Lamb Talks ‘Love Letters’

By Steven Libowitz   |   September 17, 2020
Peggy O’Toole Lambplumbed her own family history for her latest nonfiction book, Darling – Love Letters from WWII

Longtime Santa Barbara writer Peggy O’Toole Lamb plumbed her own family history for her latest nonfiction book, Darling – Love Letters from WWII. The alumnus of UC Santa Barbara’s Teacher Education Program researched the letters that her uncle Frank J. Foster wrote to her aunt Catherine during WWII when he fought in the European Theater as a First Lieutenant in Patton’s Third Army. Catherine kept them hidden in a tin box that wasn’t found until after her death in 2015. During the war, the soldiers’ letters were censored for security reasons, so Frank’s communication reveals little about the conflict and instead focusing on his love and longing for home and family. Frank had lived in an orphanage as a child and always wanted a family and he feared he may not return to his wife and child. But after being conscripted into the army, he embraced his duty to his country and was determined to fight for freedom against the Nazis despite having had to leave his new wife and their newborn son after only holding his child for an hour in the hospital.

The missives spared his wife the gruesome details of war, instead sharing stories of camaraderie, the beautiful countryside, and his longing for her and his son. The book provides the details he left out as author Lamb researched the classified Army Morning Reports to detail the date and location of Frank’s battalion, the 546th A.A.A., during the war, and gathered information from Patton’s writings and diary and the Third Army’s After-Action Reports to find what had happened during the battles and campaigns, cross-referenced with the dates of his letters. Lamb uses the letters to look through Frank’s lens and writes as if he is telling the story, expressing feelings of happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, and love.

Lamb will hold a virtual author talk about Darling – Love Letters from WWII at

6:30 pm on Thursday, September 17, hosted by Chaucer’s Books on Zoom. Visit for more information.

Parting Ways Arrives

Readings with Friends presents a world premiere reading of Parting Ways, Edward Giron’s original work about dealing with the past in the present, as people from two different perspectives meet unexpectedly at a cemetery. Paul Canter and Felicia Hall star in the two-hander directed by E Bonnie Lewis and produced by Montecito resident Jerry Oshinsky over Zoom ( at 7 pm on Wednesday, September 23. Admission is free. Visit for details.

Bigfoot on the Big Screen

Saving Sasquatch, this week’s SBIFF Film Talk, is nominally categorized as a short documentary, but perhaps it might also be served by falling under fantasy, depending upon your point of view about the reported big apes. Justin Minor and Alberto Lopez co-directed the 18-minute film that introduces us to the researchers working to bring exposure to the environmental threats facing one of North America’s most enduring legends: Bigfoot. The tongue-in-cheek tagline might sum it up best: Just because a species hasn’t been discovered yet doesn’t mean it can’t be endangered. Visit to register to join Minor and Lopez in conversation with SBIFF senior programmer Mickey Duzdevich at 6 pm this Thursday, September 17, and be sure to watch the 2015 movie in advance at

Rosebud Reaches Out

SBIFF is inviting college students to enroll in its free fall 2020 Rosebud program. The so-called Rosebuddies get a chance to give their film education a serious upgrade via exclusive access to 20-plus sneak preview screenings of the year’s best films, followed by Q&As with the filmmakers. In 2019, that included Bong Joon Ho, Greta Gerwig, Adam Sandler, and many others. Students can also add a research component to receive credits through Roger Durling’s Independent Study Course at SBCC. Visit for more information and to apply; the deadline is October 1.


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