14 years ago, my wife and I went to Hiroshima by high-speed ferry boat, on our way back from visiting her parents in Kyushu. Her father’s family comes from Hiroshima (although her father was actually born in Dairen/Dalian (大連), China) and her uncle and his family still live about an hour’s drive north of the city.
“Over sixteen million Americans served during World War II and this story offers in rich detail the story of two men in uniform and a woman they both cared about. A story of love and tragedy that is more representative of the experiences of many that served than the ones often told of generals and politicians. A story that needs to be told and remembered.”
— Dr. Rick Derrah, Professor of Social Studies, Kindai University, Osaka; former US Army E-4 Specialist
“Not only is this a touching and interesting family story, it is a great snap shot of the war and its effects, as well as Trojans and Troy history connection.”
— Don Rittner, historian, former Albany City Archaeologist and founder of the Pine Bush Historic Preservation Project
On this day, June 10th, what would have been my mother’s 69th birthday had she not passed away suddenly last October, I am conflicted.
Do I have the right to write about family history yet again?
And yet without the past, it’s difficult to write about the future. They are connected, by both visible and invisible lines, threads of beliefs and behaviors, attitudes and antagonisms, odd coincidences and strangely fortunate happenings. Particularly in my family. Continue Reading
I’ve made good progress on my mother’s high school manuscript — up to Chapter 9 (out of 15). Taking notes while I type, particularly about cultural references and language usage, I came across one interesting prediction:
“The space program of the two major nations [US and Russia] were joined after the moon project because it was cheaper to outfit; also, with the world’s greatest minds working together, better vehicles could be built.”
This was written a full 9 years before the joint Apollo-Soyuz (or Soyuz-Apollo) Test Project in 1975 that basically ended the “space race” started by the launch of Sputnik.
Written by a 17-year-old in 1968. The reality was more complicated, but still, heck of a prediction. Go, Mom!
“Three little children who were playing on the sidewalk near 118th Street and Seventh Avenue Tuesday afternoon jokingly shouted to two women riding in a ten-year-old automobile, ‘Get a horse! Get a horse!’
“A few seconds later they were frantically scrambling from the path of the old machine as apparently out of control, it plunged across the street toward them like a juggernaut.”
“There was a moment of silence and then from the front of the car…came the screams of a child.” Continue Reading
One thing I have struggled with while uncovering my family’s complicated past is the lack of consistency in naming conventions before the digital age.
In the Information Age, if you type in your name or ID with a single letter missing or out of place, your application gets rejected by whatever online program it is you’re trying to get access to. We all have numbers assigned to us—social security numbers, student numbers, worker numbers, case numbers, credit card numbers, you name it.
Thhppt. What’s a number? What’s a name? That which we would call a rose… Continue Reading