A year or so ago my uncle Don Ford, State College PA, suggested I write a book about his mother's life. She was a rather amazing little mite of a woman who died at age 91 in 1989. I felt unequal to the task. Don sent audio and videotapes of Grandma telling stories about her childhood in Iowa, memories of life in WW I, the Depression and Dustbowl, WW 2 and other major events of the 20th century. Those tapes provided the framework for her story.
Esther Clara Sanow was born and raised in Cherokee County Iowa, near Marcus. In 1916 a tall young man from Kansas married her and took her to Frankfort Kansas on a train. What adventures she and Herb Ford shared during their 65 years of marriage! Over the years they lived in Frankfort and Marysville Kansas, Sioux City Iowa, and Fairbury Nebraska. They lived in a tent through a bitter winter in the barrens of Minnesota while Grandpa built roads in the 1920s. They were born of common working stock but lived lives unimaginable to us today in our society. Along the way they instilled their values in children and grandchildren. I'm proud to say I share the DNA of these wise, humorous, tough, brave people. Herb and Esther Ford are two prime examples of the citizens who made America what it is today -- the most powerful country on earth.
My Name is Esther Clara is at the printer's now. I can't wait to hold the finished copy in my hands! My publisher thinks Esther Clara has many lessons to teach posthumously. I'll leave it to readers to decide. Way to go, Grandma! You're still kicking in the 21st century, just like you hoped you'd be.