walt@freshinkwriting.com

Fresh New Work

If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.

Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood

The First Counterspy: Larry Haas, Bell Aircraft, and the FBI’s Attempt to Capture a Soviet Mole
By Kay Haas and Walter W. Pickut


The First Counterspy
is the pulse-quickening and traumatic story of spy, counterspy, and an American family unwittingly caught in its web.

Until this case, the FBI had never recruited civilian counterspies to catch a Soviet agent. The first two were Larry Haas, a leading aviation engineer at Bell Aviation, and Leona Franey, head librarian at Bell’s technical library. The FBI pitted them against a Soviet agent, Andrei Ivanovich Schevchenko, a Soviet agent operating legally as one of the highest Soviet officials in the United States during WWII, and illegally as the secret head of a wide-ranging spy network hidden within the American aviation industry.

His target was Larry Haas, working inside Bell’s top secret jet aircraft project. The Soviet Union’s only higher priority was to steal America’s atomic bomb.

The First Counterspy lays out this exciting story, and later, the consequences of Schevchenko’s deadly threat against Haas, the counterspy who betrayed him. That threat was uttered in a mere fourteen seconds but generated lethal consequences that long outlived Schevchenko, tormented Larry Haas, killed his wife, and subjected his daughter, Kay (the co-author of this book), to decades of nearly fatal harassment.

And thereby hangs a tale of spy vs. spy intrigue against a backdrop of the home front during WWII.

Length: 120,000 words

Illustrated: 30 photographs.

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Jim Roselle: The Best Times of My Life
A Memoir by Jim Roselle as told to Walt Pickut

The story is out! Everybody wants to know the man who knows everybody: Meet Jim Roselle.

Jim’s life story is now in print. Like so many other great Americans, Jim was the son of immigrants who wanted to give their children a better life. This new, long awaited memoir, The Best Times of My Life, follows Jim from his Great Depression era boyhood in a humble Jamestown neighborhood on Franklin Street to journalistic and broadcasting eminence interviewing the most famous people on Earth. Jim Roselle brought their stories, their adventures and their deepest thoughts into our living rooms, our car radios and even a few milking barns for 40 years from Chautauqua Institution and for 60 years on WJTN 1240 AM Jamestown. Share many of Jim’s successes and recognitions, including his 2010 induction into the New York State Broadcaster’s Hall of Fame, and read his fascinating personal life story (https://hof.nysbroadcasters.org/2010-inductees/jim-roselle/).

In The Best Times of My Life, Jim recalls memorable and historic conversations like the one with a young Arkansas governor named Bill Clinton, the U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins, and legendary songstress Judy Collins. Meet the woman who was once Britain’s top spymaster, the preacher who threw a birthday party for a Honolulu prostitute and the Israeli sniper who became America’s most famous sex therapist. Jim has unfailingly revealed the real people behind the fame and the celebrity. In The Best Times of My Life, eavesdrop on 40 of his more than 1,800 Chautauqua Institution interviews and hundreds of hometown broadcast conversations culled from the WJTN archives.

The introduction, penned in personal tribute by Jim’s good friend and well-known political satirist, Mark Russell, opens the book with the kind of folksy, homespun humor that animates many of Jim’s personal stories told in The Best Times of My Life. Jim never lost touch with his community and his lifelong friends—their stories are told with affection and with the same respect and admiration as any of his most famous guests. “I didn’t succeed alone,” Jim says. “Family and community made all the difference.”

The Best Times of My Life, by Jim Roselle, as told to Walt Pickut, a Jamestown writer and newspaper editor, is a collaborative success, compiling hundreds of hours of personal conversations with Jim and his hometown co-host, Russ Diethrick in transcriptions of recorded interviews and in-depth research.

Jim Roselle: The BEST Times of My Life, 192 pages, 6 ½” x 9” soft cover, including a special eight-page color photo section plus over 100 images covering seven decades of broadcasting. ISBN: 978-0-692-23930-8. Printed locally as a tribute to Jim by Falconer Printing & Design, Falconer, NY.

This book outsold every other featured national and international guest speaker at the world-renowned Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater for all of 2014. It is now a timeless classic of personal-interview broadcasting technique by a master of the airwaves who never played softball when hard questions had to be asked, but unique for never in 60 years lowering the tone to the level of “gotcha” journalism.

This book is a must-have for students and scholars of broadcast journalism and a unique and deceptively powerful technique for the personal interview.