Searching for Friday's Child is the story of one young man and the closeness he shared with his family...a closeness which held them all together throughout the harrowing days of World War II in spite of their separation by many geographical miles.
Howard Irish, graduated less than a year from Michigan State College is called to active duty with the Coast Artillery branch of the Army in May of 1941. In August he is sent to the Philippine Islands in the Pacific to what seems at the time to be a country club assignment. Corregidor Island, lush and tropical, is filled with enviable recreational pursuits, friends, servants. Life takes on a relaxed easy air. Howard notes, however, that the West Point graduates who are his superior officers are much more sharp than any he has served under heretofore. Undercurrents of impending war causes him to naively think..."we sorta wish that if a war is going to start it would hurry up because it wouldn't take long." Howard enjoys many aspects of the Philippines but he misses his family and the girl he left behind who had so desperately wanted to marry him before he left.
Howard writes long detailed letters home to his family and girlfriend. His mother saved all of his letters. After December 7, 1941 when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and portions of the Philippine Islands she had no information at all as to what had happened to her son. She wrote tirelessly to anyone who might know him or know someone who might possibly have come in contact with him. More than fifty years later Howard's sister opens the letters, telegrams and clippings her mother saved and finds herself compelled to continue her mother's pursuit for information.
Searching for Friday's Child chronicles Howard's story in unexpected and rewarding ways. A story to touch your heart and remember.
Marjorie Irish Randell was born and raised on a farm in western Michigan in the pre-war years of the Depression. Her closely knit family was interested in music and the arts as well as the day to day work of a farm. An English teacher in her freshman year of high school planted the seed in her mind that she could write. Her first year in college was marked with extra English courses and Creative Writing classes at the YWCA. World War II called a halt to education and found her enlisted in the US Marine Corps Women's Reserve. She married newly commissioned Army Air Corps Pilot Edward Randell in 1943 and formal education was put off until retirement in the 1980's. Raising four sons filled the years but always long detailed letters kept flying between California where she made her home and Michigan where her parents still lived.
When she retired from selling real estate she began taking classes in creative writing and putting into words the short stories that had been living in the back of her mind. She enrolled in college again, but it wasn't until after her mother died when Marjorie found the letters, telegrams, clippings and pictures her mother had saved that she was stimulated to put her brother's story into a book. The Irish family...Marjorie, her brother Howard and her parents were a particularly close family and the loss of her brother has permeated her life. The writing of his story is a memorial to that family and to the young man who gave his life for us.
Marjorie has put together an anthology of her short stories which speak of another era that may otherwise be forgotten. At present she lives with her husband in the foothills of the High Sierras in California and is working on a new contemporary novel.