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...
We were a city family but with the animals one would expect in a rural home. From rats to rabbits, cats to crows, lambs to Lucifer the boa constrictor, we never were without a pet that set my friends' eyes a-goggle. Here's an "outtake" that didn't make it into my book.
Rural health care, far away from cities is hard to come by. But the dedication of a country doctor may have saved my grandmother's life.
With the 17th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks drawing near, my mind is drawn back to the images of the First Responders, laden with gear, climbing up the stairs at the twin towers as everyone else was coming down to escape. I am thinking about all the lives lost that horrid day, including the lives of the First Responders- the fire fighters who put their lives on the line every day.
The unprecedented rain, flooding, displaced families, and ensuing misery in Texas this past week takes me back to memories of my dad's stories and my good times in Texas. Dad was an engineer for the National Board of Fire Underwriters (NBFU). His job was to inspect cities to check on their preparedness for disasters.
WHAT THE HECK IS THIS STORY ABOUT? That’s the critical question every author, fiction or nonfiction, has to answer. In my case, I had so much material–the thousands of pages of letters, diaries, documents, etc. I found in my parents’ [...]