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Hiroshima author finds happiness with a pen

By Laura Boudreau

Jim Murphy has been through many personal downfalls and life triumphs in his life including four different career choices.

Murphy was raised in a two-bedroom apartment with 15 other children including his four sisters. The others were taken in because his parents would never let any child go without a roof over their head or food.

Austin A. Murphy, Jim’s father, was his most influential childhood inspiration for life because he looked at every situation with positivity and humour.

“Everyone around us always said that they were poor, but my dad always said that we are not poor, we’re just broke,” said Murphy.

Because of his father, he always looked into the more positive side of everything and everyone; while wanting to express and surprise people with his many talents he had throughout his life.

“He is a very brilliant, caring and successful man, who is always there for us,” said Jackie Murphy, his sister.

Murphy went to school for two years at Ottawa University after going through the Catholic school system. Several years later he went to St. Lawrence College for three years.

He started off his career life as a contract negotiator for the Ministry of National Defence for 10 years, then he bought a restaurant which he owned 10 ten years. Then he went back to school and got his certificate to work as a drug and alcohol counselor. He spent 10 years as a counselor for the prison system and now owns a car cleaning service in Kingston called Baby you Baby Car Care.

He just finished writing a book which is going to be out by the end of the month called, Why?

“I have been the car wash guy for 10 years now and guess what, I’m bored of it so my final career will be as an author.”

A recovering alcoholic. Murphy has been sober for over 20 years. He became a counselor after he recovered, sharing his story with other people.

“He’s probably the smartest car wash guy in town, he is definitely the only one that has written a book,” said his sister.

When Murphy married a Japanese woman his father-in-law gave them a trip to southern Japan where he found his inspiration to write Why?. He found just being om the city where the atomic bomb went off was amazing. Murphy was standing on Aioi Bridge right around 8 a.m. looking over the city of Hiroshima. It’s believed that was the bridge the American bomber was looking at when he bombed the city.

Murphy said “Ironically Aioi is the Japanese word for love, and that’s what the bomber was looking at when he destroyed the city and all those people.”

The main inspiration from that museum was a single shoe. It was a geta, which is a wooden shoe bound by a leather lace. The description of the shoe said that it had belonged to a little girl who had perished in the explosion. The interesting part of the story was that the girl’s mother had been looking for her lost daughter in the rubbish which had once been her school house and found this geta. She knew it was her daughter’s. She talked to this shoe every day for the rest of her life and never found any other remains of her only child.

“When I read that I cried unashamedly, all because of an imprinted little shoe. But it changed my world. It was completely wrong, immoral and it was a hate crime and it can never, ever happen again. That’s why I wrote this book.” said Murphy.

The mother of the little girl was the inspiration for the character in Why.. The novel takes you through the awful day of the bombing in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, through the eyes of a young woman who loses everything.

“There have been challenges and there have been triumphs, and in that manner of speaking I am just another regular guy. But more than anything I want to surprise people, that is my main goal in life.”