The Fort Dodge Public Library will host an authors' book talk and book signing at 2 p.m. on Thursday. The book, "My Side of the Story," by G. Warren Collier, of Durant, and Judy Collier Johnson, of Manson, tells of Collier's World War II experiences in Europe.
The book covers the time he spent in boot camp, advanced training as a truck driver, his journey to England, and the action he saw in artillery in France, Belgium, Luxemburg and Germany. While he served, he was a command car driver for the captain of his company and also the company clerk, since he was the only soldier who could type.
Collier describes the every day lives of soldiers behind the front lines and the civilians' ways of life during a war that engulfed them.
Johnson used letters that Collier sent home to his parents as the focal point of the story, added Collier's additional memories of those activities recalled from the letters, and many others he recalled quite clearly almost 70 years later. Johnson did the writing as her father told his stories, organized all the letters and recollections, and then edited the final manuscript.
Books will be available at the book talk and the authors will sign copies. Books are $11.95 for soft cover and $12.95 for hard cover.
Collier was born in1921, and raised on a farm two miles south of Durant. He graduated from Wilton High School where he played football; then he attended a short course at Iowa State University. After a stint in the Army, he began dairy farming with his wife, Miriam, on a farm that adjoined his parents' land. It was there that they raised and educated their six children. Collier is retired and living in the house where he was born.
Judy Collier Johnson is the eldest of the Collier clan. She graduated from Durant High School in 1965 and earned a degree in education from Morningside College in Sioux City in 1969. She taught for two years at what was then North Junior High, in Fort Dodge. The Johnson family moved to Manson, where Judy taught high school language arts, speech and drama for 20 years, retiring due to health issues. She and husband Doug have two children and two grandchildren.