Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Now that my granddaughter is spending a month studying with her college overseas, or "studying abroad" as she puts it, memories of living overseas with my husband and children for three years during the 1980s and working in Germany come flooding back.
My granddaughter has been studying in Europe for about ten days now, and over the weekend she went on an excursion to the German city of Berlin. She has called and texted and posted on Facebook about her excursion, which was filled with trips to landmarks, museums, and a concentration camp.
One site her group visited was The Berlin Wall, which was still intact when we lived in Germany during the 1980s, but is now a tourist destination. Although, she noted, she also visited another famous tourist-destination wall, the graffiti-decorated John Lennon Wall.
Back in the 1980s, my daughter (my granddaughter's mom) also traveled to what was then called West Berlin. At that time, my daughter was a high school freshman and an amazing athlete -- she ran track and played softball -- and her American high school was invited to play in a softball tournament against another American high school in West Berlin. And she made the trip with her team.
During the 80s, Americans working in Germany needed special permission for themselves or family members to travel from West Germany, where we worked, to East Germany, which had to be traveled through to get to West Berlin. My husband had to get a "flag" letter signed by a General Officer from his work authorizing our daughter to go with her school team.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to accompany her to Berlin, so I don't have photos, but when she returned, she had a wealth of memories. She told stories, not so much about the softball tournament, but of standing next to the Berlin Wall and of riding on a train that left during the middle of the night with the shade-drawn windows so the teenage girls and their coaches couldn't "spy" on the East German countryside.
Now, more than 30 years later, her daughter has made a similar trip, with her school, but on a bus with an open view of the German countryside, to a much different, undivided Germany and undivided Berlin.
This summer my granddaughter is making special memories that will last her a lifetime of her visit to Berlin, over the same, yet different, streets and sites her mom walked across and visited decades ago. And isn't that a wonderful adventure?
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Monday, May 9, 2016
|First Page Rodeo Panelists|
Margaret, Greg, Eleanor, and George
|Mary, Dianna, and Donna (me)|
I sincerely appreciated the panelists' forthright and generous comments and suggestions, not only of my own first page, but also of the other submissions.
How about you?Are there any items on these lists that caught your attention?
Friday, May 6, 2016
Monday, May 2, 2016
Notes from Unbound Book Festival: Senator Claire McCaskill on Politics, the State of Journalism and Writing PLENTY LADYLIKE
|Senator Claire McCaskill|
The one-hour discussion was moderated by Vicky Russell from the "Columbia Daity Tribune." Index cards were handed out in advance for people to write down questions, which were asked at the end of the presentation.
Senator McCaskill and Mr. Ganeytalked about how the book came to be -- the initial idea and the writing process. He said he believed her story needed to be told in part because she is "a remarkable star and a Senator, who once was on a game show in Hollywood." He began collecting material in 2011, which included interviews and oral history.
Then, according to Senator McCaskill, "Aiken happened.” The focus of the book shifted to the 2012 election between the senator and Todd Aiken. The agents representing the book later told her they wanted a broader story.
She wanted to write something to let young girls know "it's okay to be bossy and have a big mouth," because she believes "women don’t have to be uncomfortable owning their ambition or not being likeable."
When asked if she'd do it again, she compared writing a book to having a baby. "The first five to six months are not so terrible, but the last hour is painful. Then you forget the pain with the joy of creation."
When asked what she might want to write about, she said she is concerned about politics today in terms of the breakdown of the journalistic model. She believes that journalism is searching for a business model. The senator would like to see a focus on expansive pieces with more investigative reporting; with reporters developing sources and writing in-depth articles -- for example, how Medicare for all would be funded.
When asked about her political ambitions, she said she is "irritated at Jefferson City and the elected officials in the state." To sum it up, she said, “We need to stand our ground in Missouri.”
This was the first time I'd ever heard Senator McCaskill speak in public, and I'm so happy I sat in on her session. I found her refreshingly candid and, typical of most Missourians, down-to-earth. Senator McCaskill was also intelligent and classy -- and very ladylike.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
It's well worth the just-under 100-mile drive to the event on the campus of Stephens College.
The line up of events and speakers for the April 23 festival is impressive. What's more impressive is that the event is free.
Alex George, festival founder and director, and his volunteers have worked tirelessly to organize the event and obtain sponsors and write grants to put on the festival. Here's a link to his interview with Jane Henderson of the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
Although the event is free, festival organizers ask that attendees please donate gently-used books and deposit them in the bins which will be placed outside the doors of the meeting rooms. The books will then be distributed throughout the Columbia area to people who love to read but might not be able to afford to buy books.
My bag of books is sitting next to my front door ready to be put in my car.
To me, it's a triple benefit. I get to do some spring cleaning, attend a free festival where I can learn from some amazing writers, and pass on some good books to other readers.
How great is that?