Small Worlds and Full Circles

Who is that speaking intently with President Johnson back in the early 1960s?  It’s my uncle, Herbert Kramer.  I’d never seen the picture when I was growing up, but I knew that Uncle Herbie had a way with words and had worked closely as a publicist and speech writer for the Kennedy and Shriver families.  I knew he had penned the motto for the Special Olympics:  “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the […]

April 1st, 2015|Family Stories|

My Grandfather was in the Jewish Mafia

From Forever Autumn:  One day during my last year of grammar school, we discovered something about my father that cast a shadow over everything.  It happened during the winter when I was ten and Karyl had just turned nine.  It was a rainy December day and we’d been playing for hours up on the third floor.  Bored with the same old games, we looked in the hall closet to see if we could find anything interesting.  We found a […]

December 22nd, 2014|Family Stories|

The Story Behind the Book

The following article is being featured on my publisher’s webpage this week:

My name is Jo Ivester. I’m 57 years old and live in downtown Austin. I never thought I’d be a Texan. My early years were spent in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, where my father, Leon Kruger, ran his pediatrics practice from an office on the first floor of our home. It was common to do that in the 1950s and 60s. […]

December 15th, 2014|Family Stories|

Why did my mother place my father on a pedestal?

It’s great that my mother thought so highly of my father.  Makes me feel good in some ways.  But she did more than think highly of him.  She kept him on a pedestal as if he were somehow better than human.  The fact that he was a doctor just added to that belief.

What bothers me is that her worship of him started with a sense of not feeling worthy herself, which goes back to her childhood.  When we discussed […]

November 17th, 2014|Family Stories|

Was my dad a jerk?

When I read over the story of the gnats in my mother’s journal, I’m not sure which of my parents I pity more.  I can understand my father’s perspective.  Here he is in pilot training, risking his life, torn between viewing it as the adventure of a lifetime and being terrified by the stories he hears about what it’s really going to be like.  I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like for a young soldier, twenty years old, […]

November 10th, 2014|Family Stories|

Army Wife

My mother was the last of her generation, the only one who remembered events actually happening, rather than just hearing about them.  In this blog, I plan to share with you not only the creative process behind my book,  but also some of the many anecdotes from her full and amazing life.

I’ve selected this first one because it reveals so much about my mother, her insecurities, my father, and their relationship.  The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred during my […]

November 3rd, 2014|Family Stories|

Was it just a line?

While the end to my parents’ marriage was fraught with difficulties, their friendship as teenagers was filled with romance, even if my mother didn’t recognize it as such at the time.  In the following passage from her journal, she describes walking together after rehearsing a high school play.

We ended up spending a lot of time together after school at rehearsals as a result.  At the end of the first day, I was standing outside the building waiting for my […]

January 5th, 2014|Family Stories|