Alan had been working on a manuscript for a nonfiction book and he asked me to consider publishing it. I had just started DriverWorks Ink that January. I fell in love with the story and decided to take a chance on publishing the book, which came to be called The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliot Story. Alan will tell you that after our initial meeting, I sent him home with three months of work to do in rewriting and tightening up the manuscript. We are both glad that he did that extra work because the book has gone on to become a national bestseller, sold to customers in many parts of the world. The Little Coat is also an award-winning book, receiving an Honorable Mention in teh Biography category at the 2010 Hollywood Book Festival, honoring books that would make a great film or movie). Here is a video of Alan Buick talking about his book.
Other great things have happened because of Alan's book:
- The little coat, given by a Canadian soldier to a little Dutch girl in Holland on December 25, 1944, was donated by Bob and Sue Elliott to the Canadian War Museum. In their discussions with Alan Buick, Bob and Sue recognized that their little coat could be a worthy Canadian artifact.
- Bev Tosh, a Calgary artist, was inspired by Bob and Sue's story in The Little Coat book and painted Sue's wedding photo in her exhibit honoring Dutch War Brides.
- DriverWorks Ink has donated more than $4,000 to the Royal Canadian Legion's Dominion Command Poppy Trust from sales of this book. A further $1 per book sold since 2013 is being donated to the Canadian War Museum.
- In 2013, Al and I were privileged to meet Sue Elliott in person while we were enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Europe. Read my blog about that great visit.
- Earlier this month, Al and I were pleased to make a special trip to Calgary, Alberta, to see the little coat itself on display at the Military Museums. The coat was on loan from the Canadian War Museum, to accompany Bev Tosh's Dutch War Brides exhibit.
Here are some photos of the museum and the coat, plus a video I shot of us seeing the coat for the first time:
This Mural of Honour mosaic in the foyer of the Military Museums has 240 panels representing Canada's military history from 1812 to present day.
In these displays at the front entrance area, I imagined a young Bob Elliott, the Canadian tank commander, and his crew making their way through Europe during the Second World War.
This was the reason we visited the Military Museums - The Little Coat:
Here's the video of us seeing the coat for the first time:
And here is the coat at the Military Museums, Calgary - on display there until August 16, 2015:
I was in awe of this beautiful coat.
The buttons on this coat, made from a wool Canadian Army blanket, came from the tunics of the Canadian soldiers.
This is the description for the artifact.
Copies of our book, The Little Coat: The Bob and Sue Elliott Story by Alan J. Buick, sit on a table with other items related to Bev Tosh's exhibit, below.
Outside, on the grounds of the Military Museums, were other interesting exhibits.
This piece of metal came from one of the World Trade Towers destroyed on September 11, 2011 in New York.
Al stood by this collection of tanks to show their actual size. Al is 6'3" tall.
We were glad we had the opportunity to visit this fascinating museum and to see, first-hand, this special little coat.
Thank you to all who take the time and care for these artifacts that remind us of our history which, in some cases, we never want to see repeated.