Saturday, July 24, 2010

More birthday presents, "the Women"!

I was very pleased to receive the book pictured above in the mail yesterday along with a cookbook with some beautiful paintings in it by an artist who lives in Boulder. I am not quite sure who gave me "the Women", I think my sister Margie, have to get that straightened out later, but it is a great gift that I thoroughly enjoyed. I think I enjoyed my niece Cheryl's poem about her great grandmother Black the most, as I thought it was a wonderfully imagined poem about a pioneer woman who tragically lost a number of her sons while they were still children. Here is an excerpt:

"I felt so bad when I had to call her back home (daughter Lasca)
before she even started her 2nd semester
but the boys were so sick and everyone
who could have helped had their own troubles or were too scared
they'd get sick too. I didn't hardly sleep a wink for six weeks.
I was watching little Alton so hard that Orrin slipped away
before it even registered.
Leone went next, just five days later. Alton seemed so much sicker
than either of the older boys, it shocked me when Orrin and Leone were gone
not even a week apart.
After we buried the boys, Alton just didn't get better.
We finally took him to Richfield.
I thought he was gone more than once. The doctor decided
to try draining his lung taking two ribs in the process.
I kept thinking I was getting sick. But I fought until I finally realized
I was pregnant."

There you have got just how bad it could get in the 'old days' with no antibiotics and doctors and hospitals just not available. Dora Black goes on to lose still another young son to appendicitis. The doctor decided to try to operate on the kitchen table, but it was too late, the appendix had burst and he did not survive. Camille, another niece, also wrote a very sad song about the life of Dora Black. It was reported that at the festival both the poem and song as performed by Cheryl and Camille had everyone present in tears. I can see why as I thought they were both very affecting.
Camille and Cheryl also wrote a song included here about my sister LaRae, Cheryl's mother, which I thought was another wonderful creation called "Mama's Gonna Tie Dye". It brought back memories of my sister LaRae with her long hair flowing, dressed like a hippy, going to the park to a big hippy gathering in some tie dyed outfit. It was very poignant as she left us while she was still that beautiful woman, the mama that now only tie dyes in our dreams.
I am used to my sisters writing colorful poems and all four of them, Margie, LaRae, Ann, and Linda were represented with interesting pieces. I also wrote a prose piece about my Grandma King. They have indicated that they were not able to print all the submissions that came in, in fact, they believe they will have enough soon for a second edition. I am all for it. If it is anywhere near as interesting as this one it will be a welcome addition to the folklore we have already gathered about this picturesque community which was without modern amenities like electricity and a town water system for an unbelievably long time.

Connie's graphics illustrate the old days very well. Every woman had to have a sewing machine, Singer, preferably, every woman had to become an expert gardener, and many helped their husbands on a horse as did their daughters when no sons were available! My sisters and I certainly weren't the only cow girls around. They date way back. Two ladies even had the mail contract one year on horseback!


cheryl said...

Thank you so much for the great review of "the Women" book. It truly was an incredible compilation with many people who have never written, contributing some really great pieces. I felt inspired in my writing of Dora and I think Camille's song is absolutely one of her finest. Consider these a gift from Aunt Margie, Dan,and I. I hope we can do as well for your 80th.

Amrita said...

The book looks good. Enjoy all your nice presents Gerry

Have Myelin? said...

I hope next time you will go to Boulder and I'll meet you there! =)

Gerry said...

Oh, I would love to meet you, 'Have myelin' but you are probably thinking Boulder, Colo, and it is Boulder, Utah! The tiniest Boulder of all. Why so many Boulders, Nevada, too. Confusing. But our claim to fame is some of the most beautiful scenery on earth I think.


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