Julian Padowicz was seven years old, Jewish, and living in Warsaw, Poland, when WWII began. After 6 months under Soviet occupation in southern Poland, he and his mother made a daring trek over the Carpathian Mountains into neutral Hungary. Arriving in America at the age of 9, Julian spent the next 13 years in boarding school and college, where his undiagnosed ADD and Dyslexia caused him considerable grief.
Graduating from Colgate University in 1954 with a BA in English, he was hired by Twentieth-Century Fox studios as editor of their company magazine, “Action.”
From 1955 to 1959 he served in the Air Force as a navigator and intercept instructor.
Following military service, he entered the documentary film profession, first as a writer and eventually as director, cameraman, editor, and producer, garnering numerous awards.
Upon retirement in 2000, Padowicz began writing a 4-part memoir of his WWII experiences. The first book, Mother and Me: Escape from Warsaw 1939 was published in 2006 by Academy Chicago and named “Book of the Year” by ForeWord Magazine. It was followed by A Ship in the Harbor, Loves of Yulian, and When the Diamonds Were Gone. A “young readers’” version of Mother and Me, published by Scholastic Inc. was a best seller in the school field.
Feeling that much of what was interesting in his life was not publishable as memoir, for fear of hurting people still living, Padowicz created the fictional village of Venice on the Massachusetts coast and peopled it with characters based on people he had known, including himself. Applying humor, which he calls his “weapon of choice,” Padowicz has written several novels in which these fictional characters go through many of the experiences he, himself, has gone through. His hero, Kip, is a retired college professor, married to his creative, but accident prone wife, the lovely Amanda, and trying to lead a “normal” life, in a new community, among whacky neighbors and whackier friends from his past. Padowicz lives in a 100 plus-year-old house in Stamford, Connecticut with his wife, Donna Carter. Their blended family includes 5 children, 9 grandchildren, and 2 great-grands.
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After a prolonged sojourn in Europe, the sixty-something newlyweds, Kip and Amanda return to the coastal village of Venice, Massachusetts.
Kip is accustomed to his bread always landing jam side down, so the retired literature professor is ambivalent about the unexpected success of his new book. On one hand, he is thrilled more than he dares admit, even to himself. On the other, he is afraid that it’s all a dream from which he will awake up in bitter disappointment.
However, what awaits him on his return are adventures as diverse as being befriended by a thrill-seeking former Green Beret, getting analyzed by a group of partying psychologists, massaged by an outspoken woman colonel in the Israeli Army, and meeting his wife’s very deadly real husband.
The reader needn’t worry about Kip surviving these ordeals, since a sequel entitled A Scandal in Venice is already in the author’s computer.
Kip is protective of his enigmatic, accident prone wife and worried about how he will be received, following the events that precipitated their departure three years earlier. Amanda is anxious to get her hands back into the clay stored in her pottery studio.
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