September 12, 2012 - Curt Iles

Author Curt Iles' latest book was written on the porch of his family's homestead in Dry Creek.

"I heard so many stories from this very porch about when the soldiers were here," said Iles.  "My dad, my grandparents, even my great-grandparents talked about soldiers being camped out in this area and coming to get food and visit and play music together.  So, I wrote this book on this porch, with this house in mind."

Based on the famous war maneuvers that took over Beauregard Parish just before World War 2, "A Spent Bullet" is historical fiction about a note that is tossed to a DeRidder girl in August of 1941.

"Soldiers would take an M-1 cartridge and put their name and address on a piece of paper and throw it at pretty girls.  Now the first time I heard that, I thought, "no way."  But I've met several people that tell me stories of couples that met because of a tossed bullet."

Iles seems to think that Southwest Louisiana helped win the war by it's contribution through the maneuvers.  The area was chosen because of rough terrain, low civilian population and large land plots owned by the government.

"A lot of things were tried out:  the Jeep, a lot of different tactics, but mainly who could lead an army and who couldn't.  Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower became famous during this time."

For his contribution to the history of Beauregard Parish, we're making Curt Iles this week's Hometown Patriot.

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