Sunday, July 24, 2016
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
My local library in Kings County recently received a grant for the Veterans History Project. As a veteran of the Viet Nam Era, and as a woman who joined the Navy at a very controversial time, I was interested in participating. I felt the women’s side of things needed to be told.
The project was started in 2000. It was created to collect and preserve the personal stories from America’s war veterans. We have lost most of the WWI vets without a recorded history and the WWII vets are in their 90’s. We are quickly losing access to their memories. Viet Nam vets have in the past been reluctant to discuss their experiences. Today’s men and women who served in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan are a generation of cell phones and Face Book and are dialed into social media.
My own history started in 1972. People were protesting the war and I came from a military family. The draft was in place and many “hippies” and people against the war joined the Navy to avoid fighting on the ground. While I went into the military as a “hawk,” I came to understand the protest.
Two things I wanted to talk about was the prevalent drug problem and sexual harassment. I’m not sure that’s what the interviewers wanted, but it’s what I felt was necessary to address. I also spoke of the limited roles women were allowed to perform. I realize now that my generation was a frontrunner to many of the opportunities women now serving enjoy.
The Library of Congress in conjunction with the American Folklore Center is conducting this project. It is open to anyone who has served during war time, even if they were not in combat. Civilians who served in a professional capacity in support of a war are also included.
So, how do you do this? If you know a vet who qualifies, you can contact the project via the sites listed below. You’ll need a video camera or audio equipment. There is a field kit with questions and forms to fill out. The process takes approx. 45 minutes. Once the interview is concluded and sent to the Library of Congress, it is put on file an available to the public. Your children and relatives will have this first person narrative to remember their loved one.
I was the first to be interviewed by the Hanford Library. In addition, my library provides each of us with a video of our own.
Quesitons? Contact the project at 1-888- 371-5848
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
On July 2, Author Katherine Bolger Hyde braved the scorching heat of the Central Valley to visit with the San Joaquin Sisters in Crime. Despite it being a holiday weekend, we provided a full house.
To accompany her talk on her first mystery, Arsenic With Austen, she opened with a quiz about Jane Austen. The librarians attending scored well; the rest of us floundered.
This is something Katherine hopes to rectify with her new series combining murder with the classics. She explained there is a “Great Wall of China” between literary fiction and genre fiction. By alphabetically including literary names in the titles of future mysteries, she encourages readers to go further to explore literary authors.
What is “literary?” Katherine defined it for us as books that have stood the test of time. They often explore the human condition. She admits being more familiar with dead female British authors from a time frame christened “The Golden Age.” Agatha Christie is a top-runner in that category with Dorothy L. Sayers a close second. She regards Elizabeth George, P.D. James, Louise Penny, Jacqueline Windspear, Catriona McPherson and William Kent Kruger as writers of mysteries right up there with the classics.
“Jane Austen was a little difficult to work with,” confessed Katherine. There are no murders in the Austen novels. Perhaps she’ll have less trouble with future characters. “Bloodstains With Bronte” is a working title for book 2. The third novel is, of course, Christie and the fourth probably going to go to Dickens. Stay tuned.