It is my pleasure to post the monthly newsletter of the writers group
Monday, February 27, 2012 4:12 PM
INDIAN LAKE WRITERS’ GROUP
Monthly Newsletter February, 2012
Donna Bradley LXVIII
We began our monthly meeting with a news flash! Nancy Strader, unable to attend due to recuperating from her second shoulder replacement surgery, requested that I publicize a special up and coming event at our Indian Lake Theater. On Sunday, March 11, a documentary will be shown depicting the story of Kristin Kimball and her husband who operate a small farm in Essex County. Kristin, in her book, The Dirty Life, describes how her life changed from a Yale graduate living in NYC as a writer to an old fashioned hard working farm girl. All Hamilton County readers will delight in this story and then get to meet Kristin and watch the documentary, Small Farm Risi this incredible story and join others at the theater on Sunday, March 11.
Our meeting this month allowed each us to share our personal response to an ancestor. These stories created a meaningful connection to our past and to each other.
Lorraine shared a letter written by her grandmother with whom she spent many summers growing up. This letter gave us a glimpse into Lorraine as a young girl and her continued relationship with her grandmother even as she prepared to be married.
We met Bob’s great grandfather, a civil war veteran, and a deep sea diver both in Charleston, South Carolina clearing the wrecks of ships including the Monitor, and in New York City. Bob shared a letter, dated June 2, 1867, written by his great grandfather to his future bride. He also read a New York Times article, dated Dec. 30, 1892, describing the tragic death of his great grandfather while diving in New York harbor. It was obvious that Bob had developed a close relationship with his great grandfather through the time spent researching his illustrious life.
Donna shared the sad story of her Aunt Zeda who, as a young 19 year old who found herself pregnant and bound herself tightly eventually causing her own death and the death of her baby. Somehow, sharing Zeda’s story seemed to honor her memory and remind us all of how the times we live in can shape our destiny.
Just as most of us connected strongly with our past relatives, Jim created a strong connection with Odd. In fact, in his latest Odd Tale, Jim has developed Odd’s genealogy. And, of course, the interaction between Odd and his wife when they come upon two unsent letters of past relatives reflects a true to life clashing of two approaches to a situation. Naturally, laughter erupted.
Natalie surprised herself as she rediscovered a self made booklet created by family members honoring her grandmother who had turned 100 years old. Ella Watson Woodside made it to 100 in 1993 and made the front page of the local newspaper. Treasures like the booklet Natalie brought with her, along with the newspaper honoring her grandmother opened up Natalie’s past and many wonderful memories.
Peppi introduced us to her Uncle Jack. Jack Becker achieved notoriety as an artist who worked on the design of the United Nations. Peppi learned a lot about her Uncle Jack’s life when she and her husband had the job of cleaning out his NYC apartment after his death. Uncle Jack was a collector of odds and ends including a scrapbook which Peppi shared with us. There are many stories in each of our lives, many which are unshared. Here was a glimpse of a man’s life intertwined with a piece of history.
*** Our next meeting is March 21, 1:30 at the library. Donna and Bob will not attend, but the meeting will go on.
***Assignment: How about writing about the word, Energy. This will certainly stimulate a variety of responses.
***Strong emotions emerged through this particular assignment. It’s as if we opened a door not only to someone from our past, but to ourselves.