Since we started this production, Detroit Our Greatest Generation, many people have told me about an extremely rare hand-made scrapbook.  It is the one that Sonny Elliot brought back from his eighteen months in a POW camp in Germany.

It was an honor to inspect this piece of history with him at his home.

It was a special time for me, just me to be with Sonny, the weather meteorologist I watched on TV, growing up in Metro Detroit.  I also remembered his famous Zoo show, Sonny at the Zoo.

But, on this day, those memories would all fade away.  A man, who in his early twenties was the pilot of a B-24 bomber during the world’s most memorable war, took me back in time.  Sonny shared his incredible story; how it felt inside a plummeting B-24, engulfed in flames; the long days, hungry and bored in prison camp. I learned about the resourcefulness of those 1500 prisoners; how they made a radio out of pieces of material so they could hear the news on the BBC; how cunning they were in hiding items from the Nazi’s in hollowed-out fake-bottom buckets or holes in walls.

However, the book was why I was there, and as I held it in my hand, in an odd way, it spoke to me; the poems, stories and some unimaginable drawings from so many of his solider friends, all still there.  It will be a day that I will never forget, and it will be a true emotional highpoint of the film.

Now, I no longer see Sonny as just a zany weatherman.  He is the caregiver of his wife who has been tragically paralyzed by a stroke.   He is an accomplished WWII pilot.  He is a POW survivor, and a heck of a storyteller.  These characteristics define Our Greatest Generation. It was an absolute honor to have shared this time with Lt. Colonel Marvin Elliot.

Executive Producer
Keith Famie




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