Posts Tagged ‘stories’

INHERITED STORYTELLING

November 7, 2017

Schnapps (2)

This is my mom, Lt. and Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley, holding Schnapps on the steps of my grandparents’ home in Cissna Park, Illinois. Maybe because Grandma Eberhart was such a good storyteller, Mom was too. Even Grandpa Eberhart, never too talkative to the grandkids, told me stories of buying horses at auction and training and trading them.

When Mom was 3 years old and the Depression descended on America, she was sent to live with her aunts, away from her parents and siblings. She loved it! As the only child in residence from age 3-6, she received first-class spoiling. When she had to return home for the start of school, poor Helen saw her trunkful of lovely toys and dresses divided by her 10 siblings, who told her she wasn’t really one of them, but had been left on their step by the gypsies. Maybe that was good training to prepare her for serving in WW2, where she was called upon to speak German and care for German POW’s, causing some of her fellow nurses to whisper that she wasn’t one of them either. http://www.dandibooks.com

 

MY GRANDMOTHER’S STORIES

October 31, 2017

Cissna

This is the home of my grandparents (Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley’s parents) in Cissna Park, IL. My sister and I loved to visit there twice a year to play with our cousins in fields, corn and coal bins, barns, basement. Mom was one of 11 children, so we were blessed with an abundance of cousins. Grandma Eberhart (maiden name Eichelberger) could tell a great story. Grandkids ate in the kitchen, a swinging door separating us from the long table in the dining room. I remember pressing my ear to the crack in the door, waiting for my two favorite words: “‘Member when…?” These words were followed by the most amazing, but true, stories. My favorite came when one of Grandma’s children would get her to tell about crossing the ocean to come to America. Her job was to carry the little plastic Nativity brought from home in Germany. Little Helen slept with the figure under her pillow. Nauseated from rough seas, she clutched that figurine as she leaned over the side of the boat and “fed the fishes.” The only item I retrieved from the ol’ Eberhart house was that plastic Nativity. It now sits in our dining room.

What family mementos do you have? Do they come with stories you should pass down to your grandkids?

 

Lt. Dorothea Engel

October 26, 2017

scan-of-aunt-dot-in-the-army

When the nurses escaped the Japanese invasion on their island in the Philippines, they were taken to Australia to recover enough to be shipped back to the U.S. Almost immediately, Aunt Dot started writing letters to every officer and politician, begging them to help her find her husband, “Boots,” who had disappeared on the “Death March of Bataan.” She got little cooperation from the Army, who declared Boots dead, after having listed him initially as missing in action. The Army listed Dotty as a widow, but she refused widow’s pay because she believed her husband was still alive. And she continued her calls and letters to the powers-that-be. While she and the world awaited the end of the war, Dotty kept writing her brother, Captain Frank Daley, M.D., and her new and as yet unseen sister-in-law, Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley. Several of those letters appear in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, and it’s easy to see Lt. Doreathea Daley Engel’s determination and love.

AUNT DOT’S STORIES

October 24, 2017

Dot and Pete

If you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you’ve heard a bit about my Aunt Dot and read a few of her letters. Nurse Dorothea Daley, big sis to Dr. Frank Daley, joined the Army before the outbreak of WW2 and was sent to the Philippines. The Japanese bombed her hospital the day after Pearl Harbor, forcing surviving nurses to drag patients into the jungle. I remember Aunt Dot’s stories of brave wounded soldiers who helped in any way they could, then returned to battle. She met “Boots” there and married him in a foxhole during bombings. He was captured and forced into the “Death March of Bataan.” She never saw him again, but spent the rest of her life trying to find him and waiting for his return. So many stories . . .

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

 

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.

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE –

January 13, 2017

honeymoon dinner (2)

My publisher is planning an e-book promotional sale of $2.99 for this book. I decided I’d take advantage of that and “rerun” a few posts to pass the time leading up to the sale. Hey–TV does it, right? So, here goes:

Everybody knows war marriages never work out, right? I’ve been trying to think of ways I can share the extraordinary lives of Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley (nurse) and Lt. Frank R. Daley, MD (Dr.), who happen to be my parents and “stars” in the book, With Love, Wherever You Are. They look so young here, with no idea what lay ahead of them. They wanted to serve their country by taking care of its soldiers wherever the Army would send them. They’d only known each other a few weeks before getting married, then being sent to different fronts for the duration of the war, with only their letters to keep them together. And they were only happily married 52 years.

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