Ilda Weatherford & Co-author Cora Brantner

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About the Author

MARY ALICE, GYPSY NURSE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

This novel is the result of a labor of love from two women; mother and daughter.

Ilda was the daughter of the real (Mary) Alice’s youngest daughter and an Austrian immigrant. She had many of her grandmother’s talents and abilities. She was born and raised in Portland, Oregon.

When WWll broke out, she got a job as an aircraft electrician in a defense plant, then joined the Navy Nurse Corps. She married another veteran, named Frank, in August 1947. They made their home in Southern California and raised three children. The family moved to the Seattle area in 1966.

One of her hobbies in her later years was attending a writer’s workshop and writing poems and short stories. She and Frank were enjoying their golden years when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in the 1990s. She was  moved into a nursing home in 1998, less than one year before Frank died. Ilda followed him in January, 2003. They were happily married for fifty one years.

 

Cora,  her youngest daughter, was thirteen when the family moved to the Seattle area. She met her future husband, Dan, on the school bus, less than two years later. They married six months out of high school and had one daughter. They travelled with the U.S. Air Force for twenty years, until he retired in 1991. They settled in a small town southeast of Seattle, where he now works as a truck driver.

Cora was a stay-at-home mom, only working a few part-time and volunteer jobs before she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lost her youthful stamina. She still gets out and about, but spends more time at home, doing crafts and writing.

FOREWORD:
from the co-author:

I took possession of my mother’s box of writings when my father died, but it sat in my garage, unopened for years. During a time of injury recovery, a couple of years after Mom’s death, I started sifting through the box. I found the “Mary Alice” manuscript and read it. I knew right away that I had to do something with it; but how? I had done a little writing of my own, but nothing so large and involved as this! I knew nothing about computers or self publishing.  I didn’t even remember how to type!

And so the journey began; a bumpy one that has lasted about seven years. In the midst of a particularly rough patch, I finally broke down and prayed to God: “Father, I need your help, I can’t do this by myself!”

His reply was: “If I help you, will you honor me with it?” At once, I knew what to do, and began editing out anything questionable (my mother wasn’t a Christian) and adding new passages with Scripture and other Christian themes.

I’ve always battled with pride as a result of my upbringing. After submitting the manuscript and checking for mistakes in the galley proofs, I realized that I had jumped the gun, and was not as ready as I had thought. I had eaten crow before, but not like this! I had to do some studying on English grammar (as I could not afford to have it professionally edited) and go through the whole book again, for the umpteenth time. I should have most of it memorized by now.

Now that I have writing in my blood, and have a pretty good idea what I’m doing, I’ll probably continue with the “Mary Alice” saga. Hopefully, this novel will be successful, and the next one won’t take as long to write and publish!

P.S. I know that a lot of this story is true, but how much, I do not know.