Letter to the Editor: Another story about Louis Zamperini


As the movie “Unbroken” is showing locally, I thought I would add one more chapter to the Louis Zamperini story. He was living in Los Angeles and managing a senior lunch program at a local church while my mother, Marge Simsik, was living with my brother Bob nearby. They often walked to lunch there where Zamperini “took a shine” to my mother, who was herself a survivor of sorts.

Having been raised in an orphanage in Buffalo, New York, and taken out of school a month before graduating by her aunt, my mother was still always optimistic. Born a city girl, she moved with my dad to a farm on Lake Ontario, where she helped in the fields, gardened, canned and ran things while my dad farmed as well as worked for General Motors. She never complained, and rose to the challenge of life on the farm, often alone while she raised three kids.

Both my mother and my brother often chatted with Zamperini, and Bob saw him often while hiking in the Hollywood Hills above the city, usually surrounded by much younger people, always pleasant and talkative. Sadly, Zamperini died before becoming Grand Marshal in the Rose Parade last year, but was honored by a riderless horse instead, surely he was there in spirit.

Balika Simsik, Woodstock