The romance begins in 1943, when a Braniff hostess named Kathryn bumps George Eddy off a commercial flight in Wichita, Kan., for a priority passenger. Smitten, he courts his new love on challenging flights in Navy planes from his base in Corpus Christi, Texas.
A Romance Forever: The True Story of a Wartime Romance and 66 Amazing Years Together, recounts their marriage after only four dates, the final months of the war when he ends up a fighter pilot on the Intrepid, and their long and happy marriage as members of the Greatest Generation.
Along the way, they developed interesting careers—hers as an acclaimed artist and founder of craft galleries, his as a magazine publisher for The New York Times Company. They lived in glamorous New York City, raised three children, traveled widely, and were active sportsmen, hunting, skiing, and racing sailboats. In 1978, they were the only Americans Fidel Castro ever allowed to sail into Cuba, where they were warmly welcomed!
“After retiring,” says George, “writing became a way to share my rather unusual life with family and friends. But I’ve found that many others enjoy relating to the adventures I’ve had.”
Now living in an assisted living facility in San Francisco, George is wheelchair-bound after a stroke and Kathryn battles Alzheimer’s Disease. Always one to live life to the fullest, George is enthusiastic about his new Web site, and at the age of 89, he’s learning to use Facebook and Twitter.
“My grandchildren give me pointers on this new technology,” he says. “They think it’s cool that old Poppa has joined their lifestyle.”
A Wartime Romance, Against All Odds — Excerpt
In 1943, I was serving as a flight instructor at a naval base in Corpus Christi, Texas. On my way back to Corpus from leave, on Braniff Airways, we made a stop in Wichita, Kansas. The door of the DC-3 opened and this beautiful hostess said, “Ensign Eddy, please hold up your hand. We need your seat for a priority passenger.”
I followed her back to the terminal and asked her if she’d like to sit down for a few minutes in the coffee shop. I was instantly smitten. Kay had huge green eyes, but they were more sincere than flirty. We talked about our families and college experiences, and favorite diversions.
Then she booked me a hotel room and called a cab to drop me off. In the hotel, I thought, this is a girl I would like to spend some serious time with, but she must meet guys like me every day and anyhow, when would I ever get to see her again. Then the phone rang. And, as if in a dream, I hear her soft voice say, “I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
After I returned to my base, I spent my free time scheming how I could see my dream girl again. Another leave was not an option at this point. Her father would not let her, at age 19, fly to Corpus to visit me.
The solution proved to be getting myself transferred to an outlying field near Kingsville, where they taught advanced training for fighters, and earning enough hours to qualify for an overnight training flight to Wichita.
In Wichita, Kay and I had a great time picnicking and partying at the local dance hall. Our love affair was blooming. Just being with Kay was exciting. She had the talent of making even holding hands an expression of love. When we looked into each other’s eyes, that was the whole world.
Now, back in Kingsville, how do I possibly devise the next chance to be with my new sweetheart, having used up my one allowable distance flight?
For the rest of the story, read A Romance Forever: The True Story of a Wartime Romance and 66 Amazing Years Together, available at Amazon.com and www.GeorgeEddyAuthor.com. Profits from A Romance Forever will go to Alzheimer’s Disease Research.
George’s first two books are also available on his Web site and on Amazon.com. Fly Boy recounts his adventures as a young Naval Aviator during World War II. Who’s Steering? describes his 20 years of sailboat racing adventures.
Together, these books paint a vivid picture of life for a member of the Greatest Generation, and they make great gifts for seniors, sailing enthusiasts, and World War II history buffs.
Contact: George Eddy