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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mom would have turned 93 today. Like my Dad, she was a coal cracker. She was born in Turkey Run (Shenandoah, Pa). My Dad would say, "No wonder they ran."

She was a coal miner's daughter, but managed to put herself through school and became a Registered Nurse. She served in the Army during WWII, and was stationed in Korea. I'm unsure how she met my Dad. He told me she had been after him for years, but never said that when she was around.

I do know I used to drive her nuts, so she was a good judge of character.

Kurt Vonnegut dedicated his masterpiece, Slaughterhouse Five, to my mom and Gerhard Müller. He was the cab driver who took my Dad and Vonnegut barhopping when they returned to visit Dresden after the war. They had been POWS, and were captured during the Battle of the Bulge. The East German police refused to let my Dad or Vonnegut back in the slaughterhouses in which they took refuge during the Allied firebombing of a City with no particular military significance.

"Jesus Christ! Twenty years ago, you wouldn't let is out of here and now you won't let us in!" complained the famous author before he was famous.

My Mom though Vonnegut would write a macho narrative of the war, but he promised her he'd call it "The Children's Crusade."

And he did.

4 comments:

K Mary said...

God bless the memory of your mother and father. I miss mine very much.

Anonymous said...

I wish your Mom a Happy Birthday in heaven Bernie- Signed- a reader

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thanks.

joe said...

I read a mention of Slaughterhouse Five being dedicated to your mother a while back on this blog. Of course, I ran to my bookshelf to confirm. As a Vonnegut fanatic, I find this anecdote incredibly cool.

Your parents led fascinating lives.