Tag Archives: Classes

COLORS AND TEXTURES OF MEXICO

COLORS AND TEXTURES OF MEXICO

Magic and Miracles

Action Painting in Mexico

March 11-18 2017

Jerry Ann Fenter…Instructor and Guide

I’m excited to be offering another art experience in Mexico! This year’s workshop is again located in Melaque, Mexico. Melaque is a beautiful small town in the state of Jalisco on the west coast of Mexico. The class will be held at La Paloma Resort in Melaque right on the water. This year we will focus on some loose, experimental and fun types of drawing and painting that will help you capture the joy and energy of Mexico itself, its colors, its texture and its magic. It will help you to let go, free yourself from any self-consciousness and create your own special kind of art. I will be working alongside all of you as your teacher, your coach and your fellow experimenter. This class is for all levels of experience. Don’t worry if you haven’t done art in years or ever for that matter. I keep the class small.  This year we will be able to get most supplies (paper and paints) in Mexico.  I’ll send suggestions of anything else you might want to bring with you closer to March.

This year we will again be in Melaque during St. Patrick’s Day. There is celebration in town on that day that we can be a part of! The cost of the workshop is $475. (Not including airfare). Housing for the week will be arranged through La Paloma Resort www.lapalomamexico.com/. It will be up to each student to contact Kyla in the office to pay for your stay and choose your room. Mention you are coming for my workshop and you will get a discount. Travel, Art and Great Company plus plenty of time to relax! It’s a promise. You can find my work and my blog at www.jerryfenter.com.

To sign up for the workshop please fill out and send this form and a check for $475 made out to Jerry Ann Fenter. My address is 26 Frontier Road, Appleton, WA. 98602. Questions? Call me at 509-365-5119. My e-mail is fenter@gorge.net. The class will be limited in size so sign up now.

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Way Back in the Woods

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It’s been so long since I posted. I’ve been painting instead of writing. Got into a semi-abstract painting phase and I love it. I have an interesting show in Baker City, Oregon right now at the Short Term Gallery. Baker City is a small town with lots of art and truly creative people. Since I got home from the opening of the show I’ve been reading, walking my dog Cody, wrangling cats and doing a lot of thinking.
I like having a break. I’ve lived in the woods for a long time and am used to being alone. Timber Valley is totally different from Portland, Seattle, The Dalles or Hood River. Sometimes it can seem really lonely when you are fourteen miles up from the Columbia River Gorge and you aren’t a windsurfer, kayaker or fisherman.  The woods and mountain are beautiful.  Lots of places to hike and hang out on the Klickitat River or the Columbia. But if we want to go out for breakfast, lunch or dinner it involvesmaking a plan“. There are no meals to buy within walking distance. The closest actual business  is the Appleton Post Office…with an outhouse and a tiny woodstove. Even it is only open four half-days per week.  There is no Starbucks or even a Taco Bell (my favorite) in Timber Valley.  It’s a 50 minute drive to get to the nearest place to have a meal out.  When we moved up here from Portland years ago I’m sure some of our friends thought we had disappeared into the wild. We are out of sight, unreachable by car especially in the winter, invisible, gone but not forgotten. Everyone is busy.  I know.  I don’t often leave home for Portland to visit either.  Our lives are too fast and complicated even though we would like to keep in touch with everyone. Living this far away from civilization is even harder when you have the curse of slow dial up on your computer.  Because of that most of my life is off line. I know that not being “connected” is unheard of these days.  I have totally accepted it. I try to keep up with what everyone is doing. Believe it our not I am on Facebook. I am on S- L- O- W  Facebook.  For me to write a simple post it takes at least ten times longer than anyone else. The computer keeps timing out. Often it freezes. Any unwanted advertising, or “Like this Page” notifications get so complicated that my computer will sit forever before it downloads anything and usually will just turn off. I’m “timed out”. I must “refresh”. I spend most of my on-line time just waiting for something to happen. But I love to see what my friends are doing…they are so amazing.  I’m beginning to accept the wait just for the news.  Sometimes I feel weird putting my life into short posts for everyone in the universe to read…or  not read but just respond. Facebook sometimes makes me sad for the silliest reasons.  I don’t have a better connection. I don’t have more online friends (I guess over 200 isn’t enough for me).   I don’t get enough likes. Am I crazy? I never know what to post. I have some odd interests that don’t seem to be anything most people want to chat about or share. I guess I’ll have to learn patience, wait, and accept my own slow cyberspace or perhaps get up out of my chair and take a hike!
Bear Wakes Up (acrylic on canvas) 14 x18 175.00
It is bear season in Timber Valley. It’s always bear season in Timber Valley but this year there are more than usual. They have been clearcutting lots of the properties on SDS lands. Log trucks, chain saws, mud and old found tires litter the roads. Think beautiful Doug Firs, tall and elegant, ripped down, cut and stacked on now barren properties. Much land that used to be green and lush is now brown. The lupine is gone, the vetch is gone and all of the ground cover is gone. The animals are all confused. They have to move into new territory, rebuild nests, hives and other homes. Logging companies leave enough green to make it seem “not so bad”. They re-plant baby trees…usually pine instead of Doug Fir…and line many of them up near the highway hoping no one will notice how many are missing. This year our favorite pond, Disappearing Pond, has been so disrupted we only have one nesting pair of ducks and only three ducklings there.  More bears are around this spring. Mother bears and baby bears. Bears up trees and bears climbing up phone poles are seen early in the morning. I haven’t seen our usual bear who steals our crabapples yet. Who knows where he is hanging out now? Maybe he’s thinking of moving to Portland or Seattle.
I’m going to post a couple of my new acrylic pieces for anyone that wants to see them. Remember these are at Short Term Gallery in Baker City if you want to buy one. Hope you “like” this post. I don’t get lots of hits on my website but it is certainly a good place for me to ramble.

A Story From Mexico

Palms Mexico smaller Mexican Time by Jerry Fenter

“Get in the damned car”, barked Richard from the passenger side in the front seat. “This is going to be an adventure!” Richard never just spoke, he barked.

Like a decorated general from the old English Raj he talked to Nancy and me like he was addressing his troops. Car fully loaded we shot out of the parking lot of the Costco in Puerto Vallarta into bumper on bumper traffic. Traffic on the main highway was particularly slow this morning. We passed small accidents. A crowd of people stood in a circle around a crushed ice cream freezer pulled by a bike. It seems the driver had been distracted by what he thought were three people carrying a kicking goat in the lane next to him. Watching the goat and not the road, he’d rear-ended an old rusty Chevy. The impact caused him to fly through the air into oncoming traffic. He bounced off the hood of a tricked out Ford with a decal of Guadalupe on the back window. His bike and its contents were destroyed in the crash. Traffic was stopped. People watched the ruckus from open windows, cigarettes dangling from their lips. Street dogs were having their fill of the sweet melty liquid spilling out of the tiny broken freezer. They lapped it up. They rolled in it.
“I swear I saw them crossing, the goat was kicking and I didn’t want to hit anyone,” the ice cream man explained.
The Chevy driver was pissed. He hadn’t “seen any fuckin’goats or nothing”. Richard didn’t stop. The accident disappeared from view. Richard pulled out his map.

“By map it’s only two hours to San Sebastian.” Richard shoved the tail end of a Costco kosher hot dog into his mouth. “Piece a cake!”
Nancy rolled her eyes. She knew that two hours Mexican time could mean anything. In Mexico time can be bent, go backwards, even stop. Time will always surprise you. We turned left onto an unmarked road just past the Botanical Gardens. The car stumbled up the vertical highway, over topes, past broken parts of huge boulders, some that blocked parts of the road. Each of us took turns moving obstructions.

“And this is the new road,” said Richard, relaxing into the passenger seat while hooking up the new hand held gadget for driving directions he’d just bought.
“Check this out Nancy. It’s called the Tom-Tom. It’s the latest thing in getting to wherever you want to go. No getting lost. Saw it on TV. Picked it up back at Costco.”

Nancy looked hard at the little screened device. Her attention was fully on the gadget in Richard’s hand. I held on tight as the car absently drifted to the left side of the road just missing a noisy large group of crossing chickens. As we rumbled over loose rocks The Tom-Tom guided us with its feminine voice and detailed map. The voice was confident with a strong English accent. You could trust this that voice to get you anywhere.

Trucks full of livestock, cars stuffed with oxygen tanks and old pickups sped downhill, swerving just in time to miss our car. Signs saying PELIGROSO marked hairpin turns. Yet somehow I felt safe. I had moved into a fearless Mexican mode. I was invincible. I had lost all doubt. We had the Tom-Tom and the English lady’s calm reassurance. Also, luck seemed to always stay close to Richard.

An iguana languidly crossed the road. The blazing sun was gone. We had entered the jungle. Unfamiliar plants entwined road signs. We crawled by dwarfed pineapple trees and overloaded banana plants. A mist rose up from the pavement and clouded our windows. I couldn’t get enough air. It was like breathing under water. I cleared my window. Gold light shined out of small openings in the trees like a promise.

The map on the Tom-Tom was harder to follow as we drove higher. Roads on the screen split, turned and even curled backwards where no roads could exist. The calm female voice repeated that we’d missed our turn over and over despite the fact that there was only one way to go and that was straight up.

We were surrounded by jungle. I imagined ancient animals peering through dark branches. Irrational geography confused the real with the unreal.

We drove around potholes as the pavement became cracked and broken. To our right the trees opened up leaving a half moon shaped clearing by the road. We slowed to a crawl. Too our right was an entire traveling carnival alive with dwarves, sideshow characters and workmen trying to push a dilapidated fallen trailer to an upright position out of a deep muddy rut. People appeared from nowhere just to watch. They talked and smoked as Siamese twins tried to wedge a plank under the trailer’s sunken back-end, every careful movement the exact copy of the other’s. The twins whispered to one another as they struggled with the weight.

“Tamales, tortillas, pan dulce,” a birdlike man called out to the crowd hopping from one foot to the other then setting his platter down to spin around and around. People surrounded him. The food was gone.

Nancy and Richard were arguing about directions. The road grew narrow. Moss dripped with moisture as bright pink leaves and dirty speckled lizards fell on the car. So many bugs smashed to death on the windshield made it hard to see. I turned and watched the circus vanish as we rolled up the steep hill.
The screen on the Tom-Tom went blank.
The English lady went silent.

“Shit, let’s get rid of this God damned thing.” Richard rolled down his window and tossed out the Tom-Tom. It vanished, sucked into the shadow of the jungle wall.

The mountain air was fresh and fragrant with mangoes. I could breathe. Above the mist of the jungle the sky was cobalt blue. Two hours turned into four as we crossed a one lane bridge. We looked down. A creek ran under us surrounded by white water. Standing birds lifted their wings and danced near the shore. We had entered a place where magic could happen. Church bells chimed the hour. The road now was cobblestone. The city of San Sebastian Del Oeste shined white with casas de adobe. We were inside living history full of old haciendas, gold and silver mines protecting ghosts from the past, acres of sharp blue agave plants and broken down tequila tasting stands. Bakeries displayed pan dulces fresh from the oven. We passed the Catholic Church in the square, drove another half mile and pulled to a stop. A statue of San Sebastian pierced with arrows shone in the afternoon light. We had arrived at La Galerita de San Sebastian, once a ruined hacienda and now our destination.

Richard’s voice quieted as he and Nancy settled into their private casita. I was alone with the jungle. Tiny birds moved from tree to tree, each telling their own story. Coffee beans brushed against my face. I carefully pulled one from a cluster carefully leaving the stem. Smoke rose. The roasting coffee smelled amazing. The statue of St. Anthony with his tortured eyes watched as I picked up my bag. I stopped at the door of my own casita. Two dark purple orchids shifted then turned toward me from their tree branch. Their spicy aroma teased me as I walked up the steps into my own private sanctuary.

Hi everyone. I thought you might enjoy a story an experience I had in Mexico. I’m hoping to get a few more people to sign up for my painting workshop. This years Mexico Class is in Melaque, Mexico at www.lapalomamexico.com/. The place is beautiful, and so much fun. Check the last post on this website for a sign up sheet. If you have any questions just give me a call at 509-365-5119 or fenter@gorge.net. Our dates are March 14-18, 2016.

Painting in Paradise

WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP MARCH 14-18 2016
JERRY FENTER INSTRUCTOR

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I’m so proud to be offering another wonderful painting workshop in Mexico. This year we will focus on nature, flowers, plants, color and the wonders that you will find in Melaque, Mexico. Melaque is a beautiful small town on the west coast of Mexico. It is a magical place and alive with color, excitement, texture and inspiration for artists of all levels. The workshop will be held at the beautiful La Paloma Resort right on the water. I’ve been painting for over 30 years and will be there alongside you both inside and outside the studio as your teacher and coach. For those of you who are beginning…don’t fear. I keep the size of the class small and will work with you at your own level. For both beginning and experienced students I try to focus on bringing a touch of Mexico into your work. This year we will be in Melaque during St. Patrick’s Day. There is a lot of celebration in the town on that day that we can be a part of! The cost of the workshop is $600. (Not including airfare). Housing for the week will be arranged through La Paloma Resort www.lapalomamexico.com/. It will be up to each student to contact Kyla in the office to pay for your stay and choose your room. Mention you are coming for my workshop and you will get a discount. Travel, Art and Great Company plus plenty of time to relax! It’s a promise.
To sign up for the workshop please fill out and send this form and a check for $600 made out to Jerry Ann Fenter. My address is 26 Frontier Road, Appleton, WA. 98602. Questions? Call me at 509-365-5119. My e-mail is fenter@gorge.net. The class will be limited in size so sign up now.

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(Photo at the top of the page was taken last year during the workshop at the Flower Market in Melaque.)

Magical Mexico Adventure

Happy mid-July everyone. My post is back! Still having a few technical problems but I’m working on them. Since we still have dial-up here in Timber Valley I guess I’ll have to start writing from my favorite coffee shop down by the river.

Great news! From March 21st-28th 2015 I’ve scheduled another teaching event that will have your artistic minds spinning.  During this week I’ll be coaching and teaching a 5 day clinic in Melaque, Mexico. This clinic will explore “Color as a Central Expression of Mexican Life”.  The  small town of Melaque is alive with color, excitement, texture and magic. So we will come together at  one of my favorite places in the world the La Paloma Resort on the west coast of Mexico. To take a look go to www.lapalomamexico.com/. The resort has a beautiful studio and is right on the water.  It is a relaxing and inspiring destination.

It’s never too early to plan.  So I’m writing this .now because it will give you plenty of time to  set aside this week for yourself or for you and your friends to explore color and art with me, Jerry Fenter, as your coach, teacher and guide.  For those new to art…don’t fear.  We can work with watercolor or drawing at your level.  For those more experienced or who have a special area of expertise (all media…for example oils, acrylics, pastels, soft cloth work, drawing, ink, photography etc.)   I will be there to help bring that color into your work with my past experience in Melaque .  This will be a true magical art week to remember. Surprises are everywhere. These dates are before Easter so all local restaurants and sites should be open for us to explore.  Seeing and experiencing is so important in making art.  Also this will be a great adventure.

I will have details in flyer form soon.  Please forward this to anyone you might think is interested.  To  talk to me write to fenter@gorge.net or call 509-365-5119.

Magical Mexico

Magical Mexico

“Lend and Ear and Listen to my Version”

I've got my fare and just a trifle to spare

My mom passed away last week.  I found myself wanting to call her yesterday even though she’s been in St. Anthony Village with dementia for about seven years and wouldn’t even know what a phone was.   We’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but she was a strong and talented woman who loved to dance and listen to music.  Especially 40’s music.  She once was pulled up on stage with the Ritz Brothers to dance with them.  That night she was wearing an angora sweater and the band, acting silly, pretended to pull  fluffs of angora off of their suits the rest of the night.  She was buried at Rose City Cemetery with a view of Stanich’s Restaurant and Sports Bar…something she would like.  She loved northeast Portland, the Rose Festival and living in Oregon.  Born in Nebraska she was with the part of our family that moved out to the Northwest to live in the late 1940’s.  I’ve been trying to write some sort of epitaph for her.  She was a realtor, worked for the US Forest Service and a mother and housewife.  I found all sorts of smalchy poems and epitaphs but found the lyrics from one of her favorite Glenn Miller songs most appropriate.  She adored Glenn Miller and his music.

Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?

(Yes Yes) Track 29

Boy you can give me a shine

(Can you afford to board, the Chattanooga Choo Choo?)

I’ve got my fare

And just a trifle to spare

There’s gonna be a certain party at the station

Satin and Lace

I used to call funny face.

She’s gonna cry

Until I tell her that I’ll  never roam

(So Chattanooga Choo Choo)

Won’t you choo choo me home.

Margaret West Erickson 1924-2012

Thanks to everyone who helped me care for her over the years.  St. Anthony Village was one great “swingin'” place. She had the best care anyone could want.

Swing Kids

 

I think it’s finally showing a little bit of spring here in Timber Valley.  First came a huge windstorm on Monday night.  We had winds of over 65 miles an hour.  That doesn’t happen here often.  One BIG tree fell across Frontier Road and had to be chopped up and moved out of the way of the traffic…as if we had much traffic.  I was inside watching branches fall, calling to Cody to come in before he “got his head bonked with a humongous branch” (my exact words) But he loved the feel of the wind in his face like all of us mountain people.  So he stayed out until he heard the call for treats.  Then he ran inside by the fire.  There was also a 30 degree temperature outside.

Cody enjoys the wind storm

The day after the storm everything started to bloom and push out of the ground.  Solomon Seals, given to me by one of my favorite watercolor students, Nancy Rooper are pushing up.  I really didn’t think they would come up with the weather being what it is here.  Daffodils of course are starting to bloom. Everything is coming alive.  I haven’t planted much yet since the mountain environment changes so quickly.  This year I’m trying some Chinese Lanterns and more Bleeding Hearts.  We have so much shade it’s hard to find space.

First blooms

Miniature gardens are growing everywhere in the front of our cabin.  Little forests of tiny Douglas Firs all coming up at the same time.  I wish I could shrink down and explore these little worlds.

Tiny Doug Firs

Students remember to sign up now for my “Avatar” class at The Dalles Art Center.  Call me with questions at 509-365-5119.

Paint to Celebrate Spring

What a great weekend.  The Dalles Art Center was filled with flowers and food.  Talented students and hard work produced some beautiful outcomes.  The class “Eat, Drink and Paint” was a huge success.  We had a small but mighty group.  In fact we all got so deep into painting, eating and drinking we hardly took any breaks at all!

Nancy, Mary and Joyce brought the most beautiful selection of flowers I’ve ever seen and some of the tastiest food.  I took leftover flowers home so now the cabin finally smells and looks like spring.  Because of the cold weather only the tulips and magnolias are blooming.  I was so impressed by the quality of my students work.  They have all grown so much in the last year.  It  shows how much hard work and patience will pay off in the long run.

We talked about everything you can think of and came up with some great ideas for fundraising for the art center.  

 

The celebration of spring, food and drink will continue next month with a two day workshop at Maryhill Museum.  We’ll be working outdoors near the colorful flower and sculpture gardens on Saturday, June 18th and Sunday, June 19th.  We’ll meet at 11:00 am both days at the picnic tables on the north side of the site.  Please bring your watercolor supplies and sketchbooks, food  and drinks to share.  Painting and a picnic!  We’ll paint until 4:00 pm both days. The cost is $40 per day.  Please sign up and pay early at The Dalles Art Center, 220 East 4th Street, The Dalles, OR 97058.  You can also call to sign up at (541)-296-4759.  I hope you all will join us.  Dress in layers for painting outdoors. 

 I’ll be posting soon about my show at the Dalles Art Center titled “Iconography and Beyond”. 

South of the Border

We knew it was going to be a great week, when we quickly cleared customs, got ourselves a cab, were taken through banana and coconut fields, down dusty colorful streets, past watermelon stands, and palm trees to end up at beautiful La Paloma Resort.

     “South of the border, down Mexico way.  That’s where I fell in love where all the stars above come out to play.”

 When we walked in the doors of the gated gardens, saw the pool, the blue ocean, the hibiscus and lantana plants I felt as if I were returning to my second home. My students and I all could feel the magic of Mexico at that very moment.

  “Well come on let’s go and head off to Mexico. And build our dreams on siestas of the day.  I’ll take my guitar who knows it might get us far and we’ll call each other by our fake names.  You don’t know how lucky we are but it’s you and me in Mexico.”

 We had a wonderful class. We concentrated on the colors of Mexico and watercolor techniques during the day, in the evening we focused on the food, drink, fresh open air on the beach at Bigotes, the crowds at the town square in Melaque preparing for Samana Santa (Easter Week), the helado shop (ice cream) and the kindness of all the people we met.

“Oh Mexico.  It sounds so simple I just got to go. The sun’s so hot I forgot to go home. Oh Mexico. It sounds so sweet with the sun sinking low.”

 

 Excellent dinners were eaten, fish were caught and fried (thanks to John and the great chef at Bigotes).  Shopping was at its best on the long main street in the tiny tourist stores. We bought food for our kitchens at a great grocery called Hawaii. Patti, Marti and Teri made delicious salsa and guacamole often. We were treated to some both wonderful and awful music coming from the streets and the little bar next to La Paloma. Barking dogs, music, the sound of surfing, laughter, crying…it’s all Mexico.

 The surf was very strong at this time of the month. We even got to see the biggest moon of the year while we sat on the beach and watched it come up over the town of Barra.

 Favorite places were found.

 Altars for Mexico were made.

Friends were everywhere .

 A carnival hid itself near the square.

 I taught and painted and played.

  I couldn’t have had better students or better hosts.

What more could one ask for?

 Thanks to everyone.

 I feel like I’ll be on Mexican time until I return next year. The dates are set. March 31st (Saturday) to April 7th (the next Saturday) in 2012! Time to pack your suitcases!

 

 

Thanks to Laura Marling, James Taylor, and Jerrod Nieman for their songs.

Watercolor Painting from Photographs

 

Watercolor Painting from Photographs

Instructor

Jerry Fenter

 

On Saturday and Sunday February 19th and 20th from 11:00am to 4:00pm I will be giving a class on watercolor painting using subject matter from your own photographs.  All levels of students are invited.  We will work on drawing, composition, original approach, contrast, value, and creating a center of interest.  This is a fun way to spend a winter weekend.

 The class will cost $40.00 per day.  Pay and sign up early at The Dalles Art Center at 541-296-4759.  The art center will have a supply list if you don’t already have one.  Please in addition to your supplies bring a few of your favorite old or new pictures to work from.  Snapshots of figures or animals would be great.  You may get some great presents out of this for your friends and family.  Check out my work on this site or on the Attic Gallery site www.atticgallery.com

I hope lots of you will make the class. This week I’ve been working in my head, conjuring up ideas for new paintings.  I also just finished a commission that was lots of fun to do.  I do a lot of my work by commission.  I’ll be starting another one in the next couple of weeks.  If you’re interested in having me do a commission for you in watercolor or acrylic just let me know.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  I have done most every kind of commission you could imagine and some that I’m pretty sure you couldn’t. Parents, families,and animals (from dogs to raccoons, cats to goldfish).  The piece shown at the top of this post was done for a group of good friends who live in Arizona.  The painting represents the strong friendship among the women and portrays something unique and important about each one.  The group hired me to paint them.  When the painting was done I did giclee prints (enough for all of them) and then they had a contest to see who got the original to hang on her wall.  It was lots of fun and lots of work meeting each woman and photographing them before actually doing the piece.  I’ve also done lots of family portraits, pet portraits, horse portraits and club portraits.  Of course commissions are done in my crazy style and are done with complete cooperation with the person who hires me.  For example…if you want a dog portrait, you could send me a picture of your dog and his/her toys, list favorite things they like to do and in general tell me about them.  I can also take photos myself if am close enough.  I use all of the gathered information and create a portrait.  SO a horse portrait won’t look exactly like the portraits you might see at the Kentucky Derby.  They all have my own style and twist to them.  In other words they don’t look like I took a picture.  I add all of my own little inspirations and thoughts about the subject and then go to town!

The piece above was commissioned by the Trout Lake Art’s Festival a few years ago and was used as their poster.  Never fear.  My mind can come up with lots of ideas and can help you to create great gifts for anyone you might have in mind.  Support the Timber Valley Artist….hire me to do a commission for you or your workplace! 

 I’ve been engrossed in a great book.  The title is Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  She wrote the book Seabiscuit .  I have been totally engaged in the story of Lieutenant Louis Zamperini, his early years, his years fighting the Japanese in the Pacific,and his amazing survival of events like being adrift in the ocean after his B-24 was shot down. Sharks are involved and Hillenbrand gives one of the best descriptions of the Japanese POW camps that I have ever read.  I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in WWII.  It’s quite suspenseful and totally true.  If any of you would like to recommend books or movies I’d love to have you leave your choices in comments. 

So stay warm.  I hope all of my friends and family in the midwest are inside by their fireplaces like I am.