Home at Last: a memoir
This is the story of two interesting but rare and unusual species—the Southern Belle and the Pennsylvania Dutchman. Even more rare that they should meet, fall in love, and spend a long, interesting and unusual life together.
The Southern Belle was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. The daughter of a Jewish entrepreneur and WWII Army Air Corps pilot and a nurse from Oklahoma. She was a favorite daughter in many respects but sparred with her father over his insistence on living a more humble lifestyle than she thought the family deserved. Ultimately, she struck out for Houston, Texas, to make a life of her own.
The Pennsylvania Dutchman was raised in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He rebels against his stubborn German father, manages to get a first-rate college degree, and then goes against his Mennonite upbringing to volunteer for army service and serve a tour in Vietnam. His study of geology leads him to the University of Texas at Austin and the oil business in Houston, Texas.
Their life together takes them literally around the world, including a tour in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Eventually, they land in Denver, Colorado. Their life is suddenly shattered when the Southern Belle is diagnosed with a devastating illness—MSA (multiple system atrophy).
The Dutchman tackles this challenge with all the determination which has served him well in life. However, despite prayers, supplications, and the best medical advice available, he is unable to save his beloved Belle.
This book captures the spirit of this feisty but eminently gracious Southern Belle, the tenaciousness of the Pennsylvania Dutchman, their life together, and the unfortunate hell of her last years on earth. A modern and unusual love story.