A Timely Publication

As  our current world opens up after 14 months of pandemic living with the COVID virus, members and special guests of the Eastside Writing Room gathered to celebrate Bee Bloeser’s just-published memoir depicting her time in Nigeria, and Equatorial Guinea, Africa in the 1970’s with her husband Dr. Carl Bloeser, battling the smallpox virus.

Eastside writers and guests- Paula Brown, Paul Hawkins, Sally Lanyon, Rhema Sayers, Bee Bloeser, Penelope Starr, Sam Henrie, Sam Henrie, Ethel Lee-Miller and photographer Hank Miller

If you have not yet purchased a copy of Vaccines and Bayonets, please get one. This is a gripping story- bravely and beautifully told and… are there no coincidences?… published as the world battles our COVID pandemic virus.


This short excerpt from the first chapter is uncannily relevant. In Bee’s words:

“I knew about viruses. I knew that when a virus finishes using one cell, one person, one host,  leaving it damaged or dead, it has to find a new one so it can continue making copies of itself. And then find another. And another. It’s what a virus has to do. And I knew a lot about smallpox, caused by the variola virus. I knew that more than a few times through the ages, the microscopic organism had changed the course of history itself.…” Vaccines and Bayonets, “Ranka Didi,”  Wheatmark Publishing. 2021

Proud author Bee Bloeser and Sam Henrie, President of Wheatmark



Sound familiar? Vaccines worked. Smallpox was eradicated. 

Congratulations, Bee!!!!  So proud to have been witness to your work in chronicling this history-making time and your years in Africa.

Bee’s book is on Amazon or contact the author, Bee Bloeser.

Ethel Lee-Miller blogs regularly about people, the power of words, and the writing life. She’s retired from professional writing gigs after 30 years of teaching, coaching, editing, and gathering writers to publicly share their work. She is the author of Thinking of Miller Place, and Seedlings, Stories of Relationships. In retirement she writes to inspire, to connect with folks, and for the pure enjoyment of it. Ethel enjoys sharing stories at Odyssey Storytelling, Zoom gatherings, and anywhere there’s a Zoom mic.