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Book details
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:222
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667866857

Relative Speaking

More Rescued Stories

by Lynn A Jacobson

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Relative Speaking, a collection of 51 short stories, chronicles the adventures, hardships, and awesome exploits of truly remarkable relatives whose personal stories lend insight to extraordinary periods of history. Each chapter is a stand-alone story averaging 1,000 words which can be read in any order. Fire and terrorists during the Taiping revolution, 1860s; the overthrow of Dowager Empress' death, 1900s; crossing Japanese-occupied China, 1940s; staring down a dud bomb for fear of getting a new white dress dirty; passage on the only surviving ship in a convoy attacked by submarines, 1943; an unsuccessful homestead attempt in Alberta, Canada at age 16, 1911; successful scholar, business man, professor at 17, 1922; Pan Am Hong Kong to San Francisco flight held for a reluctant breakfast, 1967; would-be robbers criticized for ineptitude in their robbery attempt…and much much more.
Relative Speaking, a collection of 51 short stories and the fifth book of the author's pentalogy, chronicles the adventures, hardships, and awesome exploits of remarkable and courageous relatives whose personal stories lend insight to extraordinary periods of history. Each chapter is a stand-alone story averaging 1,000 words which can be read in any order. The title Relative Speaking reflects their voices using oral history as a springboard. A man's head with eyes still open rolled past to the amusement of laughing soldiers… My wife's great-great-great grandmother's harrowing flight from her burning compound during the Taiping Rebellion (1853-1868)... The mistress (an upper-class Chinese wife), arms laden wrist-to-elbow with gold bracelets and her young sleeping daughter secured to her back by silk scarves, froze. Spotting a half dozen soldiers chasing a screeching couple down the roadway, she quickly ducked into the closest darkened doorway. Holding her breath, she navigated the best she could by the glow of a city on fire to reach the city gates. Unbeknownst to her, their perilous escape was only to intensify as she… It looked like WWII would break out within a year, so my father took an educated gamble and bought 500 pounds of sugar in early 1941, "Before all those damn hoarders get it." He also acquired 300 cars (with good tires, of course) which he put into storage. Perhaps an unpatriotic act but certainly a prudent investment as cars became a unbeatable commodity two years later when he, as the only one in town who… People milled around the gate of the stalled Pan Am Hong Kong to San Francisco flight questioning its unexpected delay. My wife, then 18, panicked, convinced she would miss her flight back to school as boarding time had long passed. Under her uncle's insistent urging, she reluctantly picked at her breakfast in a private dining room at the far end of the terminal. He neglected to tell her he was on the Board of Directors of Pan Am and… My father in-law was a translator for Dr. Sun Yat Sen at 16. At age 17 while classmates were preparing for their final year of high school, he was preparing college lesson plans in chemistry, English, math–not as a student but as a professor. The following year, he advanced to... In 1904 the judge found it convenient to appoint himself executor, which made it easier to embezzle a substantial portion of the girls' estate. Because the judge's wife hated children, my six-year-old mother's and her two older sisters' vacations from their Catholic boarding school were spent in hotels and... My 23-year-old mother-in-law, the newly appointed director of the entire Shanghai orphanage system, called in a favor from the top mobster to provide protection to all childcare workers in the city. A few days following Pearl Harbor, she led seven family members on a perilous journey fraught with near-death encounters across Japanese-occupied China for four months to reach the safety of free China where…
About the author
About the Author A natural storyteller, Lynn A Jacobson describes himself as a seriously over-educated, out-of-date engineer. Growing up on a lake in Minnesota, where summer attire consisted of a bathing suit among 30-pound mosquitoes, he migrated east to earn three degrees from MIT and later, one from University of Colorado. His credits include electronic designs for various MIT satellite experiments, such as plasma probes to capture the sun's plasma flow profile and the first ever gamma-ray telescope to map celestial gamma-ray distributions, the results of which supported the Big Bang theory. He did three tours totaling five years at the Marshall Islands missile re-entry test site on the Kwajalein atoll in the late 1960s, 2,200 miles west of Hawaii (see previous book, Kwajalein, An Island Like No Other.) Work involved operation of digital interfaces, running a 48-inch slewing telescope, and mission control. In addition to his 50 hour-a-week engineering job, he taught calculus for the University of Hawaii, ran a children's swim team, and dove on the coral reef every weekend. During Jacobson's professional years, he also published the obligatory journal articles, earned a few patents, taught digital circuits for the University of Colorado and physics for Foothills College, Los Altos, CA. As a full-time student enrolled in the University of Colorado Boulder PhD program, he had sole responsibility of first three daughters, ages 2, 4, and 6 (job titles: father, mother, cleaner, tutor, chauffeur, nanny, storyteller, and cook. In his spare time...what spare time?) Jacobson now lives in Palo Alto, CA with his wife, Meimei Pan, whom he followed to Stanford (see previous book, Secrets of a Trophy Husband.) Their supposed two-year graduate stint turned into a 55-year adventure which included two additional daughters (see previous book, Surviving Five Daughters). Where did all those grandkids come from? He eventually turned in his soldering-iron for a laptop and wrote five books—one per daughter (see previous book, Rescued Stories.)
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