1. Thanks so much for sharing your Nana and her stories. Clearly, she was a spectacular person. I have a picture of a determined 10-year-old (powered by whale meat) pedaling her bike through the streets while bombs fall all around, wearing a crazy union suit, on the lookout for the best bits of shrapnel.

  2. Wow, if I may he allowed to be honest I’m full of sadness that you’ve lost such a lovely woman and very envious of you for having had someone like that in your life for so long. I can hear a bit of your humor in her (or vice versa). I lost grandmother when I was only 8. She had worked in a Pittsburgh factory making shells I believe. In college when I lived in Germany for almost a year, my host family were WWII generation and Anistasia, the mom but already about 70 (it was 1995) had been deported to Germany from the Sudetenland in 1945. When you heard that year in German you were always about to lose an argument and get sent to do something. They all three were the kindest and most resilient of women. I’m grateful to you for sharing with us and to her for helping make you the right kind of person for such a fun and interesting podcast. I consider myself lucky to be a member. You have my deepest condolences and thanks for sharing.

  3. Jamie – Sorry to hear about Nana. She sounds like a real character and I’m sure that you were blessed to have such a good relationship with your grandparents. Thank you for sharing her story and keep up the great work. You are a real joy to listen to.

  4. Sorry to hear of your loss. My brother in law is English, and I had the pleasure of meeting his dad once and listening to his stories of the Blitz, “Milk and paper on the doorstep every morning, even if there weren’t no door left.”

  5. Jamie:

    Sorry to hear about the loss of your Nanna. She was AWESOME! Thank you for sharing the interview. Hope the stories continue to make you feel close to her and your granddad.

  6. So sorry to hear about your Nana. I’m pretty sure from the recording your shared that Rolls Royce wasn’t the only place turning out Spitfire’s during the war. Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of her with all of us. I look forward to hearing more about her as the podcast rolls on.

  7. Me, too. So sorry for your loss. I loved hearing Nana, too. Will be thinking of you in the days and weeks to come.

  8. Lovely interview! You should check out the Connie Willis time travel books Blackout and All Clear. They show life during the Blitz, both in London and parts of the countryside. She talked to women who’d driven ambulances and worked the factories. Unsung heroes

  9. I’m so sorry, Jamie. I am new to the podcast and am slowly working my way up through the episodes. I recently listened to the one where your Nana introduced the podcast. I loved your sign-off at the end, “Wasn’t that fun?” And she giggled.

    My parents were WWII kids too, although a little older than your Nana. They saw things and endured things we’ll never understand. Not for nothing are they “the greatest generation.”

  10. Jamie,

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family at this time.

    Thank you for sharing a little of nana with us – it brought back memories of my own beloved grandparents telling me their WWII tales as a child. What a treasure to have that recording!


  11. Jamie – thanks so much for sharing the interview. A lovely way to share your memories and honor someone special. I really enjoyed the interview.

  12. So sorry to hear about your nana. I loved listening to the recording, sounds like she was quite a character. The generations that lived through the war were certainly exceptional, and I can’t imagine today’s self-centered kids and young adults going through the same experience, but I guess humans will always rise to the occasion.

    My mum lived all her life in London (and at 92 still does), so was a teen during most of the war. She tells a story when the raids had been going on all week – on this particular night, the sirens went off again, my mum told her parents that she didn’t want to spend another cold, damp night in the Anderson shelter. They all felt the same way, so they decided to stay the night in their warm beds and “if it was their time to go, then so be it”. However, a loud explosion blew out all the windows during the night, and they went to see what happened – there was a huge crater covering 4 back gardens, including where their Anderson shelter had stood! Their neighbors whose garden backed-up to theirs weren’t so lucky – they were IN their Anderson shelter during the raid, and were never seen again. I’m pretty lucky that I got here at all!

    BTW – we live in Illinois, and our grandkids call us “Nana and Granddad” too. My mum is “Nanny” to them, which is what our kids called her.

  13. I could hear her smile.
    Grandmothers grandfathers aunts uncles and parents. Their stories and recollections are truest form of history we can know. They are the spark for so many of us to want to learn more about the past. Cherish that recording and let it inspire your children.

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