My Book of Happy Memories

by Joan Ellis Getchell Cole


Book Details

"...would you store this?... it should eventually go in my 'book of happy memories'..."

“...I have been married fifteen months, and we have moved fifteen times. Lest our monthly vacations arouse suspicion, let it be quickly known that my husband is not a piker - he is an engineer. Not the nice sane kind who drives a train and always gets back to his starting place, my husband is an engineer-in-the-field, and we have neither starting nor stopping place…”

Joan Getchell Cole was a prolific writer, and recorded every adventure, small and large, that she had while travelling for her husband’s work with the Pitometer Company as a Water Works engineer. Growing up in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, spending summers by the water, this nomadic life was new and exciting for her. When they settled and had their three children, Joan continued to write - sometimes entries in her children’s baby books, sometimes longer pieces on “Wartime Bedpan Techniques” or “Youth Today” - and she gathered and kept all this writing hoping to put it in the “book of happy memories” she always planned to write.

When Joan passed away suddenly just shy of her 36th birthday, she left her three children and husband with this abundance of words and reflections on the life she had led. When she had grown into a woman, her eldest daughter, Joan Cole Pendergast, collected and kept all she could find of these writings, and compiled them into this book with the help of two of her grandchildren. My Book of Happy Memories is the book Joan never got to finish, and is a labor of love from the daughter who remembers her as a warm and loving woman, full of life.


About the Author

Joan Ellis Getchell Cole

Joan Ellis Getchell Cole was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island on December 25th, 1907 and passed away at 35, leaving her husband and 3 small children - Pixie (Joan), Bruce, and Heather. Joan (Pixie) Cole Pendergast, her eldest daughter, compiled and edited her mother's writings with the help of two of her grandchildren, MacKenzie and Jack. She is a BSRN graduate of Skidmore College, and has practiced public health and hospital nursing in New Haven, CT and Providence, CT. She is the author of Love Letters to Jack and Markings of Mercy, as well as several poems published in the New Boston Post. She is the mother of six children, eighteen grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. She resides in Providence, Rhode Island.

Also by Joan Ellis Getchell Cole

Markings of Mercy
Love Letters to Jack