Before They Were Our Mothers

Donna has expanded her work to include creative nonfiction, a freeing medium that has also strengthened her journalism skills. A piece she wrote about her mother’s service during World War II has been chosen for inclusion in a new anthology Before They Were Our Mothers: Voices of Women Born Before Rosie Started Riveting  (copyright 2017  Journal Arts Press) ( The stories, edited by Patricia Nugent, are snapshots of American herstory: a woman giving birth on a stagecoach; a Depression-era housewife feeding the hobos riding the rails; a young girl finds the will to go on after her fiancée is killed in World War II and a secretary quits a  well-paying job due to sexual harassment. The 15 authors bring to life turning points in the lives of their mothers and grandmothers, stories largely forgotten, in some cases, even by their own families. Donna’s mother, Marie Rogers Jackel (that's her in the bottom right photo!), rarely spoke of the nearly five years she served in the Royal Air Force during WWII, but those experiences shaped the course of her life. Donna reimagines this time in her mother’s life using video interviews, war history and old love letters.