Thumbs Up, V for Victory, I Love You






Norm Benedict, class ’55 has just released his memoir, "Thumbs Up, V for Victory, I Love You", (the title comes from an animated phrase his father shared with him during the war years,) chronicles this special time, from the early 1940's to the mid-50's.



 Norm Benedict with his new book 

"When my three closest male friends and I, one with whom I ventured all the way through the halls of the Education Building from Kindergarten through the 12th grade, left the state to attend Universities in Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut and Massachusetts, little did I realize I would later be encouraged to write what became a 275-page memoir about what it was like to have grown up in Columbia, Missouri in the 1940’s and 1950’s.

This book, which is already receiving more attention than we anticipated, is not only an anecdotal 14-year journey through a special time, it’s a tribute to my parents, my teachers, forever friends and others who helped shape the world around me. As those of you who shared this time with me know, growing up in this special town was a privilege – one most of us were not aware of until we were well into adulthood.

The book covers what our town was like then, how the University was so much a part of our lives, how our families helped shape us, how our school and the teachers who taught us, were so critical to the incredible upbringing most of us received, and how girls and boys slowly became aware of each other as we grew into young women and men.Of the three to whom I’ve dedicated the book, John Heinberg was the catalyst. He’s the one who kept the letters which began the conversation so many years ago that led to this, and pushed me (as he always did!) to begin writing. I began taking notes shortly after Brian Dickinson died in 2002, and knew the time was imminent when John was near death. When Tom Brady and I were with John in DC the week before he died, as we were leaving, John took my hand in his, as he lay on his bed, and pulled me forward. When our heads were just inches apart, he whispered “don’t forget the book!” and I said I would not. Then he squeezed my hand and said “Love you”. We returned two weeks later to deliver our eulogies at his memorial." - Norm Benedict

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Charley Blackmore

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