Bessie Baker - Recognition of Bessie and 64 Hopkins nurses in WWI in France

A writer always hopes to find and work out a special story that you fall in love with and then can tell. Ready to Serve is one of those for me. It has been an honor to tell the story and to spread their history to women in Maryland particularly.  It has been in joy - pure joy -  to draw the story from the voices in the letters the nurses wrote home about their lives overseas.

Ready to Serve tells the story of Hopkins nurses who served in France  1917 - 1919 - led by Chief Army Nurse Bessie Baker.

The event yesterday at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, Baltimore, brought together Students, Faculty, Board members from the Maryland Women's Heritage Center and guests to honor these Hopkins Nurses. The story is little known so 100 years later the Women's Heritage Center in Baltimore presented an award to JHU School of Nursing in their honor.  It will be hung the School.



A New WWI Story by Ellouise Schoettler

November 2, 1918 Sgt. John Walter Cobb, Jr. died in France.

Twenty years ago I called my aunt Catherine asking if she knew a family ghost story.  “Well, Ellouise, when I was a youngster they told me Granny Cobb said she saw Walter standing at the foot of her bed in the Cobb home on Church Street. She said he saluted, waved a last good-bye and disappeared.”   "Who is Walter?" I had never heard about him. 

What's his story? 
I kept wondering and looking for information.

Mary Louise Grose Cobb

In 1930, 12 years after John Walter died from Spanish Flu in Camp Hospital 13 in France, Mary Louise Cobb, John Walter’s mother, traveled from Charlotte across the Atlantic on a ship with a large group of Gold Star widows and mothers, who bravely went to France to say good-bye to their loved ones. 

87 years later, September 2, 2017, I stood beside John Walter’s grave in San Mihiel American Cemetery in France with my daughter Karen and son Jim.
Karen, Jim and Ellouise Schoettler

It was beautiful there and in the quiet of the cemetery we realized how forgotten Walter is. 

We were approaching the 100th anniversary of his death. We knew it was time to bring something of him home to Charlotte - - to the next generations of his family. 

We are remembering John Walter and his mother by placing a Centopath memorial stone on the Cobb Plot in Elmwood Cemetary, Charlotte, NC. and I am telling their story. 

On November 9, 2018 nearly 100 years after THE Great War ended Olde Mecklenburg Genealogical Society presents “In Remembrance” Ellouise Schoettler’s new story of the Great War.
7 PM  Aldergate 
2800 Shamrock  
Charlotte, NC
The $10 fee is a donation to the Society.

On November 10 at 10 am the stone remembering Sgt John Walter Cobb will be placed on the Cobb Plot in Elmwood Cemetery with Military Honors. 
About the storyteller Ellouise Schoettler: 
Born and raised in Charlotte, now based in MD, she tells original stories nationwide, Since 1914 Ellouise has developed and told stories of the Great War which feature women. 
“In Remembrance” is told from the perspective of John Walter’s mother who went to France alone to visit her son’s grave in 1930 on a Gold Star Mother’s pilgrimage.  
More information: www.ellouiseschoettler.com 
A variety of WWI memorabilia will also be on display during this special evening. 


What has happened -

These are hard days listening and watching the news and following what's happening about the nominee for the Supreme Court.
I was raised in times and in school when I was taught how important the Supreme Court
is -
but today I am losing my belief in that - - -


Looking and wondering

Tonight i have pulled out this "old" collage. I do that when I am facing up on something that worries me.

These days I worry about the Supreme Court - -

I am asking myself, "what will Brett Kavenaugh on the Court mean to my grand-daughtersand great-grand-daughters if he is cleared to the lifetime seat on the court?"

Are you wondering and maybe worrying about that too?


End of July.


a bit of a story to tell.

I had hip replacement surgery June 25. 4 days later I was transferred to a resident rehab facility fifteen minutes from my home to get back on my feet and get started walking. Thought I would be there for two weeks but it worked out that I was there three weeks. The extra week provided more strength for my hip, knee, and leg and strong motivation to go home

Being home is great although initially a I was a bit unsure. I came home on Friday and my health aide did not come on until Monday. I managed over the week-end by moving very carefully especially on the seven stairs taking me down to the kitchen level.

When my aide arrived I was so happy to see her - the same woman that helped me several years ago when I had surgery on my shoulder. Felt so lucky to reconnect with her.

So winding down July began.

A marvelous Physical Therapist comes to my house three times a week and gets me back to focusing on exercises, walking and strengthening my leg.

Sunday I showered on my own for the first time since the surgery. I felt warm, clean and empowered.
When the Physical Therapist arrived we went outside to walk - a first for me. It was liberating to feel breezes and smell fresh cut grass.

A friend stopped by. We had a long conversation catching up. It was another high moment on a good day. So how do I explain that I made too quick  amove at the bottom of the steps and WHAM - - -

Hurt my "good" leg. It scared me. Would this mean going back to "go".
I am so grateful it was not serious and I am up on both feet

And - - moving more slowly like a sensible person.



So many possibilities available that they bump into each other.

Choices, choices, choices.

What about mistakes?

Be careful....think it through.


A Step At A Time

Early to the dining room so it’s quiet for breakfast. Grateful. Usually the first sounds on my hall are the piercing screams from a woman a few doors away from me. She is not injured or bleeding her pain comes from deep inside her mind. 

Today is my last breakfast here. After 21 days the dining room is familiar. I will be packed and leaving in a couple of hours. Surgical pain brought me here .. a hip replacement which hurt and frightened me as I wondered how I would walk again. This morning I walked 100 feet alone from my room using a walker. Yesterday I walked the distance four times with only a cane and my PT therapist following close behind. It has been quite a journey.

In a few hours I will leave and my daughter Karen will drive me home in my car. Probably 3 weeks before I can drive.

I have learned one thing ... go slow and steady...one step at a time.