b. 1915 at home
LaGrange, ID

Virginia Sears is the sister of Virgil Westdale, who was featured in Episode One.  In this episode, Virginia tells us what it was like to live through the Great Depression, and afterward, about the discrimination she faced during World War II as a Japanese American.

To learn more about Stories of COVID, click here.

b. 1927
St. Clair, MI

Chris Smith is the third generation owner of Chris-Craft, one of the oldest boat manufacturers in Michigan.  His family built several award winning racing boats for the Detroit Cup, the landing boats used in Normandy during World War II, and adapted the first outboard motors.

Birmingham, AL
Born 1925

I met Bettilew on accident the same day I met Ann Veren.  I was sitting in a coffee shop, and Bettilew’s granddaughter complimented my earrings.  We got to talking, and after telling her of the work I was doing, she insisted I interview her grandmother.  I’m so glad it worked out the way it did.  What a pleasure it was to meet both Bettilew and Ann!

Bettilew tells two stories in this episode.  One endearing, one about the war.  Both are valuable to understanding our past.

Read the original post I wrote after just having met Bettilew in 2015.

Conway, SC
Born 1920

Ida Mae Harris passed away last week, only days before I was to meet her again at a signing event in her city.  This is a special podcast edition to honor her life.  She speaks about the Depression, and gives very good advice for enjoying the richness of life.

Portland, OR
Born 1923

“I had to type eight carbon copies, and always at 5pm, my boss would find something to change.”

Juanita worked most her career in medicine.  She first started as a Red Cross Nurse during the War, then went on as a Medical Assistant, eventually co-authoring a textbook on X-Ray and running her own business.  Naturally, she talked a lot about how medicine has changed for the better.

To donate to the Alex Atkin surgery fund, please go to GoFundMe [now completed].