If you listened to the trailer or episode 1 of this show, you’ll know many of the conversations I’ve recorded have been with people who knew my mom, Phyllis Badenhope. In episode 1, I talked with Joyce Comfort, a college classmate who studied with my mom in northwestern Missouri in the early 1950s. Then, starting in the early 1960s, my mom traveled to Asia and Europe for seven years, teaching first grade to the children of American military personnel. Her longest international stop was three years in Spain. Today you’ll hear a conversation I had with Marge Goslin, who taught and lived with my mom in Madrid. My mom’s time living overseas happened before I was born, so I appreciate Marge’s willingness to fill in some gaps I had in my mom’s time there.
At 89, Marge is no stranger to setbacks in life. She’s lost both her siblings as well as her husband, and her eyesight and memory aren’t what they used to be. But mainly she’s happy and, as she talks about her life, I hear a significant amount of acceptance. In our conversation, you’ll hear someone reflect on a life of big changes, such as changing careers, moving between continents, shifting her commitment to religion, and finding love late in life.
In July, I took a day to drive a couple hours from San Francisco to Turlock, a town near Modesto in California’s Central Valley, where Marge lives in a care home. I recorded our conversation in a cafe there shortly after arriving.