I was reminded of “how time flies when you’re having fun” by an invitation from Harvard Law School to attend the reunion of my 1959 graduation class. That was fifty-five years ago! We were also invited to share an account of our activities over the years. Here’s what I wrote:
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In reviewing the past fifty-five years, I realize what a good life I’ve been fortunate to experience. Harvard Law School is an important contributor to that life.
By the time I’d graduated from college, taught high school English for a year, served a… Continue reading
Returning to the winter of 1950 and Grandfather’s death, family conflict began. Lester, the oldest boy and successful businessman, was named administrator of Grandfather’s estate. He’d died without a will. Why he didn’t have one I cannot say. Was it his low opinion of lawyers, his refusal to accept the reality of his death, or simply that he didn’t care what happened?
After his death, the family had plenty of opportunities to discuss the future of the farm, and the Sunday gatherings of the brothers and sisters continued as before. Occasionally Father, Mother, Gary and I would slip away on… Continue reading
The year 1939 must have been the happiest in Mother’s life. At age 42 Leta married the star tenor in the church choir she directed during the school year. Although she and Lawrence visited us most Sundays, she didn’t take charge of matters as she had before her marriage, her available time being consumed with managing the lives of her husband’s two married daughters and their families. These new charges seemed happy to be “managed.” The marriage worked, Lawrence remained the star tenor into his seventies and everyone in the family acknowledged off the record that after her marriage Leta’s… Continue reading
In 1928, my father, a handsome 25-year old, had won my bookkeeper mother’s hand and brought her to the farm to live for a “year or two” with his parents and the two summer-time aunts, Leta and Dorothy, until they could accumulate the resources to buy their own farm. The Great Depression had arrived and the creation of new households units was becoming more difficult. It was not unusual then for children to continue living with their parents after marriage. But the hard times continued and four years later in 1932 when I made a pre-Christmas appearance they were still… Continue reading
During the last week of February 1950, I spent most evenings at St. Francis Hospital in Maryville, Missouri, where Edward Babb, my grandfather, in his 86th year lay dying. His health had been “failing” for several weeks and finally his daughter Dorothy convinced him to go to the hospital. He had never before been a hospital patient. His acquiescence signaled that he knew the end was in sight. What was wrong with him wasn’t diagnosed: no appetite, slipping in and out of sleep, and the gradual shutting down of his bodily system were the symptoms. The doctor said his… Continue reading
I just finished reading a new detective story novel Rebound by my former neighbor Michael Goodell who now spends most of his time in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, or at the family vineyard in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I still count him as one of the Tucson authors you should read.
For most of my life I’ve been addicted to this genre of fiction. My mother and my schoolteacher aunts, whose real jobs were entertaining me during the summer, must have had the same disease because about the time of World War II I discovered a shelf in our… Continue reading
I want to bring to your attention the recent work of another Tucson author, Chi Newman, entitled My China, My World. The following is my Amazon review of this memoir:
“For the first thirteen years of their lives Chi Newman and her twin sister Lu lived sheltered, pampered lives as children of a wealthy, high-ranking official in Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China government. They attended Sacre Coeur School, were taught French and English grammar and language by French nuns, and viewed Shirley Temple and other American movies in their spare time. Their father had studied law in England and… Continue reading
My dad was a good amateur baseball player, the second baseman for our Toad Hollow community team. Toad Hollow (pronounced “Toad Holler”) was a mythical place “just up the road over that thar next hill.” If you lived over “that thar” hill, it was “down the road past the old barn on the right.” Notwithstanding its lack of a latitudinal and longitudinal location on the map, every one in Nodaway and surrounding counties knew about Toad Holler and where it was located.
Despite his 220-pound weight on a five feet, ten-inch frame, Dad at age 38 was agile, quick, and… Continue reading
Ethel Lee-Miller is a Tucson author whose new book Seedling: Stories of Relationships just came out before this year’s Festival of Books. She has also written a memoir Thinking of Miller Place, an enchanting story of the summers she and her twin sister spent at their grandfather’s home on the northeastern shore of Long Island in the 1950s. Those who have read Thinking of Miller Place recognize the impact those delicious summers had on the very grownup, sagacious Ethel we know today.
My Amazon review of Seedlings: Stories of Relationships follows:
“Our lives are filled with a procession of relationships… Continue reading
“Get up! It’s time to get up. Your dad’s already gone to milk the cows,” his mother called up the staircase to the bedrooms.
“Wear your warm clothes. It’s plenty cold today.”
On that cold December 1941 morning, her voice wakened the blond haired, nine-year-old boy from a dream of images he hadn’t seen before. His body was cocooned in a down mattress and comforter with only a forehead and nose exposed. He could see his breath in the faint dawn light coming through the frosty east window of his bedroom.
His mind jolted from the dream to the need… Continue reading