On Veterans Day, I always think of my beautiful, young, handsome Uncle Frank Ebner, whom I never met in person, yet I feel I know intimately. Why? Because I have nearly 300 letters written to and from him from January 1943 to the end of September 1945. Then the letters stopped coming home.
In honor of Veterans Day, I’m posting “Words, War, Worry,” an essay I wrote honoring our servicemen and women and the mothers who love them and fret over their safety.
Halloween costumes, when I was a kid in the 1950s, were not store-bought, at least not in my in my family. Halloween was an opportunity to be creative; to bring an idea to life. My dad loved to scope out whatever interesting or unusual items he could find at Goodwill, Salvation Army, and thrift stores.
Reading my Mom's 1941 diary entries of dating my dad is like listening in on a BFF conversation. In my upcoming book, Redlined, I had to streamline my parents' romance–so I could get to the meat of the story of my Chicago neighborhood. But Mom's vivid recollection of her evening with "Fred Gartz" is worth lingering over.
I hope you've been watching Burns' and Novick's Vietnam War series, because if you haven't, whether you lived through the era or not, it's eye-opening. The division in America was fierce and unrelenting. Division even more visceral than political divisions today. I have vivid memories of this terrifying era...