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Ann Kathleen Otto

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Blog posts : "ann otto author"

Dachau and Munich

December 12, 2017

The next stops on our memorial tour are contrasts in setting—one for solemn reflection, the other for hedonist celebrations. Welcome to Dachau and Munich.

Dachau

We enter the gate that reads Arbeit Macht Frei (“Work Sets You Free”), which appeared on entrances to Auschwitz and other concentr…

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The Road to Nuremberg

November 21, 2017

Our Memorial Tour starts in Frankfurt. It’s the fifth largest city in Germany and has Europe’s busiest airport. You hear a lot about German efficiency. That isn’t our experience.

German Efficiency

Two large flights arrive at the same time, and we are in the under-staffed and uncontrolled…

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Two Wars in Perspective

November 9, 2017

“My travels taught me that there was no area of Europe free from the memories and monument of the First World War.”  Martin Gilbert, The First World War: A Complete History

I echo Gilbert’s comment. We saw these memorials in our travels, too. You can find  small monuments to military lea…

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When Miss Katherine Stinson Flew

March 26, 2017

While reading materials for an earlier blog on Frank Terrill I noticed female pioneer aviator who came after Harriet Quimby, Katherine Stinson.

The Flying Schoolgirl

Katherine was born in a small town in rural Alabama in 1891. When she became the fourth woman in the United States to obtain her…

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Depression and Loss

December 30, 2016

"Purl saw a light in the parlor and entered. Anna was sitting on the sofa, motionless. Only a flicker from the oil lamp lighted the room. I can't go to the reunion today," she said. He looked down at her and placed his hands in his pockets, helpless that she should be so sad. So little had changed s…

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Literary Day at the Museum

December 19, 2016

I returned to the Hollywood Heritage Museum this month. My family has been to Los Angeles many times, and we always visit Hollywood. This time, we stayed in the heart of it.

Sixteen other authors and I were invited to the Fifth Annual book signing event at the Museum. Yours in a Hurry was the onl…

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The Best Years of Their Lives

November 26, 2016

It's time to start book two. I'm reading about soldiers returning after WWI for a story on Appalachia. For a recent Wall Street Journal Book Section article Harvard professor and author Jane Kamensky was asked to suggest works that best reflect the impact of wartime. I decided to read a few. I re-re…

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Family Treasures

October 14, 2016

If we're lucky, we inherit a special item from an ancestor. As an only child, I'm fortunate to have many, like the chair I recently received   that connects me to the characters in Yours in a Hurry. I also asked friends what heirlooms they cherish.

One Chair Survives

Readers know that the …

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Grandfather Purl

August 22, 2016

         Anna turned to Purl. "What do you think Father and Mother would think of our plans?"

         "I doubt they would understand why we're leaving the land. I'd hope they wouldn't be disappointed about that. They would surely be disappointed in me."

          Anna didn't re…

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Vintage Lindbergh at Rhinebeck

May 27, 2016

A Spirited Gala

What a great event! The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in tiny Red Hook, New York near the Hyde Park area served as a resource for the 1908-1912 aeroplanes mentioned in Yours in a Hurry. They have many famous models, and most still fly. When we saw that this year's gala would celebrate t…

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Postcards and Letters Guide Stories

November 10, 2015

Some writers are blessed with old journals and boxes of letters to guide their story.  For Yours in a Hurry I had only a few, but they gave me insight to two main characters.

Locating a Character in a Point in Time

How did I know that Addison traveled a lot? According to the census he was an …

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Weeping Women's Springs

October 31, 2015

It's important to read books in the genre we're attempting to write. I've mentioned the Historical Novel Society and their great Facebook page before. That's where I found Tamara Eaton and her new book, Weeping Women's Springs, about a strange town and how five women are affected by war. It's beauti…

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Musical Moments

October 5, 2015

Can you remember what song was playing the first time you knew that guy was the one, or the one that they  played at your wedding? Music creates an atmosphere for us to remember special moments and gives us a common language transcending our native tongue. Popular songs were especially helpful in cr…

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Tuchman Still the Best

September 20, 2015

There's a lot of World War I fever going around during the 100th anniversary of the Great War. Many books on the topic have been written in the last few years and I've read some for a future project. I agree with others that the best book on the events leading up to the war and the period until the …

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The Magnificient Moisants

August 13, 2015

The Magnificent Moisants is the title of Doris L. Rich's book about another pioneering aviation family which was in many ways more diverse and interesting than the Wrights. Alfred, John and Matilde Moisant were three children of French-Canadian immigrants who settled in Illinois before moving to Cal…

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Fight of the Century

August 5, 2015

I remember being at my paternal grandfather's house on Friday nights. He sat in his favorite chair with a brew and Planters Peanuts. He was faithful to Planters and collected memorabilia of Mr. Peanut with the monocle and top hat. Grandpa's eyes were glued to the black and white 17 inch television s…

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The Wright Brothers Revisited

July 30, 2015

David McCullough is one of my favorite authors. He is able to transport me into a different time and place whether Paris, Panama or Brooklyn. I've learned so much history from every book. Imagine my surprise this time when I read his new book, The Wright Brothers, and already knew most of the story.

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Opens

June 11, 2015

In July of 1909 Addison writes Purl that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will open soon. It actually officially opened with a balloon race on June 5, 1909, but Addison was waiting for the motorcycle and automobile races to be held on Aug. 14 and Aug. 19 respectively. Today, with an average crowd of …

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Pearl Harbor and Corregidor Before WWI

June 4, 2015

We know about the World War II battles at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Corregidor in the Philippines, but what were those islands like prior to that era?  When did the U.S. acquire them, and how did they become military fortifications?

The Philippines

The first stop for Yours in a Hurry character…

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Finding the Hartle Roots

May 27, 2015

In April I had the pleasure of attending the annual meeting of the Rootstown Ohio Historical Society to discuss the Hartles and how one of their Rootstown descendents became famous. The Congregational Church (see photo to the right) was a fitting venue given that on August 16, 1810, two of my ancest…

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