arnie

Ever since he was a child, Arnie Pritchard wanted to be an historian.  He got his Ph.D. in history at Yale, and published a book, Catholic Loyalism in Elizabethan England, based on his dissertation. However, his dream of becoming a college history professor was not to meant to be.  Instead he spent the rest of his working career as a researcher and planner for the State of Connecticut.

Arnie never lost the historical bug and in the 1990's he found a creative outlet, when he began telling folktales, personal experience stories, and some literary classics at local libraries and storytelling conferences.

Then Arnie inherited his father's army footlocker.  Inside the trunk was a history treasure: letters to and from home, medals, pictures, and mementos of Anton (Tony) Pritchard's time abroad from 1942 to 1947.  Since the trunk entered his life, Arnie has focused to telling his father's story of life on the European front lines during World War II.

Arnie's oral interpretation of Anton's letters about "this business of fighting," shows the passions, hopes, and fears of the soldiers, and captivates his listeners. Arnie says "As his son, I can't pretend to be totally detached from the story. In some places it helps; I can understand and communicate things better because I knew the author very well. I know that my father would want me to present his experiences as truthfully as I can - not hiding the times when he was afraid, discouraged, confused, or regretful." 

Arnie's historical training has certainly come in handy, allowing him to portray the past with accuracy and depth.  "My goal is to get myself out of the way, and let my father tell his own story."