Rapture Garden April 2014

Cut thick vines in sun below tall pine and silver maple shadow.


Inhale intoxicating fumes from golden Brugmanzia angel trumpets and imagine them play Mozart horn concerto.


Bushy tailed husky brown and white squirrels feast on peanut feeder below while brilliant blues scrub jays cackle and swoop in couples to bird feeder tray above.


Plant scarlet acacias, purple, red, yellow, and white rose bushes and

spray garden with rainbows.


Bold yellow finches feast on black seed feeders.


Scarlet necked hummingbirds dart in pairs after marking territory with aerobatic swoops and poke long beaks into red and yellow sugar water bird feeders.


Taste dark green rosemary, light green spearmint and purple-plumed Mexican sage and smell their aromas. Rabbits scoot when I draw near.


Elongated entangled string of dark neon blue and bright pulsating purple Morning Glories at crest of sparkling silver fence separate Rapture Garden from verdant playing field.


Lift leaves and spread branches of peach, purple plum, orange apricot, and bright golden grapefruit dancers.


Caress their fruit, ravish their flesh, and lick their lush juices.


Savor harmonic symphony of fragrances, hues, and tastes that

stagger and spark my senses.


Energizes my spirit.


Nature lavishes me.




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Book Review of All the Difference from Author USNA Class of ’71


Hello Dan,


Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your book.  I jotted down a few things that resonated for me.


My dad was a Beta at University of Cincinnati.


Reef Points!  How can we ever forget them!

Naval Academy indoctrination of plebes in etiquette

Rifle range.  Who can forget those Marines!Scientist CliffsTarget for BB gun


Heinz Lenz was still there for me, too.  (I think he died only in the last couple of years?)


Joe Duff.  He still coached baseball, but he and I never crossed paths.  I made the plebe and varsity sailing teams while I was there (1967-1971), but was not the athlete you were.  But those T-tables plebe year were a Godsend!  And for the sailing team, it was for BOTH fall and spring sets.


Joe Bellino.  I loved watching those games.  And Roger Staubach, how lucky you were to be there during his era, too.  Roger came and talked at our pep rally in 1967 before the Army/Navy game.  (He was trying to make it with the Cowboys at that time.)  We won that year and received "carry on" like you did.

Bancroft Hall Mishipman in Whites parading to meal

Like you, I thoroughly enjoyed being on the "plebe detail" second class year.  As luck would have it, the very next summer the Academy decided to put first class in charge of the detail, so I got to do it again!

Bancroft Hall USNA 1960  

Pensacola.  Great times!  I certainly wasn't the "ace of the base," but finished high enough (4 of 30 that week) to choose any pipeline I wanted (helos, jets, or props)---and they were all open that week.

Vigilante Clamshell Cockpits opened

My A-7 primary instructor  in T-34's nearly shot me for picking helos, but guys from '68 and '69 were telling us how much fun they were having flying them (while we were still back at the Academy).  Plus, I found that whenever I climbed above 5000 feet, I lost the real sensation of flying.  I also found that to be true as a second class midshipman flying in the back of an F-4 at Oceana (the "Diamondbacks").  In helos I knew I would spend most of my flying career at 500 feet and below.  (In Desert Storm we frequently flew at 10 feet and as fast as that Blackhawk would go!)  I never regretted my decision.


Army helo pilot Hugh Thompson.  What courage!  (I used his example in my first book, Inspiring Leadership: Character and Ethics Matter, now used in the Leadership/Ethics curricula at Villanova and Regent Universities.)

Vietnam Hugh Thomspon forgotten hero

Olongapo!  Amazing place.  If you closed your eyes, you actually thought the Rolling Stones were playing---or any other big name group for that matter.  And those kids diving for pesos!  The helo hangout was the Roofadora Club, as I recall.

CHAPTER 27-Y RA5C landing on aircraft carrier 1965

Our helo squadron aboard the USS Constellation in 1974 made three daily trips ("liberty runs") to Bagio, Manila, and Clark AFB while we were in port at Cubi Point/Subic.  We charged a dollar per person (which went to the rec fund).  Needless to say, we were the most popular squadron on the ship, especially among the Filipino stewards!  LOL.

Cesar Chavez and dogs Huelga and Boycott

And last but certainly far from least, your amazing work as a lawyer for the UFW.  What a legacy for you!  You can be justifiably proud of those years!


Anyway, Dan, thought you should know how much I enjoyed your book.  One of these days we'll have to meet for lunch.


All the best,

Stew Fisher (USNA '71)

book cover all the difference                 [contact-form][contact-field label='Name' type='name' required='1'/][contact-field label='Email' type='email' required='1'/][contact-field label='Website' type='url'/][contact-field label='Comment' type='textarea' required='1'/][/contact-form]

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LA Times Festival of Books: Adventure, Joy, and Distress

My introduction to the Festival of Books began as a herculean commute that soon resonated with joy and terminated in a frightful episode. A two hour slot awaited me for the Independent Writers of Southern California (IWOSC) Booth 131. After hiking with my wife, Joan, and two retrievers: Barkley, a Chocolate Lab, and Ginger, a Golden Retriever for an hour, I spent another hour in my garden, removed weeds, planted two peonies and a pink rose bush, and spread fertilizer throughout in an effort to rejuvenate a few flowers that had wilted.

At half-past noon, I gathered four new copies of my book, and marketing materials into a back pack, and set off to Costco for a fill up on gas. The line was atrocious but I breathed in peace and joy while I listened to KUSC classical music until my turn finally came. The traffic was horrendous on the 5 and knew by the time I turned toward the USC Campus on the 110, I would be lucky to arrive by 2PM at Exposition Park, when I was supposed to be in the booth. But, when I came to Exposition Blvd., the vehicles crept like a snail so I turned back in the lane to go to the next off-ramp, Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in hopes of a quick reprieve. Unfortunately only one car per light turned but at least I wasn’t behind fifty cars waiting to turn. My GPS said I should arrive by 2:05 not figuring time to find parking and walk to my assignment.

Travel on to Figueroa Blvd. was worse than ever. In ten minutes I finally came to a parking structure after by-passing lots that advertised $30! Unfortunately, the structure was private so I turned and departed and looked for parking meters on Figueroa. My car passed the USC Campus at the 3800 block and found a meter spot available, used my credit card, and for $2.00 breathed in one positive moment. Quickly walking back toward Campus I asked a college-aged person in a tee-shirt with a crew-cut I correctly sized up as a USC student, “Where is the quickest way to the Book Festival?”

“Straight ahead until you come to a gate. Turn right and go straight.”

“Thanks, friend.”

After what seemed an eternity, I found the Festival but the Booths were marked in the 500’s on one side and 700’s on the other. A spokesperson in a large stage with many people behind her looked informed and intelligent.

“Do you know where Booth 131 is?”

“We are 128 so it must be there,” she said pointing to my right.

I walked to the first booth but it was 141 and each one next was higher. I turned right and proceeded up a quadrangle and noticed a man with a straw hat and a badge. He directed me to 139 that allowed my arrival at 2:30.

Fortunately, two IWOSC members were seated and busy with the public. Covered with sweat, I introduced myself and apologized for lateness. They said they understood as I unloaded my backpack, arranged my promotional materials, and four of my books.

A number of interesting people arrived that picked up my depleted spirits from the hassle I had just experienced. One was a young husky man, Aman, from India. He placed a book before me that included the term “Hero” in large letters on the cover.

Hi Aman, “What is your book about?”

“My journey from poverty to an education and English competence. A publisher in Washington paid all my expenses, and sent me to the Festival to market my memoir.”

“You used the term ‘Hero’ on your cover. Did you discuss that with your publisher?”

"Yes, because  he wanted me to use the term to promote the book.”

“My book is also a memoir and some people referred to me as a hero, but I did not want to use that term, as after a critique by a creative writing professor, he suggested even if you deny you were a hero, you have planted that term and it would detract from the story. In my last chapter, the Afterward, I removed the sentence that said "I was no hero” but explained my advice to readers in this way:”

Once I found a path that consumed me with passion I aimed as high as I could. No matter what confronts the reader, my story demonstrates an ordinary person can survive major conflicts, disappointments, injuries, risk of death, and still flourish. If I could wander through that minefield and avoid a mortal blow, anyone with determination can find fulfillment. The indispensable ingredients are feeling enthusiasm for whatever path you choose, having a worthy purpose, and living your life to the fullest.

“I see your point,"  he said, "But my life and yours are very different. My people see me as a hero and that makes me glad. My book, like yours, inspires them.”

“Thanks for sharing that thought for I am sure you will stimulate many to improve and find a path.”

A tall doctor with a straw hat and blues eyes behind glasses with a military background, approached. “Are you a writer?” I asked. “Yes, and I have a finished manuscript ready for publication many publishers like, but I’m not sure who to use.” “Please look at ‘Writer Beware’ by Victoria Strauss. She exposes scammers every week on her excellent blog. I have seen many cases where publishers promise the world and keep taking money from disappointed writers who eventually complain and often file lawsuits to retrieve their losses from fraud.” “That’s an excellent idea.” “What is your book about?”

“Medical procedures I discovered while in the Arctic. What theme does yours cover, Dan?”

“From a pawn in the military to a civil rights attorney for the poor and powerless.”

“Let me look through the book. Does it have pictures?”

“Yes, and with forty chapters, I used forty pictures.”

“The publishers wanted to really raise their prices for more than five.”

“For me the price was worth it because in a memoir pictures reveal many changes in a child, teenager, young adult, and professional that enhance the story better than thousands of words.”

“I agree. Thanks, Dan.”

A tall handsome African American man with a two year-old child whose hair shot up a foot above her head in silky curls tied with a red ribbon, wheeled her in a carriage to our booth.

“What is your lovely child’s name?” I asked.

“Aisha,” said the smiling man in a blue sport shirt.

“Are you a writer?”

“No. I wanted to show my daughter what a book festival was like in LA.”

“There are many children’s books here and a strong interest in that field. I’m sure you will find many she'll like.” The child gave me a warm smile that lit up her face and mine with joy.

I looked at my watch and realized it was 4 PM and my car was only metered for twenty more minutes. Just then Ruth arrived with her marvelous nutrition book and I said, “Hi Ruth. You are just in time to relieve me. We are always either together at the IWOSC booth before or afterwards. Have fun. It’s an interesting crowd of readers and writers.”

“Thanks, Dan. Is this your water?”

“Oh yes, I spilled it just when I moved my backpack, Sorry.”

I sped off in the direction I thought was towards Figueroa Street. But no one could assure me I was headed in the right direction after asking five people affiliated with the Festival. Finally I spied what looked like a student who assured me Figueroa was straight ahead.

I arrived at Figueroa at 3700 block and remembered the last address number I had seen was 2700 on my way to find parking. These were very long blocks, the sun was beating down, and only ten minutes remained before my time expired. Hustling fast I made it to a sign I recalled that displayed “Felix the Cat.” That was at the 3200 block! Sweat poured down my face, my chest heaved, and my confidence waned. Finally at twenty past four I arrived at the 2700 block, turned right and went to an office opposite where I thought I had left my car. My car was not there. I panicked inside and wondered how this could have happened? After I entered the office, a man at a desk asked “What can I do for you?”

“I think my car has been stolen. I parked it just outside your office and now it’s gone.”

“Show me exactly where you parked it.”

A large grey van parked where I remember leaving my car and pointed, “Right there where the van is.”

“Are you certain?”

I looked again and noticed there were no parking meters on the street! “No I’m mistaken. Sorry, I was sure the 2700 block was where I parked but this can’t be right.”

Shaken, I looked at my watch and thought my car has probably been towed by now as it is a quarter to five. I started back on Figueroa to check each street and the first five also had no parking meters!! I was more than confused. Devastated, I worried that I might not find my car, it must be stolen. Sweating profusely, heart pounding, feet sore, and mind flustered,  I walked up to a grass field, laid down, leaned against the building, dialed my wife on my cell, and explained my dilemma.

“Relax, Dan. It’s the weekend. They won’t tow your car. So you get a ticket. Big deal. Just find the car, call me when you do.”

She was right. Then it dawned on me. When I originally saw the 2700 number I noticed there were no parking meters and decided to leave to use one as word had passed not to park where no meters were as they would tow those cars away. That made me realize I needed to find a cross street with parking meters. Slowly street by street I retraced my steps all the way back to the 3500 block where the first parking meters appeared. I was dumfounded and relieved when I saw my car on the street exactly where I had parked it. No ticket was on it. I could breathe slowly, relax, and realize what a fool I had been in such a hurry because I had not anticipated the enormous traffic problems at the Book Festival. My GPS traced a route away from the traffic and saved me.

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Lost in Yosemite 1947

Yosemite Valley
Yosemite Valley

For eons the receding ice age of rivers and glaciers carved 3,000 feet into solid granite and created majestic Yosemite Valley. When Dad was transferred to Vallejo in 1946, our cousins visited us and Dad took us all to Yosemite National Park for camping. Gigantic redwoods, a pine forest, golden poppies, and blue lupine spread along the hillsides and highway. The Merced River ran through the floor of the valley and waterfalls cascaded from perches in the spiked mountains. The wind sprayed the icy liquid down over the mountainsides of ancient rock, majestic half-dome loomed, its rugged face crusted with years of nature’s strongest forces.

Yosemite waterfall

Just before dark we arrived at Curry Village, where every night the rangers performed the spectacular “Yosemite Fire Fall.” They created a bon-fire on a mountain top, and dropped the embers into a cavern at eight o’clock. We watched the yellow, red-orange glowing fire “waterfall” descend to the Yosemite floor sending showers of sparks and chunks of burning wood streaking continuously for ten minutes in a visual echo of water columns.

Yosemite firefall-from-glacier-point

Cousin Lew asked to sleep in the only hammock tent we had so Dad and Uncle Lewis hung it between two rugged pines in our campsite for him. After we all went to sleep a hungry black bear came lumbering into camp. He walked below Lew and scared him so much he told us, “I couldn’t speak. If he heard me he might have attacked.”

Chip said, “What did he look like?”

“He had a light brown nose and shiny black fur, with a white chest patch and smelled awful.” He weighed over three hundred pounds. After he looked around he trudged away.

Dad said, “If the bear had stood up he could easily have reached the hammock.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought. You all slept through the danger!”I had a hard time falling asleep thinking he’d return.”

Yosemite River

Dad took us on hikes around Yosemite where the Merced River swiftly flowed over rocks and fallen trees, created a reflected image of the surrounding forest, mountains, and boulders, and carried trout. It was so enchanting I wanted to stay near the river and throw rocks and pebbles into the rushing water.

Yosemite start of trail to Vernal Falls river

“Are you sure you know the way back to the campsite?

”Yeah, I’m sure.”

“Okay, Danny. Don’t miss dinner.”

I walked to the river and wandered down the path looking at the swirling mass of water with many colored rocks of different size and shape deposited there over the years. I could skip the flat ones out in the center of the flow and then drop big ones to make a splash by walking out on the larger rocks along the shore. The sycamores, tall pines, and redwoods provided shade and their leaves rustled with the breeze. The reflection of the trees on the river distorted their shapes making them quiver. Sandpipers and swallows enjoyed the river landscape, followed by blue jays that swooped down, cawed, dipped briefly into the river, and flew away chattering.

Before long, streaks of sunset filtered through the towering trees. My hike took me past tall brush where I heard voices. I walked into an open space and met a couple who smiled as they enjoyed each other’s company at the end of a peaceful day in nature. They seemed so happy together, laughing, and even singing. She had a wide infectious smile, was jovial, laughed, and hugged the muscular man with curly blond hair. He returned her advances with a peck on the cheek, swung her around like she was a ballerina in a purple and white stripped swim suit, and they fell happily into the stream with a splash. In his Khaki trunks and a green sports shirt dripping with water, he retrieved her straw hat cackling like a hyena. They held a long embrace and then he carried her to the shore and carefully set her down. Mesmerized, but not wanting to disturb them in their rapture, my lips were sealed until they moved to the river bank to rest when I finally said, “I’m lost. Can you help me find Curry Village?”

“Yes, our tent is there,” said the happy woman with dark hair and freckles.

“You can come with us when we leave in a little while,” said the tall man with mustache. They swished their hands in the water, pointed out birds and deer along the river’s bank, laughed, frolicked, and amused each other and me. When they started to get out of the water the lady jumped into his arms near the edge of the river and they embraced. They turned towards me smiling and escorted me back to camp.

Reunited with my family after a three hour absence, I wondered how different life would have been if my parents loved each other as they did. Dad walked to me with pursed lips, narrowed eyes, and rage on his face, “You said you knew the way to our camp. Where have you been?”

“I couldn’t find the path back. This man and woman brought me here.” Twirling around to thank them I realized they had left happy to retreat from my angry Dad in nature.

“Come Danny and join us for hamburger and fries.”

Yosemite Half-Dome

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Book Reviews of All the Difference by Daniel C. Lavery

Dan Encino Law Office

Review of Dr. Peter Stine, PhD, U.C. Berkeley, Professor of English at South Carolina State U., Wayne State U., U. of Michigan;

I finished All the Difference, and what a fine memoir it is! I found it totally engrossing. The opening swept me in. I can imagine the pain your mother felt, you felt, and then the contrasting personality of your father, that swimming lesson he gave you, wow. It is so rich in episode, and in particular the chapter describing your shooting the crabs and beautiful bird, your remorse, and Ruthie’s gentle instruction in the holiness of all creatures, even the Golden Garden Spider, struck me. Or your discovery of the sanctity of nature’ beauty on your travels, or of baseball. The writing is lucid and concrete and engaging, you are on your way. Your story that begins in a military family split by divorce and ends with you emerging as a brilliant ACLU lawyer in California is quite remarkable and riveted me for days.

The section on Yokohama I loved, and Eddie is a great glimpse of raw American energy. Your portraits of scrappy uneducated types are consistently strong. Your account of cultural awakening is very well done, a great chapter, especially your discovery that the Japanese were individual beings physically and mentally, that our racist stereotype of them was nothing more. Strong descriptions of nature in your trips with Alex. Your sexual initiation in Yokosuka is cool. I liked the sports here, and Tom’s converting you to fundamentalist Christianity. Good on your religious inquires and the skepticism offered by Jerry’s dad, since the memoir is a long tale of deconversion, overthrowing indoctrination. Your brush with death in the train tunnel was excruciatingly real.

The Civil Rights history delivered by the professor on the Sunset Limited is a bit undigested in the narrative, but probably necessary to educate the reader to the world you will be entering. I admired your gutsy, principled withdrawal from NROTC at Duke, again a dramatic self-definition. Good on learning the brutality of the Old Testament God; it brought to mind Stephen Pinker’s Better Angels of our Nature. A great account of your religious bible classes and new agnosticism. That freshman Dean of Students calling you a low IQ case is amazing. Your evolving shift from Duke to the Naval Academy is traced in subtle detail, and your account of that Plebe year fascinated and shocked me. Standing up to the two bullying upperclassmen over Civil Rights and then the great portrait of Joe Duff are superb. Dan, you are at your best when, against the odds, you courageously stand up to arrogant and abusive authority figures, whether Duff, the Folsom prison molester, or the landlord threatening his tenant – these moments sparkle, the portrait of malice is stark, your own moral principles manifest.

It is harrowing to read of your experience as an aviator on an AR5C, and I remember your telling me about the lethal risks involved in the late 1960s. It was fun to read about your time at Berkeley then, Jerry, your well-described acid trip, Delaware Street, etc. The conclusion of the memoir about your amazing legal work for the UFW, ACLU, your alliance with Jerry, life with Joan, all of it was interesting, totally engrossing. Finally, I noticed throughout the last third of the memoir you labeled the Vietnam War as genocidal, which is exactly right. Thanks for the opportunity to read your terrific book.

(Peter Stine is also the founder and editor of literary journal Witness,1987-2007, awarded eight grants from National Endowment For The Arts, and four volumes were reissued as books by university press; his  fiction, poetry, literary essays and journalism are widely published: The Iowa Review, Boulevard, The Threepenny Review, Contemporary Literature, The Cambridge Quarterly, The New York Times, Sport Literate, and Harold Bloom's Modern Critical Reviews. His latest book, The Art of Survival, contains essays on Isaac Babel, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, and Joseph Conrad, ISBN 978-0-9823319-3-4, by Rocky Shore Books, Marquette Mi, 2011)

All the Difference may be purchased from Amazon.com:






Amazon’s Dan Lavery author bio Page

Amazon author page


   5.0 out of 5 stars Mike's Book Review, July 14, 2013


Leander M. Pemberton (Bakersfield CA) - USNA Class of 1964

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

A most engrossing book that captures the life and times of a remarkable, multi-talented individual who underwent a dramatic transformation from a conservative, military oriented, "pawn" to a crusading progressive activist. If you grew up in the 40's, 50's, or 60's, this will be your vehicle for a nostalgic reprise of that part of your life. Written with great attention to detail and in a manner that pulls you into the pages to vicariously experience Dan's life experiences. The writing is beautifully descriptive, allowing the reader to create detailed images of the settings involved. Leaves you hoping there will be a sequel which takes Dan up to the present day. Warning - once you start the book, you can't put it down!

Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 

5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Lavery has made a difference, July 31, 2013


Dan Walker -Jordan High School Class of 1958

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

A very well written and interesting trip thru a life that many can relate to. The youth, schooling, life lessons and his transformation as a activist makes for a story that we can all learn from.

5.0 out of 5 stars All the Difference by Daniel C. Lavery, August 2, 2013


robert webster -Yokohama High Class of 1957

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

After reading the Kindle Version I ordered the Paperback Form so I could better enjoy the photos and reread for detail. I was a classmate of Dan's for one year (55-56) at Yokohama American High School in Japan. His keen memory of sports activities, interaction with teammates, coaches, and teachers were spot on and realistically transported me back to my High school days overseas. Most interesting was his transformation over the years from an aspiring baseball addict/sports star, history and literature student, military officer, into a UFW/ACLU Lawyer in Los Angeles. His vivid descriptions of his surroundings and adventures around the world held my interest through out the entire book. How did Dan survive his next challenge/adventure and change in life's direction? These are the question he thoroughly and colorfully answers. Dan does not hold back as he reveals a very personal insight and perception into all his relationships, both family and with others. A great read from many aspects, especially since I knew many of the high school characters mentioned and also grew up in Southern California where Dan was part of Progressive Ideology and Civil rights history. I am looking forward to his next publication.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Long Search, August 5, 2013


Dave Timm -USNA Class of 1961

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This review is from: All the Difference (Kindle Edition)

"A young man's Odyssey from the heartbreak of a WWII-broken home into lifelong competitive sports - on to a stint the Duke Theology School - through a career as a Naval Flight Officer - into disillusion in 60's and on to success as a Civil Rights Champion in the 70's and on until this day. Though in many ways he was fortunate in life, Dan's is not an "easy read", for it evokes memories of dilemmas, demons and problems faced and the mixed bag of decisions made by the majority of America's youth as we came of age face-to-face with the Vietnam War and its aftermath. Not to give the story away, but: I was on the edge of my seat while reading of the the dramatic life and philosophical changes made by the author during his ultimately successful legal fights on behalf of Cesar Chavez, the UFW and others. My copy of All the Difference is a permanent addition to my library.

5.0 out of 5 stars What an awesome book., August 4, 2013


Colleen -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

It was well written and really flowed throughout the book. It really kept my attention and was very informative and interesting. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read, August 18, 2013


Howard K. Watkins - Hastings College of Law 1972

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What a great read!! Dan Lavery has a very engaging writing style making the reader feel she or he is present at the recounted events. He brings alive many of the issues my fellow baby boomers experienced or knew of others who had. This is living history, as the author is transformed from a conservative military background to become a leading civil rights attorney in California. The book is a worthy selection for private book clubs everywhere. Plenty of topics to discuss. 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful

5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, August 11, 2013


Sue -

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This review is from: All the Difference (Paperback)

This book is a must read that I couldn't put down. The writing was well written, interesting and easy to read. Well worth it.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful


By Harriet G Harper on November 25, 2013

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I knew Dan and his brother Chip when we were teenagers in Japan. Chips wife Pat was there with us too. Its a great book. Funny in spots and serious in others. There were so many things about his childhood and home life I never knew. Never knew his choice for his career. But I am glad for his ultimate choice.



Review of All the Difference by David Starr Long Beach Jordan High School President of the senior Class 1958 and Captain of the Varsity Football Team)


After reading, “All the Difference” I feel compelled to write to you. First, congratulations on writing a very interesting book. I am proud to know someone like you with your life experiences and who has the ability to express himself so well in writing. Your book or should I say your life was especially interesting to me for two central reasons:


First, it was interesting how your life evolved from the 17 year old kid I knew at Jordan High School in North Long Beach.  The year that I knew you in high school you seemed to me to be a serious student mostly interested in sports and religion.  I tried without success to get you interested in more high school social activities.  After graduation from Jordan, most of the kids in North Long Beach didn’t go on to be very successful* compared to the success you have achieved in your life. I feel your ambition, your hard work, your family, and your earlier background before you came to North Long Beach aided you to be more successful* in life.

 Secondly, I enjoyed comparing your life activities to my own.  We both went to high profile colleges, Duke and Stanford.  We both played varsity sports in college.  I earned six varsity letters at Stanford.  We both went on to graduate schools, but you by far, out-performed me in this category: one year at Stanford Graduate School of Business verses law school and other educational activities for you. Some other comparisons follow:

 Marriage:  both were fortunate to find great wives.

Children:  both were fortunate to have wonderful children.

 Security:  both worked hard to develop financial independence.

 Religion:  You changed dramatically in this category and me somewhat.  You were the serious religious guy in high school.  I have become more religious through the years.  After retiring I have volunteered for three years at three quarter’s time to do religious work at our church (Presbyterian).

 Physical Appearance:  two handsome guys.

 Politics: We differ a lot here.  You became very liberal and spent a good part of your life helping to improve society. I have become more conservative and am very concerned about the direction our country is going.

 Health:  You look like you are still in good shape.  I exercise over an hour each day and play tennis three times each week. I am very healthy except for a heart murmur which could become serious.

  Dan, we both have worked hard in our lives.  We have been successful* and will leave this earth in better shape than how we found it. From your book, I know all about you. (You were so truthful)  I thought you would like to know a little bit more about another North Long Beach teenager who wanted to rise above the circumstances from which we came.

Good luck to you in the rest of your life!  Thank you for your book.

 Hal Steuber, (President of Jordan Student Body Senior Year 1958 & Captain of Varsity Football Team)


All the Difference By Al Wellman (reviewer) All the Difference Daniel C. Lavery (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013)  
The best history books are written by those who lived through the events described. "All the Difference" by Daniel C. Lavery is a well-written description of the United States' turbulent 1960s. The stage is set by a child's perceptions of life in the United States during the cold war. As the son of a career naval officer, Lavery lived in widely separated locations offering various perspectives from Florida to California. His description of cultural interactions during the post-war military occupation of Japan provides insight into an era changing both nations. Lavery describes an adolescence defined by scholastic team sports. His athletic prowess sustained a successful self-image through uncertainty about career objectives. The comfortable diversion of team sports disappeared with graduation from the United States Naval Academy just in time for the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. Chapters 24 through 33 recount a typical junior officer service obligation beginning with acquisition of the traditional new Corvette. Flight training with the RA5C Vigilante contrasts the reality of high-tech weapons systems against their advertised capabilities. Self-destructive drinking and driving reflect doubts about a military aviation career. After successful completion of flight training, Lavery requests reassignment to surface ships. Subsequent service aboard USS Oak Hill (LSD-7) brought combat zone experience in Camranh Bay and Danang followed by time in western Pacific ports including Taipei, Hong Kong, Yokosuka, Subic Bay and the unforgetable city of Olongapo. Upon release from active duty, Lavery found in law school the means to effectively apply the energy and enthusiasm which had brought him athletic success before Vietnam. His description of California's energizing activism of the 1960s will bring back memories to every Vietnam veteran and offer a window for younger readers to understand the origins of VVAW.

After shipboard training with Naval Academy midshipmen during the summers of 1965 and 1967, Al Wellman accepted a Naval ROTC commission in 1969 and patrolled the PIRAZ station off North Vietnam aboard USS Chicago from 1970 to 1972.







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