Thursday, October 26, 2006


I have many e-pals: other writers, other moms, WWII vets, and others whom I meet in various ways.

A few months ago I received an email from Norman Goyer. He was searching on the Internet and found my site. Norm wondered if we were related.

It turns out that though we have the same last name, we have no blood relation between us. Yet I know without a doubt that Norm came into my life for a purpose. You see, Norm is in his 80s and he has been flying planes for the majority of those years. Not only that, Norm has been an editor for aviation magazines nearly longer than I've been alive. He's also provided editorial critique for movies, books, and the like. Basically, Norm knows his stuff about flying and piloting, and he is called on often as an expert.

It "just so happened" at the time of Norm's email I was writing a new novel and one of the characters was a Nazi pilot during The Spanish Civil War. For my other books I had numerous veterans to help me out. but since The Spanish Civil War took place from 1936-1939, there were no such veterans to give me help on this project . . .

Until God sent Norm, that is.

Out of the blue.

An email that "just happened" to show up in my inbox.

Norm was able to read through my book-in-progress and provide amazing help. I found out what the motion picture industry has know for a while . . . Norm knows his stuff!

Now, you may be wondering what this has to do with parenting. Well, yesterday my e-pal, Norm, sent me something he'd written up for this local paper. I think it's insightful and worth pondering for parents.

This is what Norm had to say . . .

I have spent the last 30 years writing about aviation and aircraft. Sometimes my mind wanders back to my earlier years when I believe that I had an excellent upbringing mostly because it was during the deepest years of the great depression. I often think that many of today’s problems would not exist if everyone had to struggle a bit more just to survive and yet, still raise their family. Norm

Perkins Avenue in Northampton , MA during the depression years was like a landlocked Ellis Island . The short residential street ran from the bottom of Round Hill to the RR tracks along Rte 5.

At the top of the hill were the rich folks, including the Grahams, inventor of the Graham Cracker, the famous Clark School for the Deaf, plus mansions belonging to Smith College professors. At the bottom end of the street were small homes along the railroad tracks where the poor people lived, many of their children in “reform school” for petty crimes, mostly stealing to help feed their families.

My dad was a sheriff at the local House of Correction and my mom took care of me and my brother. Our immediate neighbors included the O’Briens, Irish, the Rozaks, Polish, Papageorges, Greek, Arthurs, English, Goldbergs, Jewish and our family French.

One week in 1936 Hyman Goldberg won the Treasury Balance, a street lottery for $750, a fortune back in those depression days. He bought a new blue Plymouth coupe, cheapest available and an Atwater Kent radio.

The night of the Joe Louis-Max Schmelling Championship heavy weight boxing match Mr. Goldberg put his radio on his porch facing the street. The whole neighborhood sat on the lawn, sidewalks and even in the road. Cheers and shouts in many different languages were heard for blocks around. Louis won!

Discrimination, racism, never heard of them. Perkins Avenue was at peace with the world.

Thanks, Norm! For this. For everything!


At Friday, 27 October, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tricia, Norm is truly a Godsend. I love this story!! I get amazed all over again when God works like this. I always imagine Him up there giggling like a kid hiding getting ready to surprise his mom. He's up there covering His holy mouth thinking, "Watch this! Watch Tricia's face when she finds out who this guy is!"

And what wisdom Norm has (and stories!) I hope you'll write more about him!


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