The wind blows cold on the Ayrshire coast, it has salt in its very breath. It was there that I was born. There that we were interned. At war's end I grew up safe and comforted in Kilmarnock, where my Dad owned the Ideal Café, the best wee fish and chip shop (the title of book two).
By 1962 I had completed my education, was an x-ray technologist and had a broken heart. One crazy day on her flat roof, my cousin and I decided to immigrate to California to get a tan and a man. Lofty dreams! Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City made those dreams come true and hired two Scottish lassies to work as a nurse and a technologist.
I met my man 2 hours after we landed in San Francisco and in a month both Vi and I had fab tans! Ron Hess and I have been married for over 50 years during which time we raised two rambunctious kids, Andy Hess, a Police Officer like his Dad and Culzean, now known as Coco Franklin, Art and Interior Design. How proud I am to be G-ma to four terrific grandchildren Logan, Makenzie, Meg and Jack. I am a woman of faith who loves writing, travelling, having fun, cooking, lavender, water sports and, oh yes, having fun.
We now live in beautiful Lake County where we have made many new friends and where our grandkids love to wake-board behind our boat. We lived and worked in Napa County for 45 years. How lucky we have been to serve and enjoy both areas in church and civic work. I am a member of the Konocti Lionesses who try to make a difference to the children of Lake and Kelseyville Presbyterian Church, a small church with a big heart.
Ron and I have worked and played hard throughout our life together; writing was a pastime that soon became who I was. "Born In Internment" was at first a memoir but as I wrote the experiences the Bertellotti family had during World War II, Italians interned in Scotland and the Italian experiences of Tommy and Bruna, it soon was evident that it was my story to write.
The Bertellotti family each in his or her own way made extraordinary decisions during a time of war, evacuation and massacre. "Born in Internment" is a story of bravery, forgiveness and most of all love.