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A Message in a Bottle from My Mother


A Message in a Bottle from My Mother

Tom Engelhardt

Almost three quarters of a century ago, my mother placed a message in a bottle and tossed it out beyond the waves. It bobbed along through tides, storms, and squalls until just recently, almost four decades after her death, it washed ashore at my feet. I’m speaking metaphorically, of course. Still, what happened, even stripped of the metaphors, does astonish me. So here, on the day after my 71st birthday, is a little story about a bottle, a message, time, war (American-style), my mom, and me.


Brava, Irma! Delighted to make your (posthumous) acquaintance.


My father was in the Army Air Corps and was stationed in the Pacific Rim … his brother and my husband had many bourbon-soaked discussions of what they each went through in their respective wars; I think those discussions are a large part of the reason my husband managed to come home from Vietnam and actually fit back into society.

Pwr 2 the SOLDIER peons!