Lakewood graduate goes on to author two books

Linda Maurstad Peterson with Dennis Mann attending the Lakewood High School Reunion at Del Valle Park in July, 2015

When I first heard that my childhood friend, Dennis, had written not one, but two books, I thought to myself, really? Both Dennis and I are the children of original owners in Lakewood, with our parents purchasing our homes in early 1952. With 16 kids in 6 of the homes on Iroquois Street, it was a great street to grow up on. We were all within just a few years of each other, and we were later to be known as the “Kids of Iroquois Street.” The Maurstads, Manns, Lists, Cosgroves, Gibsons, and Howells, all grew up together, and many of us are still lifelong friends to this day.

First, you should know a bit about Dennis. He was the youngest of 3 who graduated with me from Lakewood High School in 1969. Dennis was the guy who never had a bad day… and if you were having a bad day, somehow he made your day better. He was a big guy with an even bigger heart! His hysterical sense of humor and laughter just added to his charm.

Shortly after we graduated, he joined the Navy and was stationed on the carrier USS Midway during the Vietnam War. I remember one of the first pictures that I got from Dennis; he had a full beard and was leaning back in a chair with that great big smile! It did not surprise me to know that his job on the ship was public affairs, which included keeping morale up during those long months out at sea, and also by broadcasting on the ship’s network radio as either the music DJ, or reporting the news. He went that extra mile to ensure that all 4,500 men on the ship had articles written in their hometown newspapers.

Like many of the guys who we grew up with, when he returned home from his time in the military, he went back to school, worked a 9-5 job, married his wife Kathy, raised his children and even welcomed grandchildren. But there was still something missing. Dennis, with encouragement from his wife, decided to start his own murder mystery company: Three M Productions. The company ran for 16 years and performed over 100 weekends. If that was not enough, he also had a short-lived career as a stand up comedian, where he quickly learned that “Stuttering is okay on the page, but not on the stage!”

It just seems logical that his next endeavor would be to write not one, but two murder mysteries. In his first book, The Equilibrium Objective, he takes you on a wild ride of thinking you know “who done it,” but surprise, you’re so wrong!

When I got a hold of Dennis to tell him how I thoroughly enjoyed his book, he told me his second book was out – The Judgment Crossing. I could hardly wait to get it! Dennis’ second book was just as much of a “gotcha” book as the first! I can say this, you will never look at taking a cruise the same way again!

So to Dennis, my Iroquois Street buddy, I say thank you for not one, but two great reads. You’ve really done the “Kids of Iroquois Street” proud!


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