Shady, a tiny hamlet on the outskirts of Woodstock, is nestled in countryside reminiscent of the rolling hills of England and the pine forests of Germany. Shady & Woodstock was full of artists, musicians and writers, and Mother’s older sister said it was more like Germany before the war, than the Germany of the fifties and sixties.
But all the beauty of Shady, the luck of surviving the war and escaping my father could not wash away the pain of the price of war. Sitting at Mother’s side as she lay dying, I listened to her war stories. She tried to tell me these stories so many times over the years, but I couldn’t listen then, because I had friends to play with, things to do, and I was, after all, an American, as far removed from the truths of war as any country has ever been.