Finding Papa’s Shining Star
If you missed the interviews with Alan Ashley and Lenore Seldon of Where Is Papa’s Shining Star? be sure to read them in previous blogs to put this interview in perspective.
TWP: Welcome to The Word Place, Annie Ashley. You started life under another name, I believe.
AA: I was born Roberta Annette Rycroft.
TWP: How did you become Annie Ashley?
AA: It’s complicated. Basically, my parents divorced, and my mother remarried. Her husband sent me to his sister, Lenore Seldon, when…well, when things weren’t going well. When she married Alan Ashley, they adopted me, and I took the name Annette Lenore Ashley. Roberta was my biological mother’s name, and I didn’t want anything to do with her.
TWP: What was life like with the Ashleys?
AA: Idyllic. I had the best of everything. We loved each other.
TWP: You married during the war, right?
AA: It was one of those hasty wartime things.
TWP: So it didn’t work out?
AA: It did, and it didn’t.
AA: I lost a child.
TWP: I’m sorry. What do you do now?
AA: After my parents’ deaths, I became the head of Ashley Enterprises. Now David--that’s my husband--has turned up again and wants me to raise the five-year-old daughter of my cousin.
TWP: You don’t seem enthusiastic about that.
AA: I’m just not sure I can do it.
TWP: You had good parental role models in the Ashleys, didn’t you?
AA: Yes, but…Chava needs two parents, and David and I…he has a business in Israel, and I have responsibilities here.
TWP: What happened to your biological parents? Did you ever see them again?
AA: Roberta Rycroft either committed suicide or was murdered shortly after I was sent North. I don’t really care. Papa--Albert Rycroft--disappeared. He said he’d come for me…for Bobbie, his shining star…but he never did. He never did, but he promised...
TWP: Is he still living?
AA: I’m not sure. I think so. David knows, but he won’t tell me anything. He knew Papa--Albert Rycroft in Israel.
TWP: So what’s next for you?
AA: I have a business to run. A lot of people depend on me for their livings. David says I need to get in touch with who I was…find Papa’s shining star…but she doesn’t exist anymore.
TWP: You’re sure about that?
AA: I’m not sure of anything except that my schedule says I have a business meeting in fifteen minutes, so I have to go.
TWP: Well, thanks for stopping by The Word Place today. Good luck.
Tomorrow: David Levinson, Annie’s husband
Read the first chapter of Finding Papa’s Shining Star at my website.