Pat West, TN
Pat has a background in social work, writing, and teaching and a master’s degree in human resource development. She has written or edited hundreds of individual and family stories. In 2012, Pat founded her own memoir business and has written or collaborated on fourteen books since then. Two of Pat’s books, an autobiography (From Stearmans to Starfighters) and a family history (The Carolina Brattons), have been published and received excellent reviews. In her spare time, Pat enjoys traveling with her husband and volunteering with a local historical organization and an animal rescue organization.
As a Story Terrace writer, Pat interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know her better by reading her autobiographical anecdote below.
A Roman Reunion
When I left Rome, Italy, I was seventeen and broken-hearted. As an Air Force brat whose family moved often, I had always adjusted well to what my parents heralded as “our next new adventure.” But this time was different.
The Eternal City had molded me through adolescence and high school in the late ’60s and had made an indelible impression upon my soul. My friends were from all over the world, and I had absorbed new ways of thinking and of experiencing life.
I had roamed through a city where the aroma of unwashed bodies mingled with those of freshly baked pizza and pastries. I had explored the catacombs with trepidation, been awestruck by the art of Michelangelo, and danced in the Piper Club. My first kiss from a boy took place in Rome.
Before I left Rome, my friends took me to the Trevi Fountain, where I did the traditional coin toss. I closed my eyes and wished with every ounce of my being to return someday. My best friend, Jelena, and I embraced one last time with sinking hearts and tears in our eyes. We promised to keep in touch and did . . . for a while.
The years flew by, and a return to Rome became a fading dream. One sunny day, my husband decided to make my dream come true and announced that we were going to Rome! I was ecstatic but had lost touch with Jelena. Had I waited too long? I finally tracked her down, and she was thrilled at the idea of seeing me again. When I met her in Rome, the years between us evaporated as we joyfully reminisced and walked through the streets we had traveled as teenagers. We located my old apartment, its friendly concierge replaced by a call button. We visited our old high school, where the headmaster seemed fascinated by our reunion and pulled out our old yearbooks. There was Jelena, in her cheerleader’s uniform, and me, as co-editor of the school newspaper.
When it was time to leave, I returned to the Trevi Fountain. For the second time and after many years, I tossed in a coin to ensure my return. Upon my return, I was asked about the best parts of my trip, and my immediate response was “Jelena!”
Viva la Roma and long live good friends!
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