Stevensons new book highlights WWI

Dusty's War“Stories for Positive Aging!” That’s what this column is about — and for those who didn’t know that, the paragraph at the end of the column says so. So what are the topics or stories of interest to readers who are interested or older?

Some topics are obvious areas of interest. For example, caregiving is interesting to both caregivers and care receivers. Story telling has been part of life for generations — from cavemen sitting around camp fires to jesters in the court of kings and to moms as part of the bedtime ritual. My question is, with all the means available now, what is the best way to share stories? Does age affect the choices? Recently, as I was ready to publish my new book, the answer was important.

Telling stories around a fire is still special but the most common means now is a book, either the paper volume to hold in hand or the Internet version to read on the computer screen or on a tablet. Although book stores are suffering from the competition of the Internet many regular computer users still want to have a book to hold in hand. For traveling, a tablet is the least space-consuming means of carrying reading material, but at home it’s less comfortable.

An example of this “split personality” is that my new book “Dusty’s War.” This is my father’s description of his experiences as an Army Air Service pilot in the First World War —1917 through 1918. His connection with aviation continued into the 1980s as an expert aviation insurance claims adjuster and close friend of pilots. It is available by either means — as an ebook from Kindle or Amazon or directly from me as a hold-in-your-hand print version.

The public is invited to a hold a book in their hands and hear some of his stories at a book presentation at Mary’s Woods at 1 p.m. June 4; another book presentation at the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center is pending with the date to be confirmed. Both events are open to the public. In the few book presentations I’ve enjoyed so far, I’m delighted at the interests in aviation, history and stories well told.

The book happened when Dad, then in his 80s, moved in with me and with him came boxes of his daily diaries from 1916 to 1980. Each day when I returned from work I’d ask him about details of his WWI entries. He’d elaborate, and the result is this book. Only those stories that he detailed are included. Other contacts with an aviation hero like Dolittle and Reckenbacker came later and may creep into this column although not individually confirmed.

Now I’ve found that “Stories for Positive Aging” can cover decades and still be of interest to readers of this column. Another topic that I’m drafting is about the Trojan Horse. That’s not ancient history but a new computer infection. If you have any experience with it let me know.

Stories for Positive Aging is a semi-monthly column on senior issues written by Lake Oswego resident Ardis Stevenson, author of “Facing Age, Finding Answers” and “Dusty’s War.” She can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by regular mail at 17440 Holy Names Drive, Lake Oswego, OR 97034.

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