Sunday, January 3, 2021

Tribute to Darlene Franklin

We received the sad news that one of our blogger/authors who started with us at the beginning of the HHH blog has passed away. Darlene Franklin, a well known author, now dances on streets of gold. Darlene had over 68 books published and 300 devotionals. She will be greatly missed by so many readers and her fellow authors. 

As a tribute to Darlene we are posting several of her early posts on Hero's, Heroine's and History. 


Hi. This is Darlene Franklin coming to you again. My third book in the Maple Notch Dreams series comes out in January. Homefront Dreams takes place against the backdrop of life on the homefront during the Second World War.

Movies like It's a Wonderful Life and my mother's childhood memories form the basis of my impressions of life during the war. After a friend mentioned the volunteer work of plane spotters, I knew I wanted to include it in my book.

As many as one and a half million Americans became part of the Army Air Forces Ground Observation Corps. The Aeroplane Spotter was published in January 1940. By July of that year, months before the United States joined the war, the town of Mayfield, New York, had already organized volunteers and set up regular schedules on December 10, 1941.

The citizens of Kent, Connecticut, beat Mayfield to it, however, beginning the earliest Corp. They quickly sprang up and down both coasts. They chose the highest point in the area for their observation posts, of course, and usually worked in pairs. Citizens of every age took part, from high school students to senior citizens.

The observers were meant to serve as an early warning system to avoid another surprise attack like the one at Pearl Harbor. They had to stay current on all military planes, both Allies and Axis. Playing cards were used for quick recognition of the various planes.

For all the preparation, only one German airplane ever entered American air space during the war. American airmen flew a captured plane to Florida. The locals weren't advised of the arrival, to test their effectiveness. They identified the make and model of the plane before it reached land.

Friendly aircrafts provided some amusement. A plane flew at treetop level in Connecticut, rising just in time to avoid the local hill. (The pilot in my book wasn't so lucky.)

While plane spotting continues to be a popular hobby (I found several journals for plane spotters at Amazon), the need for the organized corp carried over from World War II to the Cold War before dwindling away.


Hi there. This is Darlene Franklin. Since the heroine of my next release (Golden Dreams, September)works in a Depression-era soup kitchen, I thought I would write on their history. Did they start with the Great Depression, or extend back to the era of work houses for the poor?

Imagine my surprise to learn they had their origins with the military. Count Rumford came up with the perfect inexpensive,savory, and nutritious meal possible, a barley soup that also included peas, potatoes, wheat bread, vinegar, and salt. Of course water made soup an ideal food for large groups. Extra mouths to feed? No problem, only add more water. His creation led to the creation of soup kitchens across Europe. The Human Society of New York opened a kitchen in 1802.

Like today, debate raged over the question, did soup kitchen discourage self-reliance? Or did it perpetuate the problem? The popularity declined in the 1820s. The Salvation Army is notable for keeping its food depots open through all economic and political climates.

Soup kitchens revived in the wake of Black Monday, October 28, 1929, when Wall Street crashed. For instance, the of the Capuchin Service Center of Detroit started up less than a week later, on November 2, and fed 1,500-3,000 people a day. For many, their soup kitchen meal was the only food they had all day.

Churches and other private charities established the early soup kitchens. The state and federal governments got involved by the mid-1930s, to the point where every town had some kind of food provided for the hungry.

Volunteers of America started during this era and has remained one of the biggest providers, expanding their services to other social services such as children's daycare and services for the elderly.

The biggest surprise (even more so Count Rumford) is that gangster Al Capone began the frst soup kitchen in Chicago in an effort to clean up his bad boy image.

The need for food relief has waxed and waned. Of course, soup kitchens no longer serve soup exclusively. The 1980s saw a resurgence of services and then again as recently as 2006.


Hi, this Darlene Franklin, your native New Englander still spinning tales about my home country. For my second book in the Maple Notch Days series (fifth Maple Notch book overall), I planned a story about figure skating (my favorite winter sport)at the 1932 Olympics, which were held in Lake Placid, New York. She practices in an old mill house that has been converted into an indoor ice rink. Historically, Sonja Henje won the second of her three Olympic medals at the 1932 Olympics.
So I looked into the history of ice rinks. I don't understand how it works all that well; mechanics and science aren't areas I understand all that well. The process is similar to the one used in refrigerators and air conditioners. A base of concrete or sand is covered with pipes carrying the coolant of choice; and a mixture of water and other chemicals goes on top. Indoor rinks encouraged the growth of the sport of ice hockey. Figure skating was added as a sport to the 1908 Olympics--on an indoor rink during the summer games in London! The first successful ice rink, the Glaciarium, opened in London in 1876. The first one in the United States was built
in 1879 at Madison Square Garden. Two brothers, Lester and Joe Patrick, opened two skating rinks three days apart in Canada in 1912. Over the next several decades, they built ice rinks across northwestern United States and western Canada. Today people enjoy 1,700 rinks across America.

As a final note, the ice at Rockefeller Center is outdoors. The area, known as the Sunken Gardens, didn't attract visitors, so they converted it into an "temporary" ice rink in 1936. Today it's probably the most recognizable area of the Rockefeller. a story outdoor rins glaciarum earlyU.S. Rockefeller Center 1st in US Madison Square Garden 1876: The first indoor ice rink opens in London. The ice is made through an expensive process of sending a mixture of glycerin and water through copper pipes. 1879: The first indoor ice rink in the United States opens in Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. 1908: The first Olympic figure-skating competition is held on a refrigerated indoor rink as part of the Summer Games in London Patrick brothers opened first two ice skating rinks in Canada, 3 days apart, in 1912. They built ice rinks across northwestern US and western Canada. 1700 rinks in US today. same basic technology as for refrigerators and air conditioning systems. 


  1. Darlene will be greatly missed! Thank you for this wonderful tribute.

  2. What a nice idea to honor her by reposting her blogs! I enjoyed reading them.

  3. The way Darlene wrote her books from a nursing home always encouraged me. If I had something blocking my way, I thought about her and pushed through. Thanks you, Darlene, and I'll see you again one day.

  4. Her posts were always informative. She will be missed.

  5. I will miss Darlene's stories. She was a sweet lady.

  6. Thank you for this tribute. Darlene was a wonderful Christian witness!

  7. I will miss Darlene as both a friend and fellow writer. She was an encourager for so many of us, always looking for ways to help others despite the tragedies and losses in her own life. She was a true inspiration and will be missed by so many friends and acquaintances. Thank you for this wonderful tribute to Darlene and her writing.

  8. Thank you for this fitting tribute for Darlene. Oh, how she’ll be missed.

  9. Thanks for posting these. May she dance in Heaven.