I’m the keeper of family stories, letters, photos. A small brown grosgrain purse, an aqua formal gown with ruffles from 1943, Dad’s USAAF officer’s hat, pilots logbooks. Combat records, casualty reports, and terrible telegrams.
Active on several history and military Facebook pages, I help administer local ones–Audubon County, Dallas County, and Guthrie County, Iowa–the places where my motherline stories originated. Also the Depression Era Iowa FB page.
Born two days before D-Day to an Iowa farmer who became an Army Air Corps pilot, then an instructor–with orders for combat when the war ended–and an Iowa waitress who lost three of her five brothers during that war.
I spent my childhood in an Iowa farmhouse with a front porch. Now I live with my husband, a Vietnam veteran, in a suburban house with a front porch.
A former Cub Scouts den mom and graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, I’ve published two genealogies, as well as dozens of essays in newspapers and magazines, including Midwest Living and The Des Moines Register, and some of my stories have been broadcast over Our American Stories. Some of my earlier essays have been collected by the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa.
Leora’s Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II tells the story of the five Wilson brothers who are featured on the Dallas County Freedom Rock at Minburn, Iowa. Leora was their mother–my grandmother.
All five enlisted. Only two came home.
Their story, their losses, must be remembered.
Navymen Donald and Delbert Wilson. Pilots Dale, Danny, and Junior Wilson.
You may also order the paperback from barnesandnoble.com.
If you’d like an autographed copy, two local shops will ship them: Adel Quilting and Dry Goods (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Beaverdale Books (515-279-5400).
Autographed copies are also available at the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge, and at the Machine Shed Restaurant in Urbandale.
You won’t be interested in all of my stories, so they are divided into categories:
Books & Authors–Books I’ve especially appreciated. (Usually posted on Wednesdays.)
Depression Era–Stories from my motherline and from letters they wrote to their “Navy boys,” who enlisted in 1934. Most of these are set in the small town of Dexter, Iowa.
Dexter (Iowa) History–I help administer Dexter’s Museum FB page, and this is the handiest place to keep stories and pictures together. Museum season is from April through October.
Early Ancestry–Stories too early for Turn of Century.
Growing Up on a Farm–Dexter area 1950s and 1960s.
Guest Blogger–(new) Sharing posts from the blogs of other writers.
Kidney-Walker Genealogy–Stories from my husband’s ancestry, including one about an anvil.
Miscellaneous–These didn’t fit anywhere else.
Turn Of Century–My motherline stories through WWI, mostly Audubon County and Guthrie County.
Uncategorized–tried to delete.
Veterans–To honor military veterans.
WWII–The main reason I started writing–to make sure the Wilson story is never forgotten. Dallas County: Dexter, Minburn, Perry.
WWI – Leora Wilson’s three oldest brothers, Guthrie County farmers, served in France in WWI.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD you God gives you. – Exodus 20:12
He determines the number of the stars; He calls them each by name. – Psalm 147:4