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Time In the Prop Blast by Emmet D. Edwards, Jr.

prop blastWhen Emmet Edwards was eighteen years old, he took a job at the Singer Sewing Center in Washington, D.C. As a sewing machine repairman, it was Edwards’ job to take apart, clean, and reassemble any faulty or problematic units. He was so efficient at doing this that his superiors promoted him to Assistant Manager less than a week after starting at the Sewing Center. Part of his promotion was the use of a company car – which Edwards promptly crashed into a tree, thus ending his quick rise through the ranks. But it turns out that Edwards had quite a few more ranks to climb, this time in the military. In “Time In the Prop Blast,” we get just a glimpse of the enthusiasm, dedication, and panache that Edwards displays toward all things in life, including his dear wife Ruth. A young man’s (admittedly ambitious) dream of setting foot on the moon propels him on a path toward higher and higher thrills and successes. Soon, jumping out of a fast-moving plane becomes just another day at the office for Edwards – the true difficulty reveals itself to be strengthening and maintaining the relationship between husband and wife.

“Prop blast” is the term used to describe the brief, harsh gust of air that pummels into paratroopers as they exit the aircraft, and this book strikes the reader much in the same way. Edwards’s account of his own life his surprisingly clear and unbiased, like a breath of fresh air. There is little repainting of the past; rather, all of the author’s errors and shortcomings show through like cracks in a venerated home or church. And really, that’s what makes “Time In the Prop Blast” so compelling. Edwards’s purpose in writing down his memories is less about educating readers than it is about preserving his remarkable tale of growth and self-discovery. What’s more, this autobiography stands to Edwards as a lengthy love letter to his wife, who sadly passed away some time ago. Readers will surely be inspired by this book not only to work harder, but to love harder. Because in the end, it is our relationships with our loved ones that make us who we are.

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