Mrs. Curry started writing the book in longhand in 1975 and said it became a little easier after her husband (they were married 66 years at the time of his death) got her a word processor. The question she hears most often from those who have read the book is: “Were you really engaged three times?” She was. And once to a Gary Cooper look-alike. She recounts details of her young life and courtships in a chapter titled “Girlhood,” much of which was spent in Annapolis, the place she considers home.
Mrs. Curry said the place she enjoyed most was Fontainebleau, where her husband attended classes at a field artillery school. She delivers details of this period in a section titled “Innocents Abroad,” covering 1936 to 1939, when her husband was officially attached to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
Three children and more postings came in due course, and the tumultuous 1960s (when she read Betty Friedan, became an agnostic and considered protesting the Vietnam War) eventually yielded to a different time. “I became a Christian when I was 70. … I always had attended church, but I went through a time when I began to worry about what I was saying.”
Mrs. Curry theorized that the book’s appeal derives from the fact that there are “not many people my age left that can tell what happened that far back.”
She returned to the notion that she has written the book for her family. Replete with an extensive family tree for her family and her husband’s family, Mrs. Curry’s story is quintessentially American.
And for other seniors pondering putting their memoirs to paper? Phil Kopper, president of Posterity Press in Bethesda, said, “As Mrs. Curry proves, it’s never too late. Nor can there be too many memoirs. As a publisher, the sorry fact I encounter with sad regularity is the memoir that never gets finished.”
Mr. Wolfe said, “From the editor’s point of view, I’d say most memoirs get pretty long in the tooth, and that ends the publishing opportunity. ‘For All Our Days’ is a life story the way a story should be told.”
Mrs. Curry noted, “Everybody says, ‘How do you remember it all?’ Well, I’m probably not going to remember it much longer. … I’m the oldest member of the family on both sides. … I thought it’s a pretty interesting family with all of our Colonial people coming over here and being in the Civil War, and children ought to know that. It’s history.”