Why I read it: Impulse buy. I saw it as yet another story in the biggest story of them all, World War II.
Summary: A small town train station is turned into a place of joy for America's military men as they cross the country on troop trains in World War II.
My Thoughts: So, what happened in North Platte, Nebraska, in World War II? Meet just about any veteran you meet (sadly, they are almost all gone), and he will tell you.
As a stop on the east-west rail line across the country, the North Platte station suddenly became a place that just about every serviceman knew. He had a precious few minutes to get to know it, but the locals were ready.
They set up the train station as a canteen, and stocked it with whatever they could make: coffee, pleasant sandwiches, cake,s pies and more. The local communities took turns manning - or womanning, technically - the canteen, making sure that every train, sometimes as many as 32 per day, was met, with smiles, positive vibes and home style nourishment for young men with the most uncertain of futures.
Bob Greene went to find it, and found it was gone. But the people were there, and the spirit lived on. He let them tell their own story, in this partial oral history of the North Platte Canteen, and sought the men who went through and made it home to tell the story of the miracle they witnessed in Nebraska.
If you have read and are a fan of The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim Defede, you will love this book. It's as feel-good as it gets.