Georgia Lowe

Lucky Dime Press Georgia LoweGeorgia Lowe grew up in and around Los Angeles and Hollywood where every other person was a movie extra or worked in the business. Seances with strange women in turbans were a way of life, especially during World War 2. “Writing about those times seems like a natural to me,” she says.  “And the foreword to my book might best explain who I am and why I chose to write the story.”


My parents, Don and Bernice Hardy, were Bonus Marchers, and their stories loomed large in my young life. They told me about the hot summer of 1932 in the midst of the Great Depression when they joined twenty thousand destitute World War veterans in a march to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress for passage of a bill that would pay their wartime service bonuses immediately. Years later, they were still outraged when they talked about how President Hoover ordered the forced eviction of the peaceful, unarmed Bonus Marchers from the streets of our nation’s Capitol.

They never forgave the arrogance of General Douglas MacArthur swaggering in his bemedaled dress uniform as he led U.S. Army troops in an attack against these American war veterans. They witnessed the cavalry charges by saber swinging horse soldiers. They were tear gassed and helpless to stop the troops torching their camps along with everything they owned.

Like most kids, I sometimes listened. Sometimes I didn’t, and sometimes I didn’t believe them.

As I grew up, veterans issues were part of our everyday family conversation. On Armistice Day, the house bloomed with red American Legion poppies. A large American Flag was a permanent fixture. On December 8, 1941, my father tried to enlist in the Army but was turned away because he was over forty.

I remember the day in 1944 when I came home from school and found my mother, the family skeptic, crying. “Roosevelt has died,” she said.

Later that afternoon, my father, ex-reporter turned tough-guy detective, came home early from a stakeout, and the two of them sat at the kitchen table where they held hands and cried together. They credited FDR with saving America.

Years later, when President Truman fired General MacArthur for insubordination in the Korean War, my parents celebrated his dismissal. “It’s about time that arrogant bastard got what was coming to him,” my father said.

More than a decade ago when I began to write fiction, I decided to tell this story from my parents’ point of view. My main characters, Bonnie and Will are drawn from my parents’ lives. My maiden name is theirs, Hardy. But Tom Jenks, my writing teacher and mentor, reminded me that the Bonus March was bigger than my parent’s personal story; it was an important historical event that couldn’t depend on their anecdotes or my sometimes faulty memory. That’s when my research began with multiple trips to Washington and the Library of Congress. I walked the Death March, I sat where they sat on the Capitol steps, visited Anacostia and experienced the awful heat and humidity those marchers experienced that summer. And I read and read and read.

In the ten years it took to write The Bonus, history repeated itself. Now, this story of the systemic neglect of veterans, hard economic times, environmental disaster and the consequences of a failed presidency is more relevant than ever. In 2008, as in 1932, a new President who campaigned on the twin promises of hope and change, was elected.

After leaving southern California, Georgia married and with her husband, raised a son and daughter while they owned and operated a family resort in the High Sierra. After twenty-five years, she retired and turned to her lifelong dream of writing fiction. Now, she works and lives in a small community on the Eastern slope of the Sierra with her two “highly intelligent” Golden Retrievers. At present, she’s hard at work on two new novels, a prequel to The Bonus entitled An Ordinary Kid and a sequel, The Old Ladies.