Do yourself a favor. If you want to see how it’s done, check out Dave Barry’s solid little story about legendary WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle and Dana, Ind., the hometown town struggling to keep Mr. Pyle’s memory alive.
Consider, for example:
Dana is learning the familiar lesson that the famous are not forever so; names slip from collective memory, to be replaced by other names also destined for the tip of our tongues, and then gone. Who remembers, say, Wheeler and Woolsey, the wacky comedy team of the 1930s; or Irvin S. Cobb, a cigar-chomping humorist as well known as Will Rogers in his day; or the Dionne quintuplets, international sensations.
But Ernie Pyle was not just famous; he mattered.
Not too much. Not too little. Mr. Barry sinks his hook in the first sentence and keeps you caring about the Hoosiers with the big hearts…all the way to the end.
He gets out of the way. No dazzling distractions. No lofty arguments or self-important bloviations.
Just good, solid writing, worthy of Mr. Barry’s subject.