Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thayer Avenue Setting for New Work of Fiction Set in WW II

Last year New York author Cheryl A. Pula contacted me inquiring about an appropriate street in Silver SPring for the protagonist of her planned book, "The Ragged Irregulars:  The Eighth Air Force Series, Book Two." to live on.

Her character, Kelly Davenport, is an 18-year old bombardier with the 8th Air Force, the base's resident genius (IQ 189), and a Princeton graduate with a major in nuclear physics. The character is based on a real WW II veteran that the author interviewed.

Ms. Pula needed a WW II-era middle class neighborhood within walking distance of Montgomery Blair High School, from where Davenport graduated. She chose Silver Spring because she always liked the name of the town.  "My brother taught at Catholic University in D.C. for a while. My niece and her family are from Lanham, but just recently moved to Columbia, MD, so I am familiar with the modern day city, but I imagine it has changed immensely since WW II," Pula told me last year.

While Silver Spring's Central Business District has certainly changed over the past sixty plus years, I suggested that an excellent location for her character to live would be on Thayer Avenue in the Silver Spring Park, a neighborhood that physically has seen very few changes to its building stock.
Plated in 1904, it is still a tree-filled neighborhood sprinkled with bungalows and four squares and is within easy walking distance of MBHS. Oh, and the fact that I live in one of those bungalows...on Thayer Avenue.

I received a copy of the book yesterday in the mail and was tickled to see chapter one titled "Friday, 11 September 1936 Michael Davenport Residence, Thayer Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland." As far as I'm concerned, the Davenports lived in my house!