Thursday, October 10, 2013
Joan Bochmann, Author, Sister, Friend, and My Hero Forever
She taught me a great love for books and storytelling by reading to me when I was too little to read. Not just kids story books, but full length novels by such authors as Jean Porter Stratton, Ralph Moody, Will James, Felix Salton, Dean Marshall, Mary O'hara, and many, many more. And on the long winter nights as we were growing up on a ranch in the Yampa Valley in Colorado, she'd gather my brother and me, and later younger siblings, too, to tell stories made up on the spot. We'd take turns with Joan leading. None of us ever came close to telling such exciting stories as she did.
When Joan graduated from high school as head of her class, I was not surprised. Of course she was smarter than everyone else! Yet she was very modest and humble and more than a little shy. When she married a year later and prepared to leave with her sailor husband to far-away California, I thought my world would end. I behaved very unattractively for an eleven-year-old. I cried hysterically and held onto her new husband, begging—demanding—that he not take her from me.
Once grown up, it was my turn to move away, and we were separated by hundreds of miles for most of our adult lives, but we got together as often as we could. When we couldn't, we still felt the bond of our mutual love for the things most important to us. family, horses, and books—both reading and writing them.
Once again, Joan is gone from my sight, slipping away Thursday evening, September 26, 2013, finally escaping the ravages of cancer. I miss her, but I'm happy she is free of pain, for she will never be gone from my heart and memory. Her influence will be felt forever.
Janet Muirhead Hill