Guide Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family

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Her mother, Margo, was the quintessential military wife but with the spunk and will to match her husband's. Her memoir, My Rival, the Sky, chronicled their lives up to the time of the birth of their daughter. Today, Margo, who is fast approaching her hundredth birthday, lives with Swoosie.

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And Swoosie's life has become a precarious and precious balancing act as she struggles to stay ahead of her mother's increasing needs while navigating a showbiz career that keeps one foot in Hollywood and the other on Broadway. Enter your Postcode or Suburb to view availability and delivery times. See Terms for more information. And I can see Frank hop out and walk into our plane. The men are all at attention, and now they follow him inside.

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The door of the plane closes. And with her four motors growling, our Fortress starts the turn which will take her down the runway. This has gotten to be such a big war. And it seems I wait so long and listen so hard. At age seven or eight, as soon as I was able to comprehend it to the extent that any child is able to comprehend love and war , I inhaled My Rival, the Sky for the? It was a bit magical to meet Margo and Frankie as teenagers and be swept up in their adventures the same way I was swept up in the adventures of Nancy Drew and the Bobbsey Twins and Christopher Robin.

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I knew my way around words well enough to know that my mother was a very good writer, but by this time, the rote recitation of our family lore had worn rather thin for me, and all those dusty war remembrances in the context of the s were a total drag, man. I smiled and tucked it away with a few other quaint keepsakes. When I read My Rival, the Sky again in , when the news was full of the war in Iraq, it took my breath away.

The wrenching separations and joyful homecomings resonated as if the words had been written yesterday. For the?

Part Swan, Part Goose: An Uncommon Memoir of Womanhood, Work, and Family

The nearness of him. He is missing in exactly the sense that car keys go missing; you know they still exist somewhere, but you wish like hell they could be at hand when you need them. He was missing. Frankie was there, Margo knew, not in Hawaii on December 7, but it was as if the smoke billowing out of Pearl Harbor obscured everything in the Paci? The blackout curtains dropped; not a phone call, not a letter slipped through. The grainy news on the radio provided barely a keyhole.

Margo studied maps and newspaper clippings on her bedroom? If Frankie was still alive, he was alone in a sea of inconceivable destruction. This is to give her a little warning before I push through the door.

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Angela went to the chicken place for some Greek food. We straighten the bedding from her nap, and I follow behind her, hands on her shoulders, as we turtle toward the kitchen table. Gratitude is the de? She gratefully settles into her chair, gratefully inhales the steam over a cup of instant coffee, gratefully downs the pharmacopoeia with Vitaminwater. She experiences each beat as a gift, and I have to gratefully acknowledge how healthy that is for all of us. I sit kitty-corner to her, facing the patio and the temple ruins that will someday be a swimming pool—or so the contractor keeps promising.

But that will never happen. Still, it feels important to have it there. Swimming pools were a big part of my life growing up. Frankie never really left his diving days behind.

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He maintained that same precision in everything he did. There was always an order, a? The discipline of platform diving dovetailed nicely with the discipline of military life, and Frankie saw no reason to live his personal life any differently. It had worked well for him, so he reasonably concluded that it would work well for anyone, including me.

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Especially me, in fact. Morning coffee. A person should be independent, neatly groomed and well prepared unless he or she had a very good reason not to be. Frankie could be the hard-edged commander, but he was never overbearing or Great Santini about it. He had a naturally soothing tenor voice and would gently touch the top of my head when conveying the high expectations that were unapologetic and never hazy. He was Frank without fail, and I derived a genuine security from that. Not just warm, fuzzy security-blanket security, but security as a stance that served me well in my professional and personal life.

When I was a little girl, a lot of people were digging holes in their backyards to install either a swimming pool or a bomb shelter. We were de? He also emerged from a wretchedly abusive childhood to be an enormously loving husband and father. Everyone fell in love with Frankie. My uncle Homer, who was quite a swimmer himself, accidentally saw Esther naked in the locker room, the highlight of his young life.

At later events, I entertained the crowd between the headliners, diving from the poolside or low boards and swimming gracefully around in trendy swim shorts and a ruf? I might have danced too. The plot never revolved around me, but I never lacked for attention. My damp hair is mosquito-? Attitude to spare. It is witty, wise and irresistible. I loved it. Swoosie has put her heart and her humor into these pages.

Part swan, part goose : an uncommon memoir of womanhood, work, and family

When you read this book, you will understand why. Swoosie has the beautiful gift of a seasoned story teller. Her observations about love and loss had me dog-earing several pages to re-read again and again. I feel blessed to know her. One topic leads to another, facts are told out of chronological order, and yet it all makes perfect sense. People talk this way, and her voice is in the telling. Her streak of Midwestern work ethic is so familiar. And the piece of her heart left on the pages is impossible not to love. The book crackles with wit. The book lists Joni Rodgers as a co-author, but the candor, clever turns-of-phrase and hilarity seem very Kurtz-like.

There is not a saccharine note in this delightful memoir. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books. Read an excerpt of this book! Add to Wishlist. USD 4. Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Explore Now. Buy As Gift. Overview In a wise, warmhearted memoir that celebrates her extraordinary life and stellar career, Swoosie Kurtz welcomes readers into her world, sharing personal misadventures and showbiz lore and candidly reflecting on the intimate journey of caring for an aging parent.

Frank, an Olympic diving medalist, later became one of the most decorated aviators in American history. Air Force. Margo chronicled their early years together in her memoir, My Rival, the Sky , published by Putnam in The book ends with the young couple happily anticipating the birth of a baby to be named after the indomitable Swoose.

Today, Margo, who is approaching her hundredth birthday, lives with Swoosie. This precarious moment in time is bittersweet and occasionally overwhelming, but every day is oxygenated with laughter and love. Age Range: 18 Years. About the Author. Her distinctive name comes from The Swoose, the famed B bomber flown by her father, Col. Chapter One Enter Breathing There are two time-honored professions in which the?

He opens his arms wide, just before he dives. Why stand on ceremony? We all know where this is going. A book, he is saying. He wants me to write a book. But a book—oh, Frank. Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. Related Searches. Meet Francesca and Ian. View Product. Escape from Bellevue: A Memoir of Rock 'n'. Indie rock raconteur Chris Campion-one of Indie rock raconteur Chris Campion-one of the few patients ever to escape from Bellevue's locked ward-recalls his band's tumultuous ride, his plummet into addiction, and the strange road back to sobriety Exodus: A Memoir.

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