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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Football Flyboy: 1st Lt. Bill Cannon Piloting More Than His Own Aircraft is an engaging account of a man and his family as told by his daughter, Lisa Reinicke. Not unlike many young Americans during World War II, Bill left behind his football hero days in a small town in Oklahoma, married his high school sweetheart, and went off to war as a cargo and troop transport pilot. Using the letters he wrote home to his bride as the connective tissue in the broader story of his life, and adding photographs, news articles, documents, poetry, and even family recipes, Reinicke portrays the down-to-earth, genuinely good person her father was and the adventurous and sometimes surprising family from which he came. This is a memoir of a military aviator, a husband, a brother, a son, and a father that will have you laughing one minute and trying not to cry the next.
In Football Flyboy, Reinicke brings us into the heart of the Cannon family in an honest and frank way. Through a wonderfully written narrative, the reader tastes the food, feels the loneliness, celebrates the love, and experiences the sad and the poignant. Reinicke doesn’t shy away from uncomfortable topics as she weaves the “then” with the “now.” “He was mischievous and fun, naughty but likable, with a big smile that accompanied a big ego,” she writes of her father. “Being a good person didn’t mean that he or she was perfect. Being a good person meant that you did the right thing when the chips were on the table.” Over his lifetime, Bill Cannon proved to be a very good person. An entertaining and emotionally evocative read. Highly recommended.