AMITY TWP., Pa. - A dream that's been decades in the making has finally taken flight. This weekend, Mary Ellen Rodgers of Douglassville proudly signed dozens of copies of her late husband's recently published memoirs, entitled "Fighter Pilot."
"I'm feeling pretty good," Rodgers said. "I'm writing my name so many times."
The collection of memoirs, recently released by Reading-based Aperture Publishing, recounts Frank Rodgers' service as a U.S. Air Force pilot in the Pacific Theater during World War II. The publishers said after reading just a few pages, they knew his was a story that needed to be told.
"It was not the typical veteran's story. It was very candid," said Stephan Wagner, co-owner of Aperture Publishing. "[There was] a lot of detail, and he was very honest about the good and the bad aspects of his experience during the war, which we found refreshing."
Surrounded by her family and eyes brimming with tears, Rodgers reflected on her late husband's life as she held his memories in hand.
"My husband was a brilliant man," she said. "Any place he ever was, he was right in the middle of everything."
Her grandchildren said they couldn't be prouder of their grandfather's legacy or of their grandmother's determination to share his memories with the world.
"Just super happy. Our hearts are overflowing," said Heath Barkhymer said, Rodgers' granddaughter, "Just to see this dream of hers come true [is] so nice. [We are] really grateful for that."
As for Rodgers, she said she is overjoyed, because she's completed her mission and fulfilled her dream, ensuring that her husband's legacy will live on.
"The fact that it is published is a thrill to me, because I just loved him to death," she said.
"Fighter Pilot" will be available for purchase online within the next few weeks.