Robert E. Townsend was born and raised on a farm in northern Wisconsin. After graduating in 1969 from the University of Wisconsin, Townsend flew 135 combat missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. From 1982-1989 he was deputy chief, Air Force Intelligence Agency, counter-deception directorate at CIA. He is among some of the few dozen men and women in America intimate with the war of ruse and stratagem between the US and the USSR.
Slavic on the maternal and deep-south redneck on the paternal side, his parents managed money poorly and told stories well. Spare, pithy, lasting the duration of a Pall Mall cigarette, the tales were meant to both teach and entertain. No one is completely useless. They can always serve as a bad example.
Ледоход is the translation into Russian of the novel, Spirit Falls, a coming-of-age novel set in the late 1950’s on the empty and hardscrabble borderland between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin.