Wednesday, July 31, 2013


For more information: Contact Word Association Publishers or the author.

Unpacking Memories tells of a small town in northwest Missouri in the years 1952 to 1960. At the book’s center are stories of a country doctor who practiced medicine in rural Holt County. MoSGA member Deborah Sweaney was inspired to write after opening an old forgotten suitcase that had been packed away in the hot summer of 1960. It was full of get well cards sent to her father when he was in the hospital and sympathy cards sent to her mother after her father’s death, and many, many pictures and newspaper clippings. It was a time capsule.

Unpacking Memories evokes a world that no longer exists. You will return to a time of 4-H and country fairs. If you grew up during that era, the book may unpack your own memories of playing outside unsupervised, climbing trees, and creating your own games…

It paints a picture of medical care in that decade following World War II-–a world where the word POLIO caused fear. Frank Sweaney was a country doctor, but as an old timer said, “Doc Sweaney did not ride in a horse and buggy. Doc had an Oldsmobile.” He went on house calls, was sometimes paid by bushels of tomatoes, and made an incredible impact on his community. For Frank Sweaney, as his daughter’s book states, “Health care started with the word care.” For those of us who struggle with the medical issues of our time, her father’s approach to medicine will bring out issues of medical specialization, patient care, and surging costs. It also is a sad story of a man who was driven to help and cure others--but in the end could not help or cure himself.

The author will be at the Barnes & Noble at the Columbia (Mo) Mall on September 8, 2013 from 2 PM-4 PM to autograph copies of Unpacking Memories.

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