One April in Boston
Learn About the Movie Project
Goal: To turn a children’s book that teaches American history, the power of imagination, and the value of goal setting into a feature film or made-for-TV movie.
Action Step #1: The three videos above were produced to introduce the book and Philip Edwards’ story to people in the film industry. The movie would be set in the 20th century with Phil as the main character and flash back to earlier time periods in the book.
Americans love a great story. Particularly when told through living examples of truth, courage, compassion, and history.
The legacy of Philip Edwards began in his hometown of Naugatuck, Connecticut where he became the idol of his neighborhood’s children who loved and admired him for his kindness and attentive conversations.
Phil’s glowing example warmed the hearts of all who crossed his path. But, as his heart fell vulnerable to thoughts of spring … destiny suddenly beckoned Philip Edwards to heed the “patriots” call, like his ancestors before him.
Soon, an average American boy, renowned for his remarkable gift of humility and kindness to children, would summon all courage and make the supreme sacrifice on a battlefield in France in World War I. But this is where the story of Philip Edwards – and his ultimate gift – really BEGINS.
Throughout his childhood, author Ben Edwards was acutely aware of his family’s rich American heritage. Beyond the connections to Paul Revere and Colonial Boston, Ben was particularly moved by tales of his relative Philip Edwards, his conversations with the neighborhood children, and the life lessons he passed along to them.
One April in Boston: The Gift of the Spyglass is Ben Edwards’ tribute to his family’s Boston history. It is also a testament to Private Edwards’ special affinity for children … and centers around one very special gift he arranged to bestow, in the event of his death. Tenderly expressed in the story is an emotional letter written by Philip Edwards to his parents, just two days before his death. In this letter, Phil asks his parents to pass on a special message to the neighborhood children.
The book also reveals the timeless love story of Philip Edwards and his sweetheart Ella Wininger. Ben met and interviewed Ella’s sister, 90-year-old Doris Wininger Harkins, who shared details of their relationship. From Doris, Ben learned that the farewell letter Phil wrote to his parents wasn’t the only one he penned that day. He wrote one to Ella too. Although that letter has been lost to time, Ben wondered what Phil wrote to Ella that kept her feelings of love for him alive until she passed away over 70 years later. The conclusion of the story captures the spirit of that endless love and conveys the powerful impact Phil had on the neighborhood children before his death at the age of 23.
Now included in the newly revised second edition (2017) of One April in Boston, is the true tale behind the author’s incredible discovery of a photo of Phil and Ella taken in 1916. The events leading to this photo’s discovery in 2006 are just another amazing footnote to this remarkable story.
One April in Boston: The Gift of the Spyglass is available for Free at the iTunes Store.
If you have an interest in this project or would like more details, Ben Edwards can be reached by phone at 617.670.1888 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.