About Sketches of a Black Cat
Sketches of a Black Cat is the second adaptation of my father’s adventures in the South Pacific as one of the Navy’s Black Cats with VP-54. Originally written as a tribute to him and gift to the family, the concept spawned from a childhood memory. I was just a boy when Dad took me to a basement file cabinet and pulled from it a manilla folder full of sketches — wonderful scenes of planes, jungles, and soldiers. After a few years of secretly sharing the file with childhood friends, one day I found the cabinet locked and I wouldn’t see the artwork again as a young man.
After my father’s death in 2011, the family was relieved to find the album of artwork, but quite surprised to find a trove of WWII memorabilia and writing. I had always felt the artwork deserved a forum of some kind and over the next year, set about using these new found resources to create Sketches of a Black Cat.
The beautiful, new second edition (still in Full Color or B&W) is now one hundred pages longer, filled with additional fresh stories, artwork, photos, and adventures. Sketches of a Black Cat ~ Expanded Edition will interest first time and repeat readers alike.
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“…this book is sure to prove to be an invaluable glimpse into a pilot's daily life. Brilliant in its composition and heart-wrenching in its forthrightness, Miner's compilation is sure to stand the test of time.” - U.S. Review of Books
“Sketches of a Black Cat is a unique and fascinating memoir of a World War II combat aviator ~ with original and previously unpublished sketches and photographs. This artfully crafted book is a must-read for anyone in search of a new and completely different view of war in the Pacific…” - LARKIN SPIVEY military historian and author
“From boxes of notes and drawings comes a book illuminating a WWII pilot’s experiences as part of the Black Cat Squadron…accounts of support missions, rescues of airmen and interactions with indigenous island peoples told in vivid but unembellished detail…" - MIKE FRANCIS the Oregonian
“…A refreshing and insightful look at what it took to be a Navy pilot in the Pacific during WWII…a delightful and easy read… It should be noted that Howard Miner was an excellent artist…Many of these stories are left untold. Fortunately Ron Miner has brought forth a least one gem for us to follow and cherish. - RICHARD C. GESCHKE Vine Voice and Military Writers Society of America
“An inherently fascinating and impressively informative read from cover to cover… Thoroughly 'reader friendly’… Sketches of a Black Cat is unreservedly recommended…” - Midwest Book Review
"Are you ready to truly understand what it meant to be a young man caught up in World War II?…Sketches of a Black Cat should be a required book for all high school history classes…” - Reader’s Favorite
About the author
In the late 60’s, I attended the University of Rhode Island, playing soccer, baseball, and graduating with a B.A. in English and minor in landscape design. In 1979, I began a career as a landscape designer and contractor. The opportunity to pen my father’s memoirs, developing the story from a library of unknown resources, rekindled my passion for writing. I am actively submitting articles about the Black Cats and their saga to magazines around the country.
Dad’s artwork and the book were featured at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in Oregon and again for three months at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas. I am currently in touch with other museums and hope to share his story and artwork at exhibits in as many as will have us.
My wife, Heidi, and I live with our dogs in the Oregon countryside near Salem. Heidi is a retired school teacher and we are both active hikers, gardeners, and photographers.
The Book Shelf
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Here are some outstanding titles written by Indie or local authors that I've become acquainted with at book events or museums. Some of these books remind me of my own experience and tell the story of a parent who served. - Ron
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