Though I find myself laboring on Labor Day, I sincerely hope that you have avoided a similarly wretched fate. And if you live in New York City, I hope you’ll carve out some time tomorrow evening to swing by Brooklyn’s Union Hall to check out a rare live appearance by your humble narrator.
I’ll be participating in the latest installment of Adult Education, which bills itself as “Brooklyn’s favorite useless lecture series.” This month’s theme is the ever-cheery “War,” which means I’ll be presenting the tale of Pvt. Herman Perry, the man at the heart of my 386-page labor o’ love. Rest assured that this will be no mere reading, but rather a multimedia spectacular replete with images guaranteed to melt your ocular receptors. An example that was left on the cutting-room floor accompanies this post—a couple of American soldiers displaying a Burmese tiger they caught on an off-day. As I describe in the book, such tigers were a constant menace to the men building the Ledo Road. As a colonel from the 45th Engineer General Service Regiment wrote in his diary in June 1944:
Tiger killed soldier in Warazup. Next night badly mauled another soldier and next night killed native—animal apparently forced to dry ground a/c the flood.
There are, of course, few tigers left in the jungled hills that line the Indo-Burmese border. And those that remain are evidently face a new threat in the form of a Burmese businessman with ties to his nation’s ruling junta.