I am grateful to have lived in three communities during the writing of this book and for the assistance of friends and family at each place. In Lawrence, Kansas, historian Ray Hiner was a generous advocate and source of ideas as I began to research this little-known subject in World War II cultural history. Bill Tuttle and Ann Schofield also gave encouragement and guidance for this project from the beginning. An Alfred M. Landon Grant from the Kansas State Historical Society and a University of Kansas fellowship provided crucial early support for research and travel.
My hometown of Goessel, Kansas, population 550 and a three-hour drive from my university base, was a very good -- indeed, central -- location to be writing about people who had been in Civilian Public Service during World War II because the community and its environs are home to many alumni of that program. Ten miles down the road from Goessel is Bethel College, where the Showalter Oral History Collection on conscientious objectors in World War II is located. On the Bethel campus, historians Keith Sprunger and James Juhnke offered advice on oral history research methods. John Thiesen, Rosemary Moyer, and Greta Hiebert of the Bethel staff located archival documents, photographs, and interlibrary loan materials. Also in central Kansas, longtime friend and mentor Robert Kreider, himself an alumnus of Civilian Public Service, first introduced me to the subject and then over a period of several years helped to identify women and men whose experiences could enrich this book.
In northern Indiana, where I now live, Goshen College has provided two faculty research grants and a congenial setting in which to write and teach. History students Angela Showalter and Ryan Osborne offered welcome assistance as this book neared completion. Thanks also to Go-