Posts Tagged ‘words’

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, CAPTAIN DALEY

June 8, 2017

Captain Promotion

You are now looking at a “RESTRICTED” special order from WW2. If you’ve read WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, this 72-year old piece of paper may make sense. F.R. Daley, MD, and his fellow doctors entered the war as First Lieutenants, with the promise of a very swift promotion to Captain. Thanks to a certain American Colonel’s negligence, or animosity, Lt. Daley and friends missed the promotion deadline, and promotions were frozen as soon as they arrived in Europe. Frank didn’t crave the elevated honor of becoming a captain, but he did crave the increased captain’s pay.

Anyone remember that Colonel’s name?

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

 

DAD & DANDI

May 31, 2017
Dad and Dandi


Hamilton, Missouri

Since my last blog featured Mom (Helen) and my big sister, Maureen, I decided to share these photos of Dad (Frank) and me, taken in the home where I grew up, the first and last house my parents owned. I loved growing up in a small town (population 1,701, before the shoe factory closed).

If you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you know from the letters he wrote that Frank was a very good writer. Being a doctor, however, did get in the way of becoming an author. Still, the American Medical Association kept electing him secretary because they loved to read his witty versions of their boring meetings. Once, he had a cartoon in Reader’s Digest. And during a time before the Vietnam war became unpopular, he wrote an anti-war editorial for the Kansas City Star. I can still remember defending my dad’s stance when I went to school the day after the article came out, although none of us had a clue about Vietnam or war.

THE BRIDE AND GROOM

May 18, 2017

wedding-photo

Lt. Helen Marie Eberhart, Army nurse, and Lt. Frank R. Daley, M.D., fell in love in wartime, during Army training. After a whirlwind romance, they got married in Chicago (waiting in line for their turn at the altar, as other couples marched down the aisle before them).  A couple of weeks later, they were sent overseas to the front–and to different countries. It’s a miracle that their marriage held together during war, separations, and eventually 52 years of life and love.

As I wrote their story, WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, this is the photo that hung on the wall in my office, directly in front of me.

If you haven’t watched the trailer and the video clip yet, here are the links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJL59-UsAyo&t=1s

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

A RARE RENDEZVOUS

May 12, 2017

Marseille Stroll

This is one of my favorite pictures of Mom and Dad, Helen and Frank. One of their rare rendezvous took place in Marseilles, France. Lt. Frank Daley, MD, had a brief assignment there, where he got to know a young French boy who worked in the post office. The boy talked the good doctor into accompanying him to help his sister, who was suffering from an unknown ailment. Frank treated the girl, and on one visit during a storm, the family let him stay in a secret room below their barn, where the farmers had hidden French Resistance fighters.

Frank had to leave Marseilles, but he determined to meet Helen there someday soon, even if he had to go A.W.O.L. to do it. (And if you’ve read With Love, Wherever You Are, you already know all about that!)

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

Video trailers:  https://youtu.be/LJL59-UsAyo  : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJL59-UsAyo&t=1s   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMpbNFs687A

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dandi.mackall

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dandiMackall

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38952.Dandi_Daley_Mackall  

Blog: https://dandimackall.wordpress.com/

WITH LOVE–Hamilton, Missouri

May 11, 2017

In about 2 weeks, I’m going “home” to Hamilton, Missouri. I grew up in this small town, where we rode horses bareback, never locked our doors, and left the keys in the car. (Yes, I do realize times have changed.) Both of these pictures were taken before my time. The train no longer chugs across Main Street, and I’m pretty sure the Penney store closed. Hamilton was the birthplace and hometown of J.C. Penney, who went to school with my grandfather. The Penney Farm was just up the gravel/dirt road from our house. I graduated from Penney High School. And on Saturday, May 27th, I’ll be speaking and reading and signing books at the public library, which is in the Penney Museum. That night I’m speaking at the Alumni banquet. I am so excited and so very grateful!

I’m hoping to post a few more old pictures and memories before Joe and I and Ellie and Cassie, our 6 and 8-year-old granddaughters, head for Hamilton. Stay tuned!

WHEREVER (on Earth) YOU ARE

May 8, 2017

battalion aid (2)

Dr. Frank R. Daley, MD, looks so serious, so angry. This is not an expression I recognize from my childhood. My dad was fun, witty, and always ready to play with his family–football, baseball, basketball, tennis, ping pong, poker.

I believe in this photo he’s deep into Germany, on the edge of a battlefield, sleeping in that tiny tent, where he could never keep warm enough. I think he’s wearing everything he has with him. And I believe he’s vowing that he will do whatever it takes to get back to Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley.

PETE & THE POWER OF STORY

May 4, 2017

Pete (2)

Meet Pete. Dr. Lyle Peter Daley, MD was of the magical, or diabolical, age to have served in WW1 and WW2. In the second war, he taught Army medics and doctors, preparing them for battlefield care. Like his sons, the beloved Dr. Pete had a dry wit and ready smile. Legend has it that when I was born, he took one look at me and declared, “She’s a dandy!” It’s a nice story anyway. I think I have memories of Pete, my grandfather, who was never called anything but “Pete.” I can picture his large shoes under our dining table, where I’d taken refuge during the grownups’ dinner. I can picture him standing beside his old car, and me, clinging to his ankles because I wanted to go with him.

But I was only 2 years old when he died. And now, I can’t distinguish memory from story, stories I’ve heard dozens of times. Am I really remembering those moments?

It was Pete’s heart attack that made Frank and Helen leave Washington D.C., put off their plans of moving south to set up their medical practice, probably in Miami, and go to Hamilton, Missouri, to care for the town’s patients “until Pete recovered.” But Pete never grew strong enough to resume his role as town doctor, and Frank and Helen stayed…and stayed…and stayed–50 years.

 

SUPER HELEN

April 30, 2017

helen-in-cape

I have to admit that I’m not sure how I came across this cape. I discovered it when I unrolled an Army sleeping bag. Helen did not like the Army’s fashion sense. More than once, she got in trouble for not wearing her helmet or her cap.

Who could blame her? Here’s how the Army described the clothing for Army nurses:  Cape, Olive Drab, Nurses’ – Stock No. 55-C-5910
Wool Barathea Cape in two layers, with newly designed collar and buttoned tab closure, in Olive Drab Shade No. 51      Jacket, Wool, Olive Drab, Women;  Skirt, Wool, Olive Drab Dark; Trenchcoat, Wool . . .

Adding insult to injury (as Mom used to say), nurses had to pay for their own uniforms–plus their nurse’s uniforms! Not many of my frugal parents’ uniforms survived because as soon as they were out of the Army, they re-purposed coats and jackets so they could wear them in civilian life.

WITH LOVE…Before and After

April 21, 2017

2 Franks

War changes everything, including warriors. Lt. Frank R. Daley, M.D. is in both photos. In the first one, I think he looks so young and eager, still stateside, but about to travel and see the world. In the bottom photo, he’s on his way to Alsace-Lorraine, a stopover before pushing into Germany with a battalion unit. He’s seen a lot, too much. He knows that the railroad car he’s traveling in was purloined from the Nazis. And he strongly suspects that the train had been used to carry captives to concentration camps.

I discovered the second photo in one of Frank’s letters to Helen. At first, I wondered at his odd expression from the box car. Then I read the letter. He explains that he was sucking on a rare piece of hard candy when the picture was taken.