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Monday, January 9, 2017

There's Something About Love and War

Let Me Tell You A Story

Over the years I've heard or read stories about other people's lives. I've also had a few experiences that have entered into my "Let me tell you about the time" category. Some of these stories have crept into my books. Others are waiting in the wings. 


Last week I wrote about visiting my family in Bellinzona, SW and being caught in a snow storm in the Swiss mountains where my cousin and I had to take over-night shelter in a small wooden structure. What I discovered was that during WWII many of these shelters turned into rendezvous for Swiss sympathizers and the Italian resistance. Swiss couriers--the not so neutral citizens--relayed messages between resistance fighters and allies.

There were also a few love affairs that developed in these outposts, and among those was one that affected my family. One of my cousins was a courier who fell in love with an Italian resistance fighter. They met, exchanged messages, and, I imagine, some romantic moments, then one night my cousin's lover didn't show. She waited for two days before returning to the village. At the next scheduled meeting, he still didn't arrive. She never saw the man she loved again.

Now there's a plot for some romance novelist.


Women of the Resistenza.



book on my TBR list. 
 




Did You Know. . .The Resistenza suffered severe retaliation at the hands of the Germans, and by war's end had lost about 50,000 men and women. However, they controlled Venice, Milan and Genoa, and they had saved their republic. 
February 4, 1945.
Piazza Garibaldi, Ravenna, the Medaglio D'Oro ceremony. 




Quote of the Week: “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” 
― G.K. Chesterton, Writer


Next week: 

  • Another Story. 
  • My featured follower of the month, Sandra Cox, speaks out.
  • Tara Tyler with her new book, Cradle Rock.

76 comments:

  1. your international travels and knowledge amaze me! i really need to get out more, but reading your blog, I always feel i've at least gained a glimpse through your experiences! thanks!

    and thanks for helping me and supporting my cradle rock blog tour! see you next week! happy 2017!

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    1. I'm always excited for authors when their books come out. Glad to help. Also glad you like my stories. Thanks so much.

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  2. Sad story about your cousin.
    So many unknown war stories - so many brave men and women.

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    1. Yes, very sad. And it keeps repeating and repeating. I forgot who said it, but they said something like, war happens when language fails. How true.

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  3. Your cousin must have been so distressed wondering what happened to him. Do you think she ever found out? If you know his name, you might be able to discover his story, and that would make for fascinating reading.

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    1. Unfortunately, I don't know his name and all of that generation is now gone, so I have no way finding out.

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  4. Your poor cousin. That's sad to think her love was killed.

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    1. I imagine she died never knowing his fate. That's really hard.

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  5. Sad to have happen to your cousin, but yeah, good story idea. I'd definitely give it a happy ending.

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    1. In a romance, I guess that's expected. I'd like a bittersweet one.

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  6. That's a tragic story. It would be nice to write a story with a happy ending though.--Oo, I see Patricia had the same thought.

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    1. It would be interesting to play with an ending to this one.

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  7. Oh my. One can only assume the worst in that sad story. And yes, it would make for a great story.

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    1. I should have talked to this cousin more. I'm sure there were other WWII stories I could have learned.

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  8. Most enjoyable to read, It would be a great story in the future.

    Yvonne.

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  9. Such sad story. The cost of war and freedom is a price paid to give those after you a future.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. A lot of people have sacrificed a lot to keep others safe. I wish there was a way that we could just talk our way to a peaceful solution.

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  10. So sad when lovers are torn from each other. She must have been so dejected if he got shipped off without even a goodbye. I have to say your stories are fun and easy to read.

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    1. I like simple. That way I don't get confused. :-)

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  11. Wow, that's totally the story in the making. So sad though. I'd need a HEA.

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    1. A good tear-jerker is always nice on a rainy day. I've had several of those days in a row, so I guess that's one reason I posted about this today.

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  12. That would be a good story indeed. Stinks about your cousin never knowing.

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    1. I'm sure there are lots of these same stories in WWII. Couriers were so important.

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  13. Wow, that's amazing fodder for a romance or literary novel. Very powerful quote too.

    History is fascinating.

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    1. History has a plot for every writer on the planet!

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  14. Wow, what a wonderful story. I just finished reading "The Pope and Mussolini" and learned a lot more about Italy during the war than I'd known before.

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    1. I'm heavy into non-fiction this year. I've missed reading history, so I'm making my list. Thanks for this one.

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  15. It sounds like it would be a great movie plot. The resistance fighters were amazing and so brave.

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    1. If you ever see the region along the Swiss-Italy border, you realize how brave these couriers and resistance people really were.

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  16. I loved reading this. Wonderful. Thanks.

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  17. Hi, Cheryl!

    I am thoroughly enjoying your back stories. This one, about your cousin falling in love with an Italian resistance fighter in a turbulent time, is particularly gripping. Not knowing what became of a loved one is worse then facing a tragic outcome and being able to heal. Surely there are countless stories of that nature set against the backdrop of war. I appreciated that quote. We should always act out of love rather than hate.

    Have a wonderful week, dear friend C-Lee!

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    1. Thanks so much, Shady. I'm glad the stories are enjoyable for you. I'm actually having fun writing them, so changing my blog has given me the boost I really needed.

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  18. That is heart-breaking. These day, can she Google him? See if she can find him?

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    1. That cousin would be in her late 90's now. She was probably 27 when this happened, and I think the year was 1943 or 44. I'd have to check.

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  19. That would make a heartbreaking romance story, indeed.

    I like Jacqui's suggestion of Googling him. :P

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    1. He has no name, unfortunately. At least, no one alive knows what it was.

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  20. Long live resistance! We had Partizans in my country fighting against the Nazis. We lost 2 million people in the two wars, out of 4 million citizens, so half of the nation pretty much died :(

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    1. Nothing like a nice war, heh, DEZ? We haven't experienced one on our soil since the Civil War when we did our best to kill each other. The numbers you've written stagger the mind, and I'm thinking how many young and innocent people were in that count.

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  21. What a sad love story for your cousin. I'm sure there are so many of them during that time period. Yes, I can see how that would make a compelling story.

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    1. It would interesting to know about other similar tales.

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  22. I love reading stories of the resistance, but they're not all romantic, they can be terrifying, and make you furious that these things happened in war time, but there's definitely inspiration to be found. Loving your idea, Lee. :-)

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    1. You're so right. Some are brutal as well as tragic. Thanks for the vote of confidence, Denise!

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  23. An interesting post. I recently read a novel called The Lavender Keeper which is a brilliant story that plunges the reader into the heart of occupied Paris, the resistance and the lives of three people who live through this terrible time, from different perspectives. I highly recommend it. Love your idea of sharing stories. A great motivator. Wishing you a super 2017, Lee.

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    1. I'll have to mark that one, Nicola. Thanks. Glad you like my idea. I'm enjoying writing them, and thanks for stopping by as always.

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  24. What a fascinating family you have. Stories everywhere. Maybe I should check closer into my ancestors.

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    1. Our elders have a wealth to share. We just need to take the time to listen, but I know you already do!

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  25. The resistance workers (young, old, men and women) did amazing work. Frequently at great cost. Largely unsung heroes. With no day set aside to honour them. Sadly I imagine your cousin's story was repeated too often.
    Thank you for this snippet.

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    1. You're so right. No one has set aside a day to remember those dedicated civilians who did so much for our freedoms.

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  26. So many brave people!
    It COULD be a romance with a HEA ... with a little tweaking! :)

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  27. Hi Lee,

    I shall make this a brief comment. Bravery personified. Such a sad tale in regards to your cousin. I do, to echo some others, you have all the makings of quite the story.

    Kind regards,

    Gary

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    1. I think this is probably a story that was lived out by a lot of people during those times. Today as well, even if we do have the capability to trace people more quickly and easily these days.

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  28. And she never found out what happened to him?

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    1. Nope. She died at 90 and I never heard what her feelings were about her loss.

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  29. Sad that your cousin's love never returned. There are some heart wrenching stories from that era, but also some wonderful stories too.

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  30. I really love the quote you shared at the end. Beautifully said.

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  31. I knew about French resistance, but I never knew there was such a strong Italian resistance. Amazing to think someone from your family helped! So adventurous!

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  32. Wow, what a story. I agree, it would make an interesting book. I didn't realize how strong and effective the Resistance was. What brave citizens, and what a wonderful legacy they left for future generations.

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  33. That's an awesome story! I didn't know there were so many in the resistance. Thank you for sharing, C. Lee!

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  34. That's a wonderful story, and a very poignant quote.

    Damyanti

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  35. That does sound like a gold mine for a writer.

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  36. Fantastic stuff on the Italian resistance! I didn't realize the Swiss were so involved. Now I'm going to have to read up on this stuff more:)

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    1. I'm always hearing how wimpy the Swiss are for their neutrality, but I don't think that's the case.

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  37. Very Interesting Post, Lee.

    I love history and the movies that depict WWI & WWII in regards to the resistance and covert spies are awesome and at the same time very sad.

    Love the quote!

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    1. The resistance movement in all countries intrigues me. They have a lot to lose if they're caught, so they obviously have a lot more to lose if they can't save their way of life.

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  38. What a fascinating post! You are right, your cousin's story would make a great plot for a romance or historical fiction book. I am sorry for her that she never saw her love again. Those in the resistance were so strong!
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks, DMS. I'd love to write her story. Who know, maybe one day.

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  39. What a touching story. Real life really is so often more vivid that fiction. I love the Chesterton quote.

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    1. I'd have to have some major motivation to pick up a gun kill people. The quote rings very true with me.

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  40. I left a message 30 minutes ago, but I don't see it. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing this wonderful and inspiring story. I want to know if she ever found out what happened to him. Did the story have a happy ending?

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    1. No happy ending, I'm afraid. My cousin married a Swiss man from her village, had several children and died when she was about 90. Long life, but I always wondered about her lost love.

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  41. What history that you just happened upon. And, always the question "What happened".

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