So not only did you teach me about writing memoir, you also taught me about reading and thinking about how others write memoir. Thank you so much! Rebecca
Showing posts with label WWII. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WWII. Show all posts

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day remembering those who lost their lives serving our country.

During World War II, I had two cousins, born long before I came into this world, who served in the military after President Franklin Roosevelt declared war on Japan, December 8, 1941. The young men had recently graduated high school.

My aunt Doll and Uncle Avon were devastated when their only son, Henry was killed in an airplane crash in the Gulf of Mexico. He was flying a plane and pulling a target for other planes to practice hitting. He plane was shot down by "friendly fire." Henry's body was never found. His unborn son would never see his father. Today, that son still misses the father who never held him, played with him or saw his success in sports when he was in school. That son has become a highly successful scientist in his field and author of two excellent, researched nonfiction books. 

I will never forget going to the home of my aunt and uncle and seeing them cry, broken-hearted, as they told of the horror of losing their beloved son. I was told that my uncle walked the beach day after day while his son's body was searched for in the Gulf, but had to come home without Henry. 


Another cousin who died during that war was the son of Aunt Lottie and Uncle Horace, brother of my father who had four sons.  My brother, Ray, served in the United States Navy, but never saw combat or went overseas. Horace had a daughter, Kathryn, and a son, Clyde Horace Council, Jr.. Clyde, tall and handsome, became an officer in the Air Force. His mother adored him. I have a photograph of the two of them. Clyde was only twenty-two years old when he was killed. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery.

Another veteran I knew who died serving in the military was a neighbor named Sam. He was sent to Viet Nam and was killed the day after he arrived. His parents mourned his death for the rest of their lives. He was too young to go, but his father had signed for him to go early. I know that guilt must have weighed heavy on that man's heart.

These are the men I think about on Memorial Day, and their families who sacrificed so much.

If you need to buy a gift, check out this site.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Delightful Day on a Mountaintop

Nadine, Ash, and Vicki

Nadine, Ash and Glenda
On this beautiful autumn day I was invited to join four former writing students at the home of Nadine J. on top of a mountain in north Georgia. We sat on her nicely appointed deck and feasted on a lovely lunch, enjoyed a bottle of wine with various desserts and laughed at the clever remarks of our dear friend, Ginny.

One of the nicest perks of teaching adults is finding friendships in the class. When the course ended, Ash Rothlein, a WWII veteran, enjoyed the others so much he invited them to the home he shares with his lovely wife, Liz, where they continued sharing their stories. I was included. Since that time, several years ago, we have all come to love each other.

Nadine's gritty and memorable stories about her childhood growing up in a coal mining camp will soon be compiled in a memoir. Meanwhile she designs interiors for fine homes all over the country.

Ash is involved in trying to reach descendants of those brave men buried above the beach in Normandy where he plans to be on the seventieth anniversary of that battle and on his 90th birthday. His writing consists of articles about his mission on D-Day for the Citizen-Times and other newspapers. Today he said he wants to motivate people to think about the lives lost in that war and the way our country came together as one after the fighting was over. Ash believes America can return to the way we were then. He is speaking to college students and sharing his story with all who listen, and those who listen find him captivating.

Writing has brought me joy in many ways, but finding friends such as Ginny, Vicki, Nadine, Ash and Liz is like the cherry on top of the whipped cream on the hot fudge sundae. We wrote down what we are thankful for in 2011, and these good friends were at the top of my list.