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Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots. - abc27 WHTM

Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

Book Trilogy Traces Elizabethville Woman's West Virginia Roots.

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For many of her 87 years, Anna Jean Bennett Ditty was told, "You ought to write a book!" So, ten years ago, she did. In fact, she needed three books to cover her life, starting with "The House on the Hill," about growing up with three siblings in a small West Virginia town during the depression, with a hard-working mom and an absentee father.

Browsing through her first book, Ditty paused to point out a childhood picture of her baby brother Dickie.

"He's my baby brother," she said. "My momma always thought we got him for us to play with."

It's a book filled with stories about every day life in a railroad and coal town, as seen and experienced by a young girl.

Although her family never had much financial security, Ditty says it didn't seem to matter when they were growing up because the kids never realized they were poor.

"We had no toys and we had no money," she said. "But we had mud. We had flowers. And we had games we could play outside."

The second installment of her autobiography, entitled "Movin'," covers the moves in her young life that eventually brought her to Elizabethville as the bride of the late Charlie Ditty, a World War Two soldier she met while working in Virginia.

"I married a good man for my kids and my kids are all good kids," she said, holding their wedding picture.

"And this is the last book of the series," Anna Jean said holding up the brightly covered book. "So I thought it would be an appropriate title, 'My Finale'."

She calls the third book of the trilogy an honest and open look at her 60 plus years in her adopted hometown of Elizabethville, which, she admits, got off to a shaky start.

"Everything was different to me," she explained. "The way of life was different and the food was different. Some of them couldn't speak English, even talking Dutch yet."

Ditty says she wrote the books so her descendants will know who and where they came from, while urging them to be optimistic about life.

"To me, the glass is always half full, not half empty."

Looking back through her finished work, Ditty reflected on her literary efforts.

"I'm pleased with the results," she said. "They're what I want them to be."
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