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First cousin to James Street, author of ten best selling novels—four of which were made into Hollywood films—Thomas Street felt a passion for story telling. He delighted in telling stories to friends and, in more private moments, to my sisters and I. But there was one story he told only to himself.
My sisters I and often fell asleep at night to the sound of him click-clacking away on his Royal typewriter, writing and rewriting. In my earliest memories I see my father sitting at the dining room table surrounded by stacks of red-marked onionskin pages. A labor of love, the manuscript took him decades to complete, through joy, frustrations and tears and with the unwavering support of my mother, Frances. The story draws its life from my father’s 26 years of service in the United States Air Force, that included World War II, the Korean War and peacetime stations in Hawaii, England, Italy, and Japan.
Waiting for his editor to finalize the manuscript, my father passed away on a cold Saturday in January, 1976. Two days later the editor handed his manuscript to me, a teenager, and overwhelmed by loss and sadness, I set it aside with an unbroken promise to someday realize my father’s dream of publishing No Road Back. For thirty-six years the story existed only on onionskin. Now, in 2012, it finally appears in print.