I couldn’t have written this book when my mom was alive. She was a very strong willed woman and if she didn’t want me to do this, she would have stopped me. And I didn’t want her to stop me. She passed in Oct ’15; and then my step dad got sick. He was living at Pickaway Manor nursing home and all the kids were going home to celebrate his 90th birthday. We had been told that something was going on with him; and when we got home, he was very sick and he ended up in the hospital. We were told he had cancer and he only had a couple of months after that. So, I kept going back to Ohio to be there for his end days.
With all of these changes, memories kept surfacing. I was keenly aware that the fiftieth anniversary of my own father’s death was soon approaching. I realized that if I was ever going to do a memorial, I had to start now, while I still had faint ties to Circleville. The interviews and conversations also became a distraction….
So, the first person I went to was Larry (Schieber). If Larry had said “just leave it alone, I don’t want to talk about it," I would have stopped. But he was very supportive. He shared with me pictures and artifacts, the purchase contract for the store, lots of good stuff. From there, more doors kept opening that allowed me to get the full story of that day, of that era, of how people managed afterward.
When Normal Blew Up: The Story of the People Who Died and the People Who Lived On