff Miller speak about the seagoing cowboys, a subject near and dear to her heart. She was asked to speak at the last in a series of Peace and Popcorn events, and the subject was titled Turning Swords into Plowshares.

Peggy and I are in the same writing group and she has devoted the last ten (or more) years of her time researching and writing about the seagoing cowboys. Her historical YA novel, which is phenomenal and will most certainly be on shelves someday, is about a seagoing cowboy who is trying to find his horse.

It was so enlightening to hear stories from real seagoing cowboys, who traveled on ships after WWII taking livestock to countries that were devastated by war. The cowboys who attended the event each shared what they remembered from their trips across the sea. Some common shared threads witnessed by the cowboys included the destruction left behind after war, and the evils of the concentration camps, including the soap making factories, which I had little knowledge of until reading the draft of Peggy's book.

The cowboys got several laughs sharing stories of being seasick. The up and down, teeter-totter feeling of the ship seemed to resonate with them all.

Peggy has done a great service by saving a part of history that would have otherwise been lost. You can read more about her work on her Seagoing Cowboys website. It is a unique and wonderful part of history that you may not know about.

Thanks for stopping by,
Katie M.


Anonymous said...

Is Peggy the one you told me about last week?

Katie M. said...

No, that was a different writer friend. Peggy is a member of my critique group, and actually we have two Peggys, both of whom are excellent writers!