EndNotes

A 68-year-old thank you

Fred Carter, right, poses with his hosts, Ada Schaefer (seated) and Eva Hardin, along with fellow airman Charlie Abbott. The two Royal Air Force servicemen spent their leave at the women’s home in Spokane in October 1944.
Fred Carter, right, poses with his hosts, Ada Schaefer (seated) and Eva Hardin, along with fellow airman Charlie Abbott. The two Royal Air Force servicemen spent their leave at the women’s home in Spokane in October 1944.

In my Sunday story, Fred Carter, a Royal Air Force servicemen who took a leave here in 1944 and was hosted by two Spokane women, said a big thank you to Spokane for the hospitality 68 years ago. The two women, Eva Hardin and Ada Schaefer, have been dead for decades, but for a week or so, as I lived with their story, they came alive for me.

They seemed like warm, smart, kind and caring women living a nontraditional life here in the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s -- career women, no spouses, no children. And most of the people who even knew them have died now, too. I thought for sure this morning I'd have phone calls from others who knew the women. But so far, no.

It's one more reminder how fast our lives go. But a good reminder, too, that the good works we do can last much longer in people's hearts and memories.

As Fred, now 85, told me: “They were so welcoming. I just can’t get over it.”

(About the photo: Fred Carter, right, poses with his hosts, Ada Schaefer (seated) and Eva Hardin, along with fellow airman Charlie Abbott. The two Royal Air Force servicemen spent their leave at the women’s home in Spokane in October 1944. Photo courtesy of Fred Carter.)




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Spokesman-Review features writer Rebecca Nappi, along with writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., discuss here issues facing aging boomers, seniors and those experiencing serious illness, dying, death and other forms of loss.




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