I have a lot to be thankful for. After my parents died, I was so sad. But we found my mom’s diaries, poetry, and short stories in a file cabinet. It was, unbeknownst to her, a gift to us. It contains so many poignant moments in her reflections on the impending war.
Even though my mom came from a working class family, her parents were always able to put food on the table, reminiscent of Norman Rockwell’s famous depiction of Freedom from Want from 1943.
Norman Rockwell’s Freedom From Want, 1943
Five years before that iconic painting, Joan writes about Thanksgiving. She always had a sense of humor–about herself most of all! Here is an entry from Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 24, 1938. Joan is 15 years old.
Then we had Thanksgiving dinner and spent afternoon and evening fooling around and pretending we were cave men having to talk in sign language punctuated by grunts (my idea—effect of Humanities). (Remember when we played Kentucky mountaineer and King Alfred and Lady Guinevere?) Well, Daddy was Chief Mud-in-the-Face, Mom was Lump of Fat, and I was Blockhead (later the Sylph-like Faun). Well, so goeth Thanksgiving. . . .
I love how she and her family were able to still playact when she was a teenager!
I’m also grateful to the generosity of people in Austin. On Sunday, November 18, 2012, I gave my first public reading of Home Front Girl at BookWoman in Austin, Texas.
Signing a book for my colleague, Nancy Grayson, at BookWoman. Note the snazzy red cast on my left foot!
Dear friends and colleagues came and it was a fun event.
Reading to a crowd of kindred spirits at BookWoman