Towns, countries, and special places that appear in Immigrant Soldier and Wherever the Road Leads.

Books, Writing, History, and Me

In “Books, Writing, History, and Me” I share my thoughts on travel, cooking, van-life, books, the process of writing, the experiences of an indie-publisher, WWII, the Holocaust, and anything else I feel might be of interest to readers of my books. Please send me comments and let me know what you like and what you want to know more about. Everything in this blog reflects my personal ideas and feelings–a memoir of sorts, it is my perspective and any errors or omissions are mine.

A Night in Delhi (Part 1 of Return to India)

“We need to head straight for Delhi,” Tom said.   “I want to get you to a doctor.” I simply groaned.  I didn’t want to miss Rajasthan, our next planned stop, but I was miserable and scared. (page 281, Wherever the Road Leads) This illness in early March of 1973, set the stage for my return to India in the winter of 2001.  Twenty-eight years after the trip described in Wherever the Road Leads, I would finally see Rajasthan. […]

2021-05-02T20:13:11+00:00March 31st, 2021|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Memory of a Beijing Market

March 2003. Tom burst into the room as I finished my second cup of tea.  “I’ve found the market,” he announced.  “It’s just around the corner.” We had arrived in Beijing the afternoon before.  After checking into the hotel, eating a Chinese meal in a dining room filled with western tourists, and wandering Tiananmen Square in the falling dusk, we fell into bed, heavy with travel fatigue. But our body clocks were not yet on Beijing time and we were both wide awake while the city still struggled to turn night into morning.  My husband, normally an early riser, decided to explore the neighborhood as dawn slowly crept through the alleyways. I opted for a quiet moment with hot tea and a guide book. […]

2020-08-30T04:13:35+00:00August 30th, 2020|Tags: , , , , , |1 Comment

Illustrations for a Travel Memoir, Wherever the Road Leads.

Wherever the Road Leads has always been planned as an illustrated memoir. After all, with a subtitle that starts       “An Artist’s Memoir . . .,” readers will expect to see artwork. Luckily, I didn’t have 1000 drawings to choose from like I did with the photos. However, because of page consideration (Print on Demand services charge by the finished number of pages), I still must be selective. […]

Camp Young, Desert Training Center, World War II

On Sunday, June 19th, I celebrated Father’s Day as part of a panel of authors of military literature, an event sponsored by the Friends of the San Juan Capistrano Library. The other panel member was Frank McAdams, who wrote the Pulitzer nominated book, Vietnam Roughrider: A Convoy Commander’s Memoir. Before the panel started, the moderator, Pat Forster, also a Vietnam veteran and a contributor to a Vietnam military history book by Keith Nolan, asked me a simple question – “Where was Camp Young?”   I had to admit I couldn’t remember anything about Camp Young. At Pat’s insistence that it was indeed mentioned in Immigrant Soldier, I spent the next few minutes looking through the chapter titled, “Army Time.” Nothing. Then, on page 187, in the following chapter “The Letter,” I found it. “Within a week he [Herman] received orders that his entire battalion was being sent to Camp Young in the Mojave Desert. [...]

2019-12-01T07:21:27+00:00June 23rd, 2016|0 Comments

The Best Job in the World – Working at the Zebra Room in Los Angeles

“Herman was sure he had landed a job in one of the most exciting nightclubs in Los Angeles. The Zebra Room Cocktail Lounge, its tall chairs upholstered in zebra skin, hummed with action from afternoon until long after midnight.” – Immigrant Soldier, p. 141 Herman’s life was studded with serendipity. One of those moments, meeting the bartender from the Zebra Room, led to his job at that celebrated nightclub. Herman loved to remember his days working in this popular supper club. He was first assigned to the dignified Wedgewood Room restaurant at the Town House Hotel but was soon transferred to the Zebra Room. The Town House, located across from Lafayette Park on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, was first built as an apartment-hotel in the late Beaux Arts architectural style with brick and terra cotta facades, embellished with Greek motifs and columns. Developed by oil magnate, Edward Doheny, and completed in [...]

2019-12-01T07:21:53+00:00October 31st, 2015|0 Comments

Meiningen, A Hometown Revisited

Both my father and Herman had fond memories of their hometown, Meiningen, located in the southern part of the state of Thuringia, Germany, and just over the border into what was, from 1945 until 1990, East Germany. I was able to travel there in the Spring of 1991 with my elderly parents and one of my sisters. The thing that made the biggest impression on me was the deserted border crossing about 15 miles before we arrived in town. The stark gate and concrete barriers scarred the gently rolling green hills and reminded us why this was my father’s first trip home since he left in 1934. The town itself, so recently freed from Communism (it had only been 7 months since the dissolution of the Deutsche Demokratische Republik, a satellite state of the USSR) looked as if it had been sleeping for the last 40 years. Located in a pleasant valley [...]

2019-12-01T07:22:21+00:00June 18th, 2015|0 Comments

Visiting Camp Ritchie

June 2012. We are again surrounded by Ritchie Boys. Bob and I sit in the auditorium of the U.S. Navy Memorial Heritage Center in Washington, DC. The men we are here to honor enter the theater and find seats. Many walk with the aid of a cane or leaning on the arm of a friend or relative, but others appear to be as physically spry as their minds are nimble. None of them can be younger than 85, and many are into their 90s. We have all gathered for a three-day symposium titled Camp Ritchie and the Legacy of the Ritchie Boys.   Organized by the National Parks Conservation Association, the event begins, as such occasions usually do, with a color guard presentation and opening remarks. The keynote speaker is younger than most of his audience by probably 40 years. An active colonel in U.S. Army Intelligence, he tells us that [...]

2020-01-12T23:44:31+00:00September 1st, 2014|0 Comments

Finding The Ritchie Boys

Somewhere in the middle of a day of taping Herman’s memories in 1991, he mentioned his special training. “They sent me to the Army Intelligence Center,” he told me. “That was in Camp Ritchie, Maryland. And I took the course and graduated from the Army Intelligence Corps. We were trained in interrogation, espionage, and counter-espionage.” That was the only time he named Camp Ritchie. He also mentioned other places he was assigned: Camp Roberts, Fort Lewis, Needles in the Mojave Desert, and Camp Benning, Georgia. When I first heard the name of the Camp Ritchie training center, I had no idea where it would lead me. It was simply a name on a list of places where Herman was stationed. When I finished the first part of the manuscript, I knew writing about the army years would be a struggle. How would I, born during World War II and raised in [...]

2020-01-12T23:05:50+00:00March 8th, 2014|2 Comments
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