To the few persons who knew of my undertaking I owe a special debt of gratitude:
Thomas E. Cassidy, Emeritus of English, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, who acted as the only confidant in the early stages of writing and whose enthusiasm lent momentum to the initial attempt.
E. Earle Stibitz, Emeritus of English, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, who devoted himself to the tedious details of critical reading and who remained patient and ever sensitive to my idiosyncrasies, offering his expertise and support in every way.
Marianne Beck, who shared with me many of the trying experiences of our youth and who relinquished to me her personal diaries to supplement and corroborate my own.
William E. Shelton, who insisted that this book be written and who encouraged me in his fashion along the way.
My sons, who respected my need for solitude and who with me eagerly awaited the outcome of my efforts.
I dedicate this book to the memory of those who wittingly or unwittingly shaped my life and who now populate these pages, and to the memory of my homeland, Silesia.
REGINA MARIA SHELTON