Introduction to the Stories

The Family Christmas Photo - 1954
By James E. McEldowney
Title and Comments Stories - Table of Contents Glossary

Every series of children's stories is unique, appealing to a certain age, or centered around nature or travel or some similar theme. Many such stories are make-believe.

The stories I ahve written are different in that they are true stories. They are vignettes drawn from our experiences over the years. I do most of the telling as we continue our journey through life.

Included is a chapter telling of the many changes that I have seen since my birth in Henry, South Dakota in 1907.

The McEldowney family were missionaries in India for more than 30 years between 1935 and 1971. The three children, Betty Ann, Philip and Barbara, grew up in India and graduated from Woodstock school, located high in the Himalayas. The parents, Ruth and James were caught up in the turmoil at the time India ceased to be a colony of Great Britain and became fully independent.

Included are stories that tell something of my childhood and youth and also one of my father. They tell of our going out to India, of journeys to and from India through the years, and of many events in the lives of the children and parents during this period in our lives. Living as we did at Jabalpur, a city set in the vast jungles of central India we knew life in the raw but we were constantly able to create situations where the children came to love India and its people. The day we arrived in Jabalpur we saw a car coming down the street and on each of the front fenders were tigers the huntsmen had killed earlier that day. All of my hunting was through viewfinders of movie and still cameras. But there was much else that made the lives of our family exciting and memorable. As Barbara put it, "What a wealth of experiences we were lucky enough to have in growing up in India and especially in our family - that made the difference."

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