“BANG – BANG -BANG! I heard gunfire again louder this time, suddenly a hail of bullets came whistling past my passenger window, but I was no longer afraid or worried about what was going on behind me,” is an excerpt from Tom Walker's autobiographical memoir titled Run Toward The Blazing Sun.
If one's life can be looked at as a 24 hour day, then the summer of 1971 was Tom Walker's 15 minutes of fame as he headed up a Travel camp Expedition from England to Turkey with a group of seven tourists in a Land Rover on a SCUBA diving trip across the European continent to a coastal town, Bodrum in Turkey.
Full of life and having a common love of adventure, Tom Walker was the entrepreneurial embodiment of a leader for seven fun loving young adults. Having started a travel agency focused on adventures on a camping-out budget, Tom headed the group in his dependable British Land Rover so they could bring their SCUBA equipment for a destination dive along the Northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
The trip went perfectly as they all got to know one another and upon reaching their destination the group eagerly suited-up into their SCUBA gear for a dive in the beautiful waters to photograph the fish and undersea world.
That's when the nightmare began.
A group of Turkish military police seeing the campsite with the British tourists distrusted their intentions because of the underwater cameras. They thought the Brits were there to steal underwater treasure belonging to the Turks. After Tom Walker tried to reason with the Turks, he was arrested and thrown in jail. Without the aid of the British Consulate and having his passport confiscated, Tom became a prisoner in a foreign country where he couldn't speak the language and was held without trial – truly not having done anything wrong.
This book is a treasure. Tom Walker is a genuine person, a nice guy, and an excellent storyteller. His recount of the events brings together adventure, excitement, and suspense along with an honorable layer of sexual magnetism with uniquely honest gentlemanly restraint. The book, only 52 pages, is easily read in one sitting, but the lingering storyline and true emotions will be enjoyed in the readers' memory forever.
Tom Walker has a video book trailer, which views like a movie trailer for films like the Midnight Express or a Mission Impossible stunt sequence. Like the captain of a ship, Tom Walker made sure his passengers were all safe before he took upon himself the risk of crossing a bridge from Turkey to Greece, against the imposing armed military checkpoint.
Obviously he made it – otherwise there wouldn't be this book.
Now in his senior years, Tom Walker has brought his summer of '71 in Run Toward The Blazing Sun for all of us to enjoy, and to learn from it… NEVER GIVE UP!