Our Buddy by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

 

The first vehicle I remember from my childhood was a white Mercedes Benz with four doors and a trunk. The interior seats were of a gray and white decorative pattern. Before my younger brother was born, my parents and I took many trips from our home in Tucson, Arizona.

We called the car Buddy. After my younger brother was born, when he was old enough, Dad started calling him Buddy, and I was confused. My brother’s given name was Andy, so why was Dad calling him Buddy? I was too young to understand that “buddy” was also a term of endearment.

Three years after my younger brother was born, after a second car was purchased, Buddy took Dad and me all the way from Tucson to Sheridan, Wyoming. The year was 1971, and I was ten years old. Dad would have gone on his own, but on the night he planned to leave, while we were eating supper, he asked if I wanted to come, and I said yes, since I was always up for an adventure.

We left that night. Because it was close to my bedtime, I camped out in Buddy’s back seat while Dad drove for a few hours. When we stopped, he unrolled a sleeping bag on the ground near the car. We were still in Arizona.

The next day, we drove through the Navaho Reservation and into Colorado, stopping at Four Corners, where Dad said we lost an hour. That night, we ended up in Durango, and I remember thinking it strange that it was still light at eight o’clock in the evening. That night, we visited several bars. Years later, this experience inspired a poem from my collection, How to Build A Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver.

The next day, we stopped at Mesa Verde, then spent the night with friends in Beulah, and the following evening, Dad left me in Denver with my maternal grandmother while he drove the rest of the way to Sheridan.

I stayed with Grammy and Granddad Hinkley in Denver for several weeks. During that time, Dad and his mother, Grandma Johnson, went to Las Vegas and back to Denver, where they picked me up. We drove to Sheridan in Grandma’s Cadillac because Buddy quit working after Dad reached Sheridan the first time.

We’d come here because Grandpa Johnson died in the fall of the previous year, and Grandma needed help with the family’s coin-operated machine business. During the weeks I spent in Sheridan, Buddy sat neglected in front of Grandma’s house. Dad was too busy running the business and keeping me entertained to worry about fixing the car. When we drove anywhere, we either used Grandma’s car or one of the company vehicles. When it was time for me to start school, Dad drove me to Denver, again in Grandma’s Cadillac, and I boarded a plane for Tucson. I wondered if I would ever see Buddy again.

In October of that year, Buddy somehow managed to get Dad home safe and sound. Two years later, we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, so Dad could run the business full time. We had two cars: Buddy and the other Mercedes Benz we called 220S Baby. We rented a U-Haul truck to carry our earthly possessions. Dad drove the U-Haul, towing Buddy, while Mother drove 220S Baby.

After we settled in Sheridan, Buddy eventually retired and was relegated to a space in our driveway behind the garage. When Andy became a teen-ager, Mother wanted him to fix up and use the old car, but Andy wasn’t interested, and Dad didn’t like the idea for some reason. She eventually gave Andy her old Fiat when she bought a new Subaru. There were other cars, a gray Buick station wagon, a number of pick-up trucks and a van that were used mostly for the coin-operated machine business, a Plymouth Reliant station wagon, a Mitsubishi, and a red Subaru station wagon that Andy inherited after Dad passed away and gave to his son as a graduation present. For a couple of years when my husband was alive and partially paralyzed by two strokes, I owned a red wheelchair-accessible van. However, our Buddy, a reliable car for years, will always be foremost in my memory.

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I’m the author of a memoir, two poetry collections, and a romance novel. I’m currently working on another novel. My work has appeared in The Weekly Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

 

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Forever is Never Too Long

Thanks to Rhonda Partain for inspiring this. I believe that if you truly love someone, forever is never too long.

Most marriages aren’t fraught with the turmoil that ours was. When my late husband Bill and I were married in the fall of 2005, I was in my forties, and he was nineteen years my senior. Three months after our wedding, Bill suffered a stroke that paralyzed his left side. A year later, he suffered another stroke, just as we were thinking maybe he’d get back on his feet again. That never happened.

For six years, I cared for him at home. With the use of only one arm and leg, he could do little for himself. Nevertheless, I loved him, and it never crossed my mind to leave him and find another. I would have cared for him for another twenty years, but in the fall of 2012, he started to decline, and it became difficult for me to lift him. I had to move him to a nursing home where he died a month later. You can read more about this in My Ideal Partner.

Some young people nowadays look on marriage as if they were buying a car. They move in together so they can test-drive the relationship. I don’t have a problem with this, but years after they’ve decided they’re right for each other, they toss the marriage aside like an old car that is no longer of use to them. Not only is this heartbreaking for the parties involved, but it’s also not fair to any children they may have had during that time. These children didn’t choose to be born and deserve a stable family environment.

If a spouse is abusive or unfaithful, that’s one thing, but simply falling out of love with your significant other should never happen. If you’re considering marriage, be sure. Be very sure you two are compatible and that you really want to spend the rest of your lives together. A marriage isn’t a car. You can’t trade it in for another model when you get tired of it. If you truly love the one you want to marry, forever will never be too long.

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I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

My Downtown Memories by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Thanks to Mike Staton’s post  here for inspiring this. When I was growing up in the 1960’s, my family was living in Tucson, Arizona, and a trip downtown was exciting because we had to drive through a large tunnel in order to get there. Dad or Mother kept honking the horn, as we drove through, and I loved the way the sound reverberated.

Once downtown, I enjoyed shopping in department stores with escalators and elevators. During the Christmas season, visiting Santa Claus was the highlight of any shopping trip. We often ate at a cafeteria, where my favorite meal was turkey with dressing and sweet potatoes. On my eleventh birthday, my parents took me and my younger brother to dinner at an Italian restaurant, where we ate outside on a patio.

The Tucson Community Center opened downtown while we were still living there, and Dad and I heard such performers as The Carpenters and Sonny and Cher. This facility also had a music hall where we heard performances of such works as Benjamin Britton’s A Celebration of Carols and Karl Orf’s Carmina Burana. We even heard a production of Rosini’s The Barber of Seville.

After we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, in 1973, going downtown wasn’t nearly as exciting. The only tunnels were underpasses on the freeway. None of the department stores had escalators. One had an elevator, but it was old and creaky and had to be run by a human operator. However, there was a café where I enjoyed drinking milk shakes after school.

Now, that café has since been replaced by another that doesn’t serve milk shakes. The department store with the elevator is gone, as are other stores that were there during my childhood. I still enjoy walking downtown from my home in favorable weather to do banking and other errands.

***

Now, in celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll conclude with a poem I wrote that was inspired by a childhood memory of downtown Sheridan at night. This is an acrostic in which the first letter of each line spells “downtown.” You can click on the title to hear me read it.

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MOONLIGHT MADNESS

 

 

Dancing lights from cars pass

on busy sidewalks

with stores of all sorts to delight shoppers who have

not a care in the world, as they stroll

to Penney’s, Woolworth’s

on streets that are crowded

with babies in strollers, children, and adults

needing nothing more than to shop and enjoy.

 

***

 

What do you remember about downtown when you were growing up? What has changed since then?

 

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I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

 

A Wrong Righted

 Posted by Renee Kimball

Oxford University Press.

Gray’s Anatomy was published for the first time in 1858.   What later was to become known as the “Bible of the medical profession,” has been continually published for over 150 years with almost no changes.  Certainly, an achievement for any book, much less a medical reference text.

In 2008, Dr. Ruth Richardson’s published The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame, a historical investigation detailing the creation of Gray’s Anatomy.   Richardson’s history offers a tale set in Victorian England of personal sacrifice, herculean ego, complex class differences, and clandestine intrigue.

Unknown by many, there were two authors of the original Gray’s Anatomy: “. . .  Henry Gray, anatomist, pathologist, and surgeon and Henry Vandyke Carter, apothecary-surgeon, microscopist, physician and artist” (Robinson).  Dr. Henry Gray was not the only contributor of the famous text as most would believe but had sought to block– even negate in its entirety—the monumental contributions of Dr. Henry Vandyke, illustrator of Gray’s.

Richardson shows that Dr. Henry Gray intentionally sought to diminish Carter’s involvement throughout the printing process and failed to even thank Carter for his efforts.  All this, despite Carter having worked over three years, producing illustrations that surpassed anything previously published.

Was it hubris, ego, class differences, or plain self-aggrandizement which caused Henry Gray to attempt to obliterate the overwhelming contribution that Dr. Carter provided in the creation of the seminal work?

To answer that question, Richardson successfully transports the reader into the heart of the Victorian England of Dickens—class struggle, excruciating poverty, workhouse cruelty and death, the ghoulish world of grave robbing, and murder for corpses.  It was during this time of social change, when class and wealth ruled government and society, Gray’s was conceived and published.

It also was a time when the English medical profession was in flux.  It was, for the most part, a profession dominated by wealth, class, and heredity.  Most medical schools were privately owned and rife with nepotism.  With the right familial standing and social connections, a medical degree was assured regardless of ability.

The medical schools were also the largest purveyors of stolen corpses.  The corpse was the chief learning tool of the medical student and fresh bodies were in demand.  However, acquiring a fresh corpse for dissection was illegal unless the body was that of a hanged murderer.

Because of the difficulties related to obtaining corpses, school administrators were indifferent regarding the true origin of the bodies.  At that time a corpse cost between £7 – £10 (British) pounds (U.S. $9.73 -$14.05).  For those who lived in egregious poverty, robbing graves provided an easy profit.

Robbing graves was so common place that an outraged public demanded the law changed.  The Anatomy Act was passed in 1832.

The Act offered an alternate and legitimate source of bodies– bodies of indigents who died in workhouses.  The Act closed a gap in supply, and Gray’s further filled a knowledge gap by producing an easily accessible and readable printed medical reference.

Prior to Gray’s, other anatomy books were illustrated; however, illustrations were cartoonish and unprofessional.  Richardson asserts that Carter, for the very first time, rendered illustrations in which the subjects appeared without pain and with such careful respect that the anatomical diagrams ensured the overall success of Gray’s.  No one before Carter had shown such tenderness with the subjects nor such consideration.

Robinson’s research confirms the extent of Carter’s involvement and contribution to Gray’s.  It is highly regrettable Carter was never rightfully acknowledged during his lifetime for his unique gifts to the seminal work.

The question as to why Dr. Henry Gray chose not to acknowledge Carter’s work will remain unanswered.   We are, however, entirely and eternally grateful that Dr. Richardson’s study has set the Gray’s authorial record straight.  Richardson has successfully righted an egregious wrong and ensured the credit Dr. Henry Vandyke Carter so justly deserved.

References

The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, Books, Fortune, Fame.  Oxford University Press. (2008)

The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy.  Book Review. (Part(s) 1 and 2). Online. Blackwell Blackwell’s Bookshops Published on May 13, 2010. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-Zv0IVCohg

Oxford University Press. Photo of Richardson’s book copied from this site.  PHOTO REFERENCE

Fresh Fiction for Today’s Reader. http://freshfiction.com/author.php?id=29582 Ruth Richardson

The Telegraph, 29 Oct 2008.  The Making of Mr. Gray’s Anatomy: Bodies, Books, fortune, Fame by Ruth Richardson- review October 29, 2008   Noel Malcolm https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/non_fictionreviews/3562651/The-Making-of-Mr-Grays-Anatomy-Bodies-Books-Fortune-Fame-by-Ruth-Richardson-review.html

The making of Mr. Gray’s anatomy Bodies, books, fortune, fame. Review. John T. Hansen. Journal of Clinical Investigation. J Clin Invest. 2009 May 1; 119(5): 1056. Published online 2009 May 1. doi:  10.1172/JCI39002 PMCID: PMC2673841. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673841/

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A former paralegal, Renee Kimball has a master’s degree in criminal justice. Among her interests are reading and writing. She is an active Animal Advocate and fosters and rescues both dogs and cats from shelters and works with various organizations to find them forever homes.

How I Fell in Love with My Ideal Partner by Abbie Johnson Taylor

In the winter of 2002, I was single and living here in Sheridan, Wyoming.  A couple of months after subscribing, I decided to pose a question on Newsreel, an audio magazine where people with visual impairments could share ideas and music and trade or sell items. Being a writer who attended workshops away from my computer on a regular basis, I wanted to know if there was any way to transfer a document from a braille note-taker to my computer. At the time, most note[takers didn’t use standard word processing formats, so the answers I received weren’t satisfactory.

 

One of these came from Bill Taylor, who lived in Fowler, Colorado, where he grew up and where he owned a computer store for twenty years. I don’t remember his answer, but I do recall him asking me about my writing. I responded that I wrote fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and that I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home. He then wrote back and said his mother lived in a nursing home. We had a little something in common.

 

Over the next couple of years, we corresponded, mainly by email but occasionally by phone. He’d downloaded over a hundred songs on his computer, and he sent me some of these on cassettes. I emailed him some of my writing. In the spring of 2003, when I started work on my first novel, We Shall Overcome, I sent him chapters, and he responded with feedback.

 

In the spring of 2004, on our way to visit my brother and his family in New Mexico, my father and I decided to stop in Fowler to see Bill, although it was a bit out of the way. Bill and I visited for about half an hour, and I discovered that he, like me, was a fan of Dr. Pepper. The following December, we returned, on our way to New Mexico for Christmas, and took Bill out to breakfast. At that time, he suggested we kiss under the mistletoe in his living room, but I thought he was joking.

 

In January of 2005, I received a braille letter from him in the mail and the shock of my life when I read it. He was asking me to marry him. At first, I thought he wanted me to move to Fowler, an idea I didn’t like, since I’d lived in Sheridan for years and wasn’t about to start from scratch in a new town. However, when I spooke to him on the phone after receiving his letter, he told me he wanted to move to Sheridan. He was tired of his home town, where there wasn’t much to do. Although I still didn’t know if I loved him, this was definitely a game-changer.

 

A couple of months later, he came to Sheridan to visit and proposed to me officially at a restaurant in the presence of family and friends. Something clicked, and I said yes.

 

In July, he moved to Sheridan, and I quit my job at the nursing home. In September, we were married. I wish I could say that was the end, and we’re still living happily ever after, thanks to Newsreel, but that was not to be.

 

In January of 2006, Bill suffered a stroke that confined him to a wheelchair. He spent nine months in the same nursing home where I’d worked, and I brought him home in September of that year. We’d hoped he would be back on his feet some day, but in January of 2007, he suffered a second stroke, not as severe, but bad enough to set him back to the point where he could never walk again. I cared for him at home until he passed in October 2012.

 

Despite the trials and tribulations of him only having the use of one arm and leg and me being his caregiver, most of our time together was happy, and we both looked forward to the arrival of Newsreel each month, first through the mail on cassette, then via digital download. You can read our complete story in a memoir I published in 2016, My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

 

If I hadn’t met Bill, I probably would still be working forty-hour weeks in the nursing home and may not have published four books. If not for Newsreel, I wouldn’t have met Bill. I hope this audio publication continues for at least another sixty years.

 

Now it’s your turn. How did you meet your ideal partner? Was it love at first site, or did it take a while? Maybe the song you hear when you click below will inspire you. It’s one I wanted to sing at my wedding but didn’t think I could.

 

Annie’s Song

 

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

 

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

A Thanksgiving Song

I’m Abbie Johnson Taylor, and I wrote this post.

 

Here’s a little ditty I wrote and posted in 2015 that I’m re-blogging. Years ago when my grandmother was alive, I enjoyed walking to her house, even as an adult. Now, our town boasts a series of connected cement walkways that would have provided a scenic route from my house to hers if she were still alive.

 

The following is set to a familiar tune we associate with Thanksgiving. To hear me sing it while accompanying myself on piano, click below. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Over the Bridge and Along the Creek

 

 

 

Over the bridge and along the creek to Grandma’s house I go.

My cane knows the way. I will not stray as through the leaves I go.

Over the bridge and along the creek, now Grandma’s house I spy.

Hurray for the turkey, stuffing, and yams and Grandma’s apple pie.

 

Over the bridge and along the creek to Grandma’s house I go.

My dog knows the way so “Forward,” I say as along the path we go.

Over the bridge and along the creek, now Grandma’s house we spy.

I must insure my trusty guide does not eat Grandma’s pie. Ruff ruff.

 

***

 

I’m the author of a romance novel, two poetry collections, and a memoir. My work has appeared in The Avocet and Magnets and Ladders. I have a visual impairment and live in Sheridan, Wyoming, where for six years, I cared for my late husband, who was totally blind and partially paralyzed by two strokes. Before that, I worked as a registered music therapist in a nursing home and other facilities that served senior citizens. For more information, please visit my website and blog.

 

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

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Old West Entertainers

Post by Doris McCraw

Doris

I love entertainment; movies, plays, opera, and symphony along with so many other forms. One thing I always stop and read when I’m researching is the entertainment that those in the 1800s enjoyed. Since I’ve been in the ‘stacks’ lately researching an outlaw for an upcoming presentation and paper, I thought I’d share some ‘lighter’ news.

Many think of the Old West as cowboys, outlaws, and generally an overall free for all. That was not always the case. There were many a traveling company who were available and put on many shows across the Western states. You also individual entertainers who ‘rode the circuit’.

In Colorado Springs in 1881, the town was treated to a presentation of Camille.  You can follow the link to the ‘review’ of the event. camille in colorado springs 1881

How about the “Old Time Medicine Show”? Back Stage with a Medicine Show Fifty Years Ago by William P Burt is an article from the Colorado Magazine from July 1942. If you would like to read the article, and I suggest you do, follow this link: http://www.historycolorado.org/sites/default/files/files/Researchers/ColoradoMagazine_v19n4_July1942.pdf

Back then, there was no television, radio let alone computers and streaming. Many people found ways to entertain themselves with dances, musical recitals. If you look at the city directories of the day, you would find a number of musicians and actors offering their services as teachers. I suppose dreams of making it were just a valid back then as now.

You had people like Lilly Langtree, Sarah Bernhardt, Eddie Foy, Blind Tom, Lotta Crabtree and many a traveling theater companies. Of course there were the Booth’s, one of whom became famous for his actions as opposed to his talents, which from reviews of the day were considerable.

So the next time you turn on the television, radio or listen to your device, remember the ‘entertainers’ who became famous in the early day. Maybe even check out your own newspapers to find out who entertained folks back in the day. You may be surprised.

And to book release news, I’ve a story in the newly released Medieval anthology “One Yuletide Knight” from Prairie Rose Publications.

One Yuletide Knight by [Macgillivray, Deborah , Townsend, Lindsay, Breeding, Cynthia, Raines, Angela, Kincaid, Keena, Sherry-Crews, Patti, Wells, Beverly, Thompson, Dawn]
http://amzn.to/2lVmma1
Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

 

NERO WOLFE BANQUET

 

Ever hear of the Wolfe Pack?

All mystery writers and everyone else who loves a good read should know who Rex Stout is. He introduced us to the modern mystery by his characters: Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. The 70’s TV series was loosely based on his books, Ellery Queen.

 

 

Many years ago, when I first began to write mysteries, I was told by a well-known author to read Rex Stout. I did. His books are fun to read. We’re introduced to a private detective who never leaves his brownstone and his gumshoe, Archie.

 

Nero loves beer and orchids. Archie loves milk and chasing down the bad guys. It’s a fit made in heaven.

I recently had the opportunity to attend The Rex Stout Banquet when I attended a convention in Toronto, Canada. It was fabulous. No words could explain it.

We toasted each other constantly with all the many guest speakers. The meal was to die for. The passed canapes included caviar. The salad was made from butter lettuce. The vegetables were also to die for. However, the peppered beef tenderloin melted in my mouth. The desert almost dropped me to my knees it was so good, Hazelnut and caramel mousse. Can you beat that?

 

 

 

We also had fun with making up parodies using characters names. One group received a standing ovation. An older gentleman from our table wanted to sing solo, so we let him. We also had trivia questions to answer during the evening. It was so much fun. My friend, Carol Pouliot sat beside me and we had so much fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I encourage everyone to experience this banquet if the chance should ever arise. It was well worth it!

I write the First Ladies mystery series, historical mysteries, poetry, and picture books.

http://www.barbaraschlichting.com

https://twitter.com/BSchlichting

https://www.goodreads.com/BarbSchlichting

 

 

 

 

 

Locations and Connections by Debra

 

Image may contain: 1 person, smilingThis Post by Debra Easterling

A funny anecdote.

In my opinion, the best book I’ve written to-date is Moshe’s War. I did not intend to write Rabbi.jpgthis book at first.  I was doing research on another book, which has still yet to be completed.  My research was in regard to a character that was a rabbi.  Not being one myself, I began my hunt online for Hebrew customs and rabbinical duties.

Well, you simply can not do any sort of research on the Hebrews, or the Jewish people, without hitting on the Holocaust.  Naturally, the Holocaust surrounds the horrific concentration camps and death camps. I stumbled across a camp, the Belzec Death Camp, a murder camp far worse than Auschwitz, although the camp was virtually unknown by most Americans. Over 600 thousand innocents were put to death in the chambers.  The article I read said that the Belzec Camp was “Twenty Miles North of Lvov” in Poland.  That sentence stuck in my head like super glue.  I stopped writing the book I for which I was doing the research, and started a whole new story.

I didn’t want to write another WWII story, so I wrote a middle-age thriller romance, set in 1967, Moshes War.JPG22 years after WWII.  A couple “finds each other” while they both struggle with their reminders of the war.  Moshe, a devout Jew, and a Nazi hunter is in particular turmoil, as he must deal with his feelings for a Polish immigrant, Ilsa while remaining faithful to his beliefs.  He also had to deal with the man he was hunting, a vile “freak of a man” who once led the guards at Belzec. I originally wrote the book with the title “Twenty Miles North of Lvov”, but after six months, my publisher didn’t like the title, so they changed it to “Moshe’s War.”  Although I preferred my title, I could see the relationship to Moshe’s War and allowed them to change it. (Not that I had much choice.)

Well, this is where it gets interesting.  Four years after I wrote the novel, my son decided he would journey into our family’s genealogy.  I always knew I was German, Polish, Finish, Russian and Irish.  My son got as far back as the late 1800s on my father’s side.  Twenty MilesHe learned that my great, great, great grandfather, Fredrick Drawert, the first Drawert to come to the United States, originated from Germany.  His mother, however, was Jewish, and she was from a little town “Twenty Miles North of Lvov.”  Now, how weird is that?

I’m part Jewish, and I didn’t even know it.  The fact that I had a relationship with a town Twenty Miles North of Lvov, is mind-blowing.  It’s also a bit spooky.

 

**Where are your ancestors from? Did you learn anything from your research that related to your ancestors?**

 

Here’s Debra’s books

Product DetailsProduct Details   Product Details

Product DetailsProduct DetailsProduct Details

Product Details

You can get all of Debra’s Books at Amazon

Visit her on Facebook

Here is her Webpage Link

 

Halloween 1870s Style

Post by Doris McCraw

Doris

First, I’ll get my new story/promotion out of the way. I have a story in the anthology “One Yuletide Knight” that is now up for pre-order and will be available as an ebook on November 2, 2017 with the print version available shortly after. You can purchase it at: One Yuletide Knight

With October 31, Halloween, approaching, I thought it might be fun to look at how people perceived that date in the 1870s in what most would call the West. Below are some actual pieces from papers of that time.

Here we have almost an advertisement for the evening from the Atchison Globe from Friday October 31, 1879 issue in Atchison, Kansas

201710222308598419

And this warning from the Lawrence, Kansas, Lawrence Republican Daily Journal of October 24, 1878. Seems mischief has been around for longer than we may have thought.

201710222312535131

For the history of the day we can thank the Sedalia, Missouri, Sedalia Daily Democrat of Saturday, November 2, 1878. 

hallow1

hallow

Of course no Halloween would be without the special events that take place. Here from Alden, Iowa issue of the October 10, 1879 issue, we have the following 

halloween fest

And finally this clip from a piece called “The Fairy Quest” from the Saturday, October 4, 1879 issue of the Republic County Journal of Scandia, Kansas.

clip from story halloween

I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of what folks back in the 1870s thought about October 31 and Halloween. There are so many stories, and I’m sure each of you have your own. However you celebrate of not, enjoy the fall season and don’t eat too much candy.  I know I won’t be bobbing for apples like I did when I was younger, but I might have a piece of…

Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

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