Judy Haisten is a Zonian. She is second born daughter of Ed and Jean Armbruster and spent her childhood years living in the former Canal Zone (Pacific Side). She graduated from Balboa High School, and like many of her friends, she'd planned to work and live her life in the Canal Zone. Unfortunately, during her first year of college in Kentucky, politics intervened, and the newly elected President Jimmy Carter, signed treaties giving all of the United States interests and assets to the country of Panama. The Canal Zone, considered home by several generations of Americans who lived here, would soon no longer be part of the United States, and she stayed in the States.
From the Author
I wanted to write this book about living in the Canal Zone as way of preserving the past and sharing this part of history with my children and yes, grandchildren. I wanted them to know what a special place this was and how we loved it there. It had been my own dream (as well as my sisters) to raise our families there. Since that couldn’t happen, I decided to write this memoir.
I loved living in Gamboa and Balboa Panama (formerly the Canal Zone). It was a good life for me and my sisters. Writing this book has led to many opportunities to speak in schools, libraries, and other forums about a part of American history not so often mentioned.
Jamaican author and publisher Marcus Garvey wrote, “A people without the knowledge of the past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.” I agree. This is my way of reconnecting roots.
If you have read my book, thank you. Please share your favorite part(s) with me on Facebook. If you believe, like I do, that this piece of history should be preserved, please consider contacting your library to order this book. I am involved in new research of Panama for my new book and future projects. Unfortunately, this leaves little time for me to respond to inquiries or keeping a regular posting schedule of postings. I do read your comments, but may not have time to comment back like I would love to. Thank you so much for your support.
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This was our house in Balboa. How my family loved this home. What I would give to go back. Unfortunately, the house was destroyed and highway is now there.
Part of the town of Balboa.
Gamboa Bridge. In Gamboa we had a front-seat view of ships coming through the Panama Canal.