• Pearl Harbor Horror Story Spiked, Published 71 Years Later by Washington Post
    posted by Terry Greene Sterling at 7 December, 4:06 PM  0 
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    3610995003 70e7d32934 Pearl Harbor Horror Story Spiked, Published 71 Years Later by Washington Post
    Betty McIntosh was a Honolulu reporter  when Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese.  Her editor at the Honolulu Advertiser asked her to write a story about the week after the bombing from a woman’s point of view.

    She did.

    It was too true.

    The editor spiked the story, said women readers would get too scared.  Scared by the truth. Scared by Betty’s incredible writing.

    But 71 years later, The Washington Post ran the story, along with a video interview of McIntosh, who is 97 years old and still smart and very much alive.  In her 71-year-old story, which is a first person account of one woman trying to make sense of the carnage, panic and destruction in the week following the bombings, she visits a hospital emergency room.  She wrote, among other things, that she never knew blood could be so red.

    A great writer, she captured details even though she was clearly and understandably totally freaked out. Here is an excerpt of her story, in The  Washington Post.

    “I went to a bombed store on King Street, where I often, in times past, stopped for a Coke at the cool drug counter.

    Seven little stores, including my drugstore, had nearly completely burned down. Charred, ripply walls, as high as the first story, alone remained to give any hint of where the store had been. At the smashed soda fountain was a half-eaten chocolate sundae. Scorched bonbons were scattered on the sidewalk. There were odd pieces lying in the wreckage, half-burned Christmas cards, on one, the words “Hark the Herald” still visible. There were twisted bedsprings, half-burned mattresses, cans of food, a child’s blackened bicycle, a lunch box, a green raveled sweater, a Bang-Up comic book, ripped awnings.

    I ran out of notepaper and reached down and picked up a charred batch of writing paper, still wet from a fire hose. “

    There is nothing left to say.


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    Bio: Journalist Terry Greene Sterling has lived in Arizona most of her life, and has reported on the political brawls and human tragedies that have long made Arizona the focus of national news. She was raised on an Arizona cattle ranch, and learned to speak Spanish at the same time she learned English. The author of Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone, Sterling has been honored with more than 50 national and regional journalism awards. She was named Virg Hill Journalist of the Year, Arizona’s highest journalism honor, three times. She was a staff writer for Phoenix New Times for 14 years before branching out on her own. She is a contributor for The Daily Beast, and Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Her work has also appeared in The Washington Post, Newsweek.com, Salon.com, Rollingstone.com, The Nieman Narrative Digest, Phoenix Magazine, The Arizona Republic, Arizona Highways, High Country News, and Preservation Magazine. She tweets @tgsterling and blogs about immigration in Arizona at terrygreenesterling.com.


    Website: http://www.terrygreenesterling.com/

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