Posts Tagged ‘memories’

DAD’S STORIES

October 17, 2017

Dad Dandi

I remember sitting in that chair and listening to Dad’s stories until someone would make us quit–usually, a phone call from a sick person who needed a house call ASAP. Dad made his WW2 buddies come alive for me: Anderson, Lartz, colonels and majors, privates, doctors, and patients. He told me stories about his family–how my Uncle Jack ended up a spy in WW2, or how he quit his restaurant job in Columbia, MO, so that Dad could work there and put himself through school at Mizzou. And if I pressed him, he’d tell me about the beautiful nurse he met in Army training and married after only a few weeks–Helen Eberhart, my mom. http://www.dandibooks.com

 

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Car Trips with Frank and Helen

October 10, 2017

Daley Trio

This may not look like a car trip of happy campers (Maureen was taking the picture), but my memories of our travels are all good–except for my persistent carsickness, which continues to this day. Car time was one of the best times to pump my parents for stories, many that became part of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. Joe and I have always used car trips for telling our kids family stories, and now they tell their kids and we get to trap our grandkids in the car and inundate them with stories. That’s the way it works.

Granddaughter Cassie, barely 7, listened intently to my husband’s story about a fishing trip when his mom caught the big fish. Cassie knew that “Pa’s” dad died when Pa was a kid. She studied a picture of her, sighed, then said, “I miss all the dead people I didn’t get to know.” Me too. But our stories are the next best thing we can offer.

WORLD WAR 2 — SNAPSHOTS

September 1, 2017

tents

Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley, Army Nurse, and Captain Frank R. Daley, M.D. (Early pictures find him still a lieutenant in the Army, however.) As I was writing and revising and rewriting With Love, Wherever You Are, I used each of these photos to help me describe locations and to help me visualize my young parents in such strange circumstances. Helen is pictured in Rennes, where she served in an Army hospital during the war. Frank is in a Battalion Aid station inside Germany, then in Heidelberg, and in a temporary camp. In the old Army trunk, I found both the sleeping bag on his back and the canteen pictured in the bottom-right photo.

WARTIME BRACELET

August 24, 2017

I loved this bracelet when I was a kid, though Mom rarely wore it. All I knew about it was that she acquired it during WW2, when she was an Army nurse serving on the front in France. She kept it in the little gold box, also picked up in France. The bracelet was the only piece of jewelry I wanted after Mom died.

Then, as I was reading through the 600+ letters I found in an old Army trunk, letters my mom and my dad wrote each other as Dad, an Army doctor, served on the German front, the pieces fell together. Dad wrote that Fritz, a trusted German prisoner in their British unit (more details in With Love, Wherever You Are!), was making coin bracelets for soldiers to send home to their wives, and Dad was thinking about getting Mom one. But a later letter said he’d decided they should collect coins from every place they were able to rendezvous. I ran to the little gold box and examined the coin bracelet.

Here’s what I can make out with a magnifier: 50 centimes 1922 “Commercie Industrie; Farthing 1943; Nazi Swastika and bird, 1941, and on the other side “Hitler Deutsch Reich Pfennig  (I think); 1922;  5 Centimes 1932 “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite”; 1944 coin has a stern-looking man’s head and says “Emanvele III”, 10, followed by a small c with a dot in it. I may have mistakes, as it’s hard to read. I welcome any input on these coins! But I felt as if I’d unearthed a treasure, so I wear this bracelet whenever I do a reading of With Love, Wherever You Are.  http://www.dandibooks.com

FORT DRUM (WW2)

August 10, 2017

Ft. DrummI had no idea what this monstrosity was when I found the picture in the bottom of a WW2 Army trunk. Thankfully, someone had written “Fort Drum” on the back. Known as “the concrete battleship,” it was a fortified island in Manila Bay, Philippines. The U.S. built it in 1909 as a harbor defense. It was captured by the Japanese in WW2, 1942, then recaptured by the U.S. in 1945. “Dotty” my aunt, whose letters appear in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, served in this area and was there for the fall of Corregidor and the Death March of Bataan.

LETTERS

August 8, 2017

Just Sayin'

When is the last time you wrote a letter? When is the last time you received one? In our age of texts and emojis, letters have dwindled. When I wrote WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I was able to study over 600 letters written by my parents serving in WW2. Who preserves texts, even for the life of the phone? I decided I’d write a novel totally in letters. The result is JUST SAYIN’, a middle-grade novel in letters. The postmark and setting are Hamilton, MO, where I grew up.

WITH LOVE…from Dotty

August 3, 2017

cartoon.jpeg

If you’ve read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you’ll “get it.” The day after Lt. Frank Daley (aka Dad) received his medical degree, he reported for duty as Army doctor in WW2. Lt. Dorothea Daley Engel (aka Aunt Dot) was already serving as an Army nurse in the Philippines. She sent this cartoon to her brother Frank soon after he arrived overseas.

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

July 24, 2017

Imagine yourself serving in a makeshift hospital overseas. Now, imagine you’re in the middle of World War 2, trying to care for desperately sick, wounded, terrified soldiers. And on top of that, you are a newlywed, and your spouse of only a few weeks is also at the front, caring for battlefield wounded . . . in a different country. How could such a marriage survive?

Letters. These are just two of the Army trunkful of letters from my mom and dad, Dr. Frank Daley and Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley. They lived for mail call, when they would hear from each other and know they were safe and still in love, in spite of the physical distance between them. Imagine waiting for a letter, hoping, praying . . . and nothing for days and days. You had been writing 2 or 3 times a day, every day. And then, imagine receiving a treasure–11 letters at once.

I based the novel, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, on my parents’ stories and on the over 600 letters they left me. http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

WITH LOVE, At the End of the War

July 6, 2017

Harpoon 15 Aug

I have several of these HARPOON bulletins from the Marine Panther, the ship that set out for Japan, China, Burma, or India. (The soldiers didn’t know where they would end up or how long the war on that front would continue.) Don’t miss the bottom paragraphs detailing the results of war, statistics that dampened the victory celebrations.

Dad, Captain/Dr. Frank R. Daley was on the Marine Panther soon after Germany surrendered and war ended in Europe. The ship, and Frank, were headed for 2-4 years of additional service in the Army. When the Japanese surrendered, all ships that had passed through the Panama Canal had to keep going for 2-4 more years of peacekeeping. Those ships that hadn’t yet reached the Panama Canal got to turn back and head for America. The Canal was in sight, but not entered when, to the cheers of the passengers, the Marine Panther turned around and headed home.

WHEREVER YOU ARE…WAITING

June 15, 2017

Just HelenAll that I know about this picture is that it’s my mother, Helen Eberhart Daley, Lieutenant and nurse, serving in France toward the end of WW2. But it’s the kind of photo that creates a scene, a story, in my mind. I imagine her staring out to sea, maybe from Marseilles, taking a rare break from the hospital, hoping to glimpse a ship that could take her home. Or, maybe she’s looking for Frank, hoping he received her code letter telling him where she was, where they could meet. What do you guys imagine?

Check out: http://www.dandibooks.com/with-love-wherever-you-are/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMpbNFs687A