Jacob & Agnes

This post marks a transition point in this web-book. I am not going to put the rest of the chapters online. What has been posted thus far are things I want to be freely available to anyone who happens upon them through online search. It is my contribution to the larger project of Mennonite history and genealogy in which my work participates. The rest of the book feels private, too personal for the internet. It needs to be read book in hand, the reader able to stay with the story clear to the end without having to wait a month between chapters.

I am currently in the process of editing the final draft of the print book, a rather slow process of sending chapters to my editor who then makes comments and sends them back, etc. & etc. Once the editing is done the manuscript will go to the woman who has agreed to turn it into a print-on-demand book that can be ordered from Amazon. It will have a nice cover, photos and look like the books available at a bookstore. I hope to have it completely finished and online before the end of the summer.

I will continue making monthly posts. I have more old photos that I’d like to share as well as other items that are not going into the print book that I want to make publicly available. This month’s piece is about the scandalous start of my parents’ marriage that was published in the January 2012 issue of the Journal of the Center for Mennonite Writing at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana.

Next month I’ll post photos of the family taken in the 1930s.

Jacob & Agnes

Jacob & Agnes

My parents, Jacob & Agnes Willems, 1938

My father was twenty-one and my mother was fourteen in January 1936 when they eloped to Reno from my mother’s home in Lodi, California. When they returned my dad was in big trouble. To read their story click on the following link:




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