Thursday, May 2, 2013

An Interesting Person Passed During The Night

My stepmother-in-law, Bette Thorne, died of pneumonia in a hospital in British Columbia.  She has been declining for a number of years now from Alzheimer's, and it is hard to see this as a great tragedy.  Still, she had some interesting stories to tell when she was doing better.  Shortly before my father-in-law died of cancer, my wife and I drove Better and him up from Orange County, and I spent a bit of time talking to her about her life, and there was much of interest to learn from her.

She grew up in a rough section of Chicago where the Catholic kids regularly called her a "Christ-killer" because she was Jewish.  (This was the 1930s.)  She served with the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, and one of her duty assignments was in New Guinea, deep in a jungle airbase.  She met her husband, who was also with the AAF, and after the war, they raised their twin sons in Manila, living what was apparently a very charmed, almost colonial life.

Talk to everyone that you have a chance to meet: they all have some interesting stories to tell.

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