When I was a kid in the mid-1960s, we traveled to the West Central neighborhood of Spokane every couple of months to spend the afternoon at Grandma’s turn-of-the-century home on West Boone Avenue. And a couple times a year we’d have get-togethers with dishes of hot and cold comfort food placed end to end on her kitchen counter and in the center of her big round dining table. And all the while, a soft image in an 8 X 10 frame smiled down over every Easter ham, every burning birthday candle, every card and board game. Nobody told me he was important. Nobody had to. I just knew. It was a photo of my Uncle Verne, who gave his life during World War II.
The 20th-century icon Josephine Baker was so much more than a sex symbol who danced in a skirt made of bananas. Yes, she took Paris by storm in 1925 with her “Savage Dance” – performed in little more than a strategically-placed feather – and went on to increase her fame with the infamous banana skirt which, legend has it, she designed as a joke for her first revue at the Folies-Bergère. Spokane author Sherry Jones’s novel Josephine Baker’s Last Dance goes on sale December 4, 2018 at Auntie’s Books and everywhere.
The Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit, “Mail Call,” shows at the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum from May 9 to July 15, 2018.
Cindy Hval is a free-lance writer for the Spokesman-Review and her book, “War Bonds: Love Stories From the Greatest Generation,” tells the stories of dozens of couples who met, fell in love, and married during the tumultuous years of World War II. Read Cindy’s chapter about Jack and Fran Rogers, offered here as a Valentine’s Day treat to the readers of Nostalgia.
By Ed Clark Above, E. Lee Rae Clark and the Bataan Death March, which he survived. Photo of Clark courtesy of the Clark Family Archives, and Bataan Death March photo, Public Domain. Remember Pearl Harbor! What most people don’t remember is December 7, 1941, that