The Bomb in the Back Yard

EMERGENCY RATIONS: HOW ONE YOUNG TAIL GUNNER SURVIVED

WORLD WAR TWO

NEW EBOOK ADDRESSES POST TRAUMATIC STRESS AND A FATHER’S LOVE

Doesn’t every kid with a military parent wake up to a bomb in the backyard? In the 1950s, Post Traumatic Stress was a term yet to be invented. Most veterans rarely spoke of World War Two.

For one family in Los Angeles, California, the stories of Bob Goodrich, a tail gunner stationed in Kimbolton, England with the 379th Bomb Group, turned into legend and lore.

Originally not allowed to enlist due to an irregular heartbeat, Goodrich prevailed upon his father, a colonel, to get him into the service. He was determined to fight the Nazi death cult, no matter the cost.

The echoes of war reverberated into everyday life, often in benign ways. Hearing about the British kid who’d never seen an orange taught humility. Carrying Hershey bars on hikes recalled the reward at the turnaround point on a mission.

But the bomb in the backyard?

Bob Goodrich’s son says it’s one of his earliest memories. But this particular event was faced primarily by the older daughter, the author of Emergency Rations, then about eight years old.

“My father died a year ago, at 89 ½. Dad was aiming for 90; he always liked beating the odds. During the war, odds were that he would last maybe only a dozen missions. Dad achieved 35 missions, but not without some cost.

“These stories are some of the best part of my father. As he grew older, he rated his service as one of the most important things he’d ever done, and I’m sure most vets feel the same way.

“Finding how to pass on what he’d could of what he’d learned—that’s what’s in this little book.”

Anchorage writer Rebecca Goodrich will be reading at Jitters, 7 pm November 13, with The Living Room group. She will be interviewed on Big Cabbage Radio, KVRF 89.5, about Post Traumatic Stress and her new eBook, to be aired on or near Veteran’s Day this year and posted on the website. Her excerpt blog for 49 Writers will be published November 3.

Master storyteller Donald Davis, of North Carolina, heard an earlier version of Emergency Rations during a Community of Memory event on Unalaska Island, and asked to add it to his collection. In a letter to Rebecca he said, “Yours are the stories of the heroic people we live with everyday.”

 

 

Date: 

Monday, November 2, 2015 - 9:15am