I was delighted last year when my mom’s diaries in the book I edited, Home Front Girl: A Diary of Love, Literature, and Growing Up in Wartime America, was released in paperback. That meant more people could enjoy my mom’s amazingly precocious insights into God, nature, love, and war. I submitted the new edition to book awards and currently it is a finalist for a Literary Classics Book Award! I’ll know more in a few weeks, but I’m so excited for Joan–only wish she could be here to share in the exciting news.
On the other hand, Joan herself was a bit skeptical of awards. Here she is at age 15, describing how she found out about an award she won.
Sunday, June 19, 1938
Well, I won first prize for my essay on Martin Luther today! You know, the one I sat up till 2:30 for last Saturday. Well, I won! I was so surprised! It was announced in church and I was sitting in the choir blissfully counting my feet (two of them), when I heard an acolyte whisper, “Joan Wehlen, she’s here.” And Pat poked me and I got up to receive the prize. It was a book, Moby Dick, signed by Father Carr and Mr. Hebley and inscribed “First Prize.” So there!
Today was the last Sunday School Sunday of the season. Prizes for perfect attendance given out. Little crosses. Of course I didn’t get one! Not for perfect attendance. Of the 15 who had perfect attendance so far, only seven were there to receive their prizes. Very embarrassing. You know, I promised to split my prize if I won it with Mrs. Love as she dictated some Martin Luther notes to me, but I couldn’t rip up the book, so I guess I keep it.
I also have some exciting news about more writings from Joan, which I’ll share soon!