|Stumbling Toward Enlightenment: A Wife's Thirty-year
Journey with Her Green Beret ISBN 978-1-931575-88-1 $15.00 + $3.00
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A PORTION OF THIS MEMOIR HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR 2016 PUSHCART PRIZE LX
Purchase this and Tom's Memoir for $30.00 and FREE shipping!
Click Podcast to hear the reading conducted at City Lights Bookstore. From both Polly and Tom's memoirs!
This is a companion memoir, if you will, a She Said to Tom's He Said: The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March from Private to Colonel
The prologue of this memoir was first published in the Great Smokies Review, an online publication of The Great Smokies Writing Program & The University of North Carolina Asheville
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Polly Brown Davis’s warm and wonderful Stumbling Toward Enlightenment reads like a charm. It is first a love story, full of energy and accomplishment, a rare combination of experiences: parachuting, mothering, going to graduate school while her husband goes off to Vietnam, confronting realities of health. Polly Brown Davis is a survivor, a beautiful one, as this memoir attests. Shelby Stephenson, North Carolina Poet Laureate
An independent southern girl who copes, challenges, survives, and thrives as a career soldier’s wife (and much more), Polly Davis writes with grace, wry humor, poignant honesty —I was with her all the way. Celia Miles, Author/Editor
The most common comment from readers after reading my memoir, The Most Fun I Ever Had With My Clothes On: A March from Private to Colonel, was "You really went through some tough times, but the real question is how the hell did Polly manage and kept going through all that time!?" Well, now you can read how Polly managed and the problems she conquered while I ran around having the most fun I ever had with my clothes on!
COL Tom Davis, Polly's husband:-)
I bought the book and am well into it. This book is a very good read from the wife's perspective. Its a series of life's stories where a person feels they are looking over her shoulder watching events and her life unfold. Very well done! Darrell H.
I finished Polly's book last night and found it absolutely delightful. It had never occurred to me just how much the wives have to deal with while their husbands are serving our country. She did a masterful job of describing the challenges and victories from her perspective. There is no doubt she deserved that Green Beret. Neil J
I just finished reading this fascinating story. This is the story of a strong woman who took what life gave her and created a fulfilling life. In a day when people are ready to jump ship when the going gets rough, Polly Davis used the challenges of life to her advantage. Dwight R
I REACHED OUT the door. Mind numb, fist in my chest, I clutched the strut, but the thundering gusts outside the plane quickly blew me into a split second of chaos, a terrible spinning and sputtering, and then I heard it: a smooth popping sound, a snap, a rough jerk, and my chute floated open above me. I was alive, and all was calm. No sound, no sense of movement, aquamarine heavens, and billowing groves of green below me, I floated, savoring the absolute ecstasy of the moment.
VIETNAM LOOMED LIKE a forest fire edging past the break. Tom went to war, and I went to graduate school. No longer the crazy coed, I saw Athens as the stay for young men who piled degrees upon degrees to stay in college. I’d catch myself avoiding windows, the look-out for those olive drab cars that pulled up in front of homes, shadowy figures forcing their feet to move to doorways bearing the awful message a loved one had been killed.. Tom and I were lucky.
R&R HAWAII: I could feel his eyes taking in those of us left huddled there as if trying to decide how to approach. Shuffling forward, he asked for a young woman by her husband’s name. The one standing next to me leaned into him and slumped. Like the one with the message was The Devil himself, the rest of us backed off. Arms around her shoulders, he led her off to a building nearby. Sure enough, her husband had been one of the unlucky ones. She’d be left to deal with it. I swallowed back tears. And wondered if she had children.
THE LOBSTER TRIPS left me with bittersweet memories. We’d travel to
the coast, dine out on seafood, check in at the historic and charmingly
rustic Hawthorne Inn in Gloucester for the night. Before daylight, Tom
would begin preparations: wake me up, hurry me up, and we’d head out to
the car. There our wetsuits waited, along with the other paraphernalia we’d
need for the dive. Generally at sunrise on the Massachusetts coast, the
temperature was biting cold, and the wind never let up. Pulling on my
wetsuit and my booties and gloves took me just about as long as the entire
dive did. That didn’t count walking out over what seemed an endless mile
ABOUT 3:00 A.M. on a Tuesday in the fall of 1988, Tom got a call from
one of his men: a helicopter was down in Arizona, all aboard presumed
dead. The helicopter was on a training exercise when it apparently burst
into flames. Those aboard included eleven of Tom’s soldiers.
WHILE I WAS feeding the baby, Tee, age two, entertained himself by decorating the refrigerator with a stick of butter or cracking eggs to watch as they jelled over the floor. Then he’d spread them with his bare feet. We ended up being the only family in the neighborhood with a snap link and rope on the refrigerator door, anything to prevent catastrophes. Between the diapers and other messes, our home would neither have passed a white-glove inspection nor a perk test for smell.
“LOOKS LIKE THE decision’s been made; there’s nothing I can do
about it.” Tom opened the refrigerator and pulled out Paulaner.
About the Author
POLLY DAVIS did something she thought she never would do. Marry a soldier. A Green Beret even! Polly started out as a military wife with a BS Degree from the University of Georgia and over the next thirty years raised two children, numerous dogs and cats, and attained a Masters and a Doctorate. All while tramping the world with her soldier husband. Often alone in strange and uncertain circumstances, she not only rose to the occasion, she excelled in everything she ever did. She has taught at every level from pre-school to college, served as the head of the English Department and Director of Research and Planning for Fayetteville Technical Community College. She was the first woman to join and the first woman to be president of the Kiwanis Club of the Cape Fear, President of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center, President of the Friends of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center, and Program/Speaker chair of the Cumberland County Library and Information Center for which we drew authors from all over the area and beyond. She was also the President of the North Carolina Community College Council of Teachers of English.
You are invited to march along with her through these pages as she travels the world often standing alone with her children waving good-by to her husband as he flies off to combat zones and on numerous classified and unclassified missions. Always the trooper regardless of the challenges she faces.