I love March Madness, except for the fact that Mizzou didn’t make it this year. (We’ll get ’em next year!) So, look what someone else is doing–a Literary-Lovers’ March Madness. And LARA and I made it to the second round. LARGER-THAN-LIFE LARA contains just about everything I know about writing. And since everyone has been bullied and has bullied in some way, readers get the subtle anti-bullying theme. I don’t think I’ve asked anyone to vote for me since I ran for office at Missouri Girls State…and loss. Round 2 ends Thursday. Here’s the link if you’re up for it: http://readthearc.com/literary-lovers-madness-round2/
Archive for the ‘quotes’ Category
I continued to delve into the treasures of the trunk. Besides the myriad of letters, I unearthed a note sent to Mom from Dad. I could have picked it out as his from a hundred notes. “Happy Birthday, darling, to the best wife I have.” Dry wit from a man who would remain happily married for over fifty years.
There were postcards and war rations and a few things I won’t post for fear of having the items misunderstood: a propaganda pamphlet in appalling English, with Goebbles; Nazi stationery neither of my parents could bring themselves to write on.
I recognized one postcard from Dad’s longtime buddy, Bob Balfour, who served with Admiral Halsey. The card was sent from the U.S.S. Missouri, postmarked Sept. 6, 1945, just after Japan surrendered. Aboard (besides Balfour), were high ranking admirals and generals from China, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, France, the Netherlands, and, of course, Japan. General of the Army, Douglas MacArthur, stood before an array of microphones and declared before the world the hope of mankind that a better world would arise out of the blood and carnage of the past–“… a world founded upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance, and justice.”
On my knees in front of the open trunk, I stared at the stacks and stacks of letters, most written while both of my parents served overseas A few of the letters had been penned from the States, as they waited in different staging areas of the country. I picked the nearest stack and carefully wriggled one letter from the boot strings. The envelope said it was from Lt. Helen Eberhart to Lt. Frank Daley. My hands shook as I lifted out the letter are began reading.
One sentence (“I miss you so much, my darling.”), and I had to return the letter to its envelop, into its stack, its home for over 70 years. I couldn’t hear those voices–not yet.
Fortunately, there were other treasures in that chest, discoveries that intrigued me, rather than sent me into tears. Each soldier had been given a Bible, and President Roosevelt sent a letter to each soldier. In case you don’t have “eagle eyes” (an expression Dad used frequently), here’s what it says on that Bible page:
THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON To the Armed Forces:
As Commander-in-Chief I take pleasure in commending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States. Throughout the centuries men of many faiths and diverse origins have found in the Sacred Book words of wisdom, counsel, and inspiration. It is a fountain of strength and now, as always, an aid in attaining the highest experiences of the human soul.
Very sincerely yours, Franklin D. Roosevelt
And yet, there were even more intriguing artifacts to discover in the old, but enduring Army trunk….
When I was a kid, my two favorite words were “‘Member when. . .?” The words came out soft as clouds and steeped in magic, words that could unlock the past and let me in. I was blessed to be born into a family of great storytellers. My mom, Helen Eberhart Daley, had 10 brothers and sisters, who married and gave me dozens of cousins. At our yearly reunion, those words, “‘Member when…?” sparked and fired around the dinner table, ushering in tales of ships crossing the ocean to America, of horse trading and working the land, of love and loss.
And of war. Five of Mom’s brothers fought in WWII, and so did she. That’s where Nurse Helen met the dashing Frank Daley, an Army doctor. I grew up on their true stories of war, sacrifice, and love. March 7th is the release of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, A Novel based on their amazing true story. It’s a book I’ve been writing since childhood, when I steeped myself in their memories. My hope is that their story would honor them and others like them. I’ll be blogging about the stories behind the story. Hope you stay tuned!
I’m glad that while I could, I pestered my parents for “‘Member whens.” And now, my grandkids are pestering me.
PLEASE CHECK OUT: www.withlovebook.dandibooks.com