Dedication Pays Off…

February 02, 2020


Author’s Note: We have changed the name of book two in Danny Davis’ saga to Virtue in War (we were previously calling it The Blade The Blood The Bigotry.)

In 1998, Tom Brokaw dedicated an entire book to the generation of people who persevered through the Great Depression and fought during World War II, calling his book (and these people) The Greatest Generation.

As depicted in a description of his book, Brokaw “brings to life the extraordinary stories of a generation that gave new meaning to courage, sacrifice, and honor.”

He tells the stories of men and women who gave so much and asked for so little, and each in his/her own way, those he featured in his book were heroes. Emerging from a time of poverty and desperation and moving into a time of war, the people of that era, both young and old, had seen a world that they needed to fight for, both personally and collectively.

In Honed Virtue, you saw Danny and Ito, two young boys who became like brothers, not only survive, but thrive with a business they created together. They learned the art of making knives, and invented the DISKnife, which was revolutionary for this time — not only for the quality of the knives, but for the age of the boys making them. They were both barely in high school when their knives were praised and recognized for their purpose and durability.

The success the boys experienced in Honed Virtue continues in my second book, Virtue in War. But even bigger than their success is the fact that the boys’ dedication to the process, to the knife, and eventually to their country, is pivotal in my second book, which exemplifies the very same characteristics featured in The Greatest Generations, one of the greatest books of all times.

This excerpt from Virtue in War, shows not only the boys’ dedication to making 10,000 knives for the military, but the support they received from a special captain named Captain Jacobs — or “Dead-Eye Jake” as Danny and Ito called him — when they first met him years earlier at the traveling circus.

Sean outlined the project. “Starting now, we’ll be working 24/7 on this project. Let’s be perfectly clear about this: we’ll work three shifts of eight hours each until 10,000 of these blades are finished. Delivery will be made to Danny in four separate shipments, so he can be doing the essential tempering. They’ll be brought back to us for the final sharpening and polishing.” Sean rightly assumed his workers would have the same reluctance that he felt taking orders from a ‘snot-nosed kid,’ but he cautioned them: “Each of you is an expert with years of experience, but you’re asked to follow Danny’s procedures exactly. Don’t improvise or take any short cuts. We have time enough to do everything right, but there isn’t time for even one omission or mistake!”

       The remainder of the day, Danny made throwing knives, and each man followed through with him individually. In the meantime, the machine shop was producing the needed hammers, anvils, shears, and other equipment. Danny had never seen such quick and accurate work being done before. By two in the afternoon, three additional stations had been established, and Danny was able to watch each man at work making a blade.

       “You men are great! I hope you won’t mind that I’ve watched because I have so much to learn.” For all his stunning accomplishments for a boy still a sophomore in high school, Danny retained a sense of humility when others might have flaunted their success. Arrogance was just not in his nature.

       “Don’t you worry, Danny; we’ll have these knives in your hands for tempering ahead of time,” Sean said. “We’re getting a head start on it right now. Within a couple of hours, we’ll have six production stations operating. Right, lads?”

       A man named Oscar added, “No shortcuts taken by any of us. We work rapidly, but carefully, and we take pride in our work.”

       When Danny boarded the military plane to return home, 700 throwing knives were on board with him.

The work that Danny and Ito did combined with the support they received from the military, showcases what many people did during this era — they survived and persevered — no matter what their age.



“Honed Virtue caught my interest right from the start. I loved the interaction… Back in the 1930s, things were tough and kids had to grow up fast. The closeness of the two families was very natural and ethnic backgrounds did not matter. They learned from each other. We should have more of that in this day and age… …very entertaining and kept my Interest… enticed me to want to read the next book to find out what will happen… Two thumbs. It was refreshing and delightful.”

-Barbara Kaufhold Licensed Massage Therapist

5 Stars - Wonderful Insight into Growing Up During The Great Depression. I so enjoyed this book! The story of this young man growing up in rural Oregon during the Great Depression was absolutely spot-on. It echoed my family’s oral tradition as well as stories from my own youth.The story is so well told that I became totally invested in it by the end of the first chapter. It was such a page-turner that I made myself take breaks so that I could savor the story. I can’t wait to read the rest of this young man’s story along with Ito and his other friends. The next book in the series can’t come quickly enough for me. This author’s writing style is very easy to absorb. His segues into the background of the other characters feels seamless. The characters, their emotions and their conversations ring absolutely correct. This book will be in my permanent ‘Keepers’ collection. I will be reading all of this author’s work.”

-Janet R. Graham Water Quality Control Analyst