Saturday, July 29, 2006

Wanda Haan


Today is ‘my’ 34th wedding anniversary. I really mean ‘our’ anniversary but my wife, Wanda Haan, died three and a half years ago. She was 59 when she had the sudden heart attack that killed her on January 30, 2003 at 6:00 pm. We were talking when it happened but she was gone before I could reach her. She was executive editor of Southfarm Press and edited most of the books we published from 1996 to 2002.

She was complimented by author Daniel Ford when he reviewed our 1998 title, Janey: A Little Plane in a Big War by Alfred W. Schultz for Amazon.com. Ford is the author of Incident at Muc Wa which is the basis for the Burt Lancaster film, Go Tell the Spartans. Ford said this in his review of Janey:

“'Dawn's first light crested the eastern hills and gave the earth a rosy glow. Flying on such a day was pure joy. Smooth, dense, misty morning air slowly released its grip as light emerged from the countryside, fulfilling the promise of another day. Our fears vanished as we soared above the sleeping ground. We were immortal. From our perch above the commotion, we watched the world come to life to begin another day of killing.'

“Normally I'm turned off by the High Literary Style, but the way that passage ends with the knife-twist—‘another day of killing’--redeems it with room to spare. Time and again in Schultz's book, he and his collaborator pull off that neat trick: loving memories entangled with the ordinariness of war.”

Wanda was the editor of the book and she had added those words, ‘…another day of killing.’

Wanda also wrote children’s poetry and we published a children’s picture book of 19 of her poems after she died. The book is titled The Macaroon Moon: A Book of Poems and Rhymes for Children (ISBN: 0-913337-51-X). The book’s Web Site is http://www.wandahaan.com.

Here is one of her poems for children that is not in The Macaroon Moon but is also about flying:

Did I just then see the Sun blink?
No. A big old crow blacker than ink
Flew past the Sun to take a drink
From the big blue pond,
Which is nature’s sink.
(Copyright © 2006 by Walter J. Haan. All rights reserved.)

Happy anniversary, Wanda. I miss you. ---Walter Haan, www.war-books.com

NOTE: Heart disease is the number one killer of women, eight times more deadly than breast cancer. Thousands of women like Wanda die every year without any warning and without any history of heart disease.

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