Posts Tagged ‘novels’

WW2, BASEBALL, & ROCK AND ROLL

September 21, 2017

Rock and roll

I had the best time when I took the family back to Hamilton, MO, my hometown, birth through college (at Mizzou, of course). I loved sharing Hamilton with Joe and our granddaughters. In a library talk, Ellie (short for Helen) dressed in Mom’s (Helen’s) Army jacket when I talked about WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She changed into her rock ‘n’ roll persona when I read ROCK AWAY GRANNY. But I got to wear my Royals’ jersey as K.C. Batgirl for A GIRL NAMED DAN. Dream come true for this small-town gal!

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WITH LOVE, HELEN EBERHART DALEY

September 19, 2017

Ohio Mom

This is my mom from 2009, Helen from WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She was as lovely then as in her WW2 days. We convinced her to come live with us in Ohio, and to leave Hamilton, MO, her home with Frank, my dad, for 60 years or so. It wasn’t an easy battle with this feisty gal! But once committed, she never complained, but looked for new ways to share the Spirit that lived inside her and touched everyone she met. Those last 5 years were my best with my mom. I pumped her for war stories, never mentioning the stacks of letters secure in the Army trunk and untouched since 1945, letters she and Dad wrote as newlyweds on different war fronts, letters I wasn’t allowed to open until she joined Dad in heaven.

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, WHEREVER YOU ARE

July 10, 2017

mail tiny

In WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, there are many letters my parents wrote as newlyweds separated and serving overseas in WW2. One of the toughest parts of writing the book was deciding which letters I could include. This is one of hundreds that didn’t make the cut. If you look closely, you may see that Helen is writing Frank about “Schnapps.” And if you’ve read the book, you know all about Schnapps.

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