Author:  Ann Seymour
ISBN: 978-0-915090-82-2

Every once in a while, a book will come along that gives you a whole new perspective on things.  Now, I am too young to have been through the horrific time of WWII.  (However, I am also not part of a generation that has grown up with no “war”, seeing as that there never has been a time where we haven’t fought to, for, or against something or someone.)  But…I digress.  And I digress for the simple fact that this book is so much more than your requisite war story.  This book not only spoke to my head, giving me an in-depth look at the decisions and atrocities that led up to WWII, but, more importantly, it touched my heart, because this was a very good book that was dedicated to a very great man.

Ann Seymour, the author, leads us into her most prized-memories – her time with her father.  I was immediately involved at the get-go when ‘Daddy’ was on the beach massaging Mommy’s shoulders and singing to his daughter, Ann.  This was a family were young and in love, and excited about the future.  Then, I was brought to Thanksgiving Dinner, enjoying the holidays with the small family as they spoke about the strange goings-on in Japan and the press that was building at home.  “On December 17th, Daddy’s orders arrived.”  That’s the line that hit me right between the eyes; a simple phrase, but one that means a great deal.  From that moment on, I began to hope, pray, and beg that this family would come through the “other end” of the fight intact and still very much in love.

There are moments of pure bliss in this story when Mommy sits around with her neighborhood friends and they talk about all the ‘wins’ the Allies are having – how the United State and good old MacArthur are winning battles left and right.  Then, I get to see the family reunited while Daddy is on leave.  And I can feel my heart break when Daddy is driven to “Oakland’s Spanish-Colonial style train depot” and has to once again say goodbye to his girls. 

Ms. Seymour does an excellent job giving us the “other side” as well.  We are brought into chapters that show us the way of life in Japan - what decisions were being made and how big the egos were growing.  Most books like this one are heavily based on and written as history books, giving the background more than the emotion.  I am honored, proud, and grateful to the author for giving the reader, me, so much more than what I could read in textbooks.

Frank Ribbel, “Daddy”, is the epitome of hero, husband, and honorable man.  There were so many ‘Frank Ribbel’s’ who lost their lives in WWII, thatwe sometimes forget that they weren’t just names inscribed on a monument, or actors in a heroic movie – they were first, foremost, and forever…“Daddy’s.”