Beneath a Scarlet Sky

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  • About the Book: 

    ISBN: 9781503902374

    Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior.

    In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat. But after Pino is injured, he is recruited at the tender age of eighteen to become the personal driver for Adolf Hitler’s left hand in Italy, General Hans Leyers, one of the Third Reich’s most mysterious and powerful commanders.

    Now, with the opportunity to spy for the Allies inside the German High Command, Pino endures the horrors of the war and the Nazi occupation by fighting in secret, his courage bolstered by his love for Anna and for the life he dreams they will one day share.

    About Rick Ganong:

    I was born in Orange County with the juxtaposition of a father who made his own skis in a high school woodshop to ski Mt Baldy,  and a mother who disliked the mountains and snow. Upon the advice of my grandfather, I moved to the mountains and snow with my wife, Jan, and first born, Alison, on February 12, 1979. There was zero snow on the ground, but by the next day there was four feet. Welcome to Alpine Meadows. Three other children followed- Megan, Travis and Derek. Finishing my training at UCLA Medical Center, after some time at LA County-USC Medical Center, I joined the Truckee Tahoe Medical Group. During my first week, Charlie Kellermyer asked me to ski from my house to the ridge that separates Squaw Valley from Alpine Meadows to meet him – I got lost in a blizzard! However, I learned that route and it became a defining aspect of my work life, skiing to work in Squaw and before work in Tahoe City. Additionally, my twenty years working with the US Ski Team has provided me the opportunity to visit many iconic and obscure areas in the world. This has been a privilege, as has my work with the medical community and ski patrol. Currently, I am trying to retire. Knowing this, the Squaw Patrol has asked me to join them on the hill as a medical advisor. We will see!

    Why Rick Chose This Book:

    This is a heart warming and wrenching true story of an Italian boy who grows up quickly during WWII. His resiliency in dealing with the Nazis, his family, his love and assisting with escape routes through the Alps is legendary. Pino, as an adult, worked in Mammoth Lakes.