Facing death. A letter home. Memorial Day & D-Day tribute

My uncle, Frank Ebner Gartz, known to the family simply as "Ebner," [ABE-ner] was a "prince of a guy," my dad said often. He was also a crack navigator on the B-17 Bomber during World War II. In one of Ebner's letters home, he speaks forthrightly of how he coped, facing death from the carpets of FLAK surging toward him over and over, as German fighter planes buzzed the B-17 to shoot it down. Then a tribute to the 75th anniversary of D-Day, which Ebner also wrote home about. 

Mother’s Day and Mental Health Month

In May we're called upon to honor our mothers and to increase our awareness of mental health for ourselves, our families, and others. With this post I hope to do both: honor my mother for the anguished choices she alone, as an only child, could make about her mentally ill mother, and bring the choices she had to make at that time into focus in our own time.

Landing the immigrant dream

On Jan. 11th, 1911, (1/1/11) a massive steamship, named "Friedrich der Grosse" (for Frederick the Great, a one-time Prussian ruler) pulled into New York Bay. My dad's father, Josef Gärtz, was on that ship, peering out at the Statue of Liberty, greeting him and the other hopeful and exhausted boat-load of immigrants. It was the beginning of a life entirely different from the lives of the family and friends he left behind.