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|Editor's Notebook, by Bill Blauvelt||A Different Slant, by Chuck Mittan||Country Roads, by Gloria Garman-Schlaefli|
by Bill Blauvelt
While cleaning out a building in preparation for a new tenant, I was sorting the items left behind by previous tenants into various categories. Most of the material went into the junk pile but occasionally I found something that I thought might be repurposed.
Unlike the television programs where the Garage Boys and Pickers find items of great value stashed away and forgotten among peoples' junk, I didn't have any false hopes about finding items of great value but I did find several items of interest.
Among the items of interest is a book of poetry.
The hard bound book doesn't list a publisher or publication date but it appears to be from the 1930s and once a treasured possession of a Superior resident.
The book was protected by a now brittle leather cover stamped with the year of my birth, 1946.
On each page of poetry there appears to be a hand colored picture. The colors are filled in neatly on each but the quality of workmanship varies. Perhaps more than one person did the coloring or perhaps the ability of the artist improved as the work was completed.
In a banner on the first page is written Margaret Groves, 1934-'36. I suspect Margaret probably was the original owner and colored the pages in that time span. On the next page she has written, "Dedicated to my Rosary of Girls." Turning the pages, I came to the Club Roll. On this page are the signatures of 13 young women, most of which I recognize as having lived in Superior in the 1930s. Some were in my mother's high school class and counted among the friends she often spoke of. Betty Jane Phelps became the mother of a high school classmate of mine and the author of a book we sell at The Express about the life of the Lady Vestey. With each name apparently is the person's birthday. The list includes:
Mary Elizabeth Hoydan, Feb. 8, 1922.
Eunice Eyre, Feb. 7, 1922.
Garnet Ross, April 5, 1920.
Dorothy Reno, Nov. 11, 1920.
Betty Ruth Stephenson, Dec. 3, 1919.
Margaret Jane Nicholson, Dec. 10, 1919.
Frances Margaret Harman, June 4. 1920.
Helen Marie Stephenson , May 10, 1921.
Gretchen Green, Oct. 7, 1922.
Marjorie J. Crabb, March 6, 1923.
Betty Jane Phelps, March 18, 1921.
Kathleen McConnell, Jan. 26, 1921.
Alline Trowbridge, Nov. 11. 1920.
Do you suppose those girls got together regularly to read poetry and color the pictures in their poetry books?
I lost interest in coloring while in the lower grades. I considered coloring to be something children did. Instead, I considered myself a "big boy" who did "manly" things.
I'm not sure what to do with the book but one thing I know for certain. I don't plan to throw it away. I suspect I'll just add it to my collection of keepsakes and let the next generation determine its fate.
When that time comes, I fear this old editor will be classified as a hoarder.
A Different Slant, by Chuck Mittan
As a follow-up to last week's column about coffee
more specifically, the lack of coffee in our house following the
unfortunate and premature demise of our Bunn I am ready
to announce that I desire very much to purchase a Keurig K45
Elite Single Serve Brewer. If the purchase is approved by Kathy
(the CEO of our home), it will be our first non-Bunn coffee maker
in many years.
I imagine there are many of these Keurig units in the homes of our readers, based on the number of times lately I've encountered them. My friend in Burlington, Iowa, who I stay with during the Snake Alley Festival of Film has one. The director of "Leaving Kansas," the short film we just shot in Omaha, has one. His wife was out of town for the weekend, so he had room to put up everyone coming in from out of town for the shoot. We went through nearly a case of those little single serve containers. Then, when we went to the house used for our locations on Sunday, those homeowners had one as well.
Kathy said she has some environmental concerns with the Keurig. I don't know what her concerns are, but I know her well and believe her affection and (let's just say it) physical need for coffee will win. Unless someone can prove that every little container purchased affects the fate of a polar bear, I believe she'll be popping those little Keurig containers into the unit like crazy.
As alluded to earlier, we shot another short film Saturday and Sunday in Omaha and Blair. I was more nervous about this shoot than any other so far because I was also producing and had taken on a lot of responsibilities during preproduction. I needed everything I did to work and look good, because I want to establish a reputation as a producer who follows up and does the things he says he'll do. Too often, I've heard the stories of the other kind of producer. They do not get asked back to work on future projects.
Not only did my part of the shoot go well, the entire shoot went well. The only hitch we had was the drone footage we shot Saturday (for reasons we still haven't figured out) did not make it to the data card. We arrived back at the director's house at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday and he began to download and convert the footage from the day. The drone footage simply wasn't there. When we wrapped on Sunday afternoon, we went back out to a rural area west of Omaha and reshot it.
The edit for this film will go quickly; we want to make a Nov. 11 festival deadline.
Country Roads, by Gloria Garman-Schlaefli
Have you ever looked back on your life and wondered if the
road you took was the right one? Or thought about what it would
have been like if you had taken a different road? Would you have
chosen another career? Another place to live? As we age, maybe
we all ask ourselves these questions.
My thoughts turn to the possibilities of being the writer of a famous novel, or maybe a classical pianist or singer. I once looked at some wonderful paintings created by my talented friend, and I thought about taking lessons to become a painter. Maybe with my interest in baking, I could have opened a bakery and served my creations along with lattes and various kinds of coffee. Maybe I could have become a decorator and starred in my own "fixer upper" television show. My interest in flowers and gardening shows me I could have opened a flower shop or garden center. Our minds run wild just thinking and dreaming.
It's not too late to start over in a career or hobby, but the motivation, body strength and reality thinking have to come into play. Grandma Moses became a famous painter in her later years. There are novelists who have created some of their best works beyond retirement age. If a person has an ability, they can still hang up a shingle and become the next "fixer upper." If the talent is there, a person can become teachers of that talent to a new generation.
Looking at our lives, we can also find true contentment with the choices we made along the road chosen. There are some choices we wish we could have done better, but for the most part, would we have done them any differently?
Down the road I traveled, the directions proved to be just fine. Being happily married, having children (and now grandchildren) and enjoying the rural life style have all been blessings. Given the chance to write once in a while has filled in some of the blank spaces, and though playing the piano or singing at Carnegie Hall never happened, playing and singing at church does happen and it suits me just fine. Also, I never won a "mother of the year" award, but I could not have been happier raising my sons. Making pies, cakes and cinnamon rolls for my family have given me such awards.
Time in my flower beds and gardens have provided me with stress therapy without any business hassles. Seeing and playing with my granddaughters, taking a ride on our motorcycle with my husband and camping out with friends are now some of the highlights of my life. My friends and family provide strength and fellowship, and my spiritual strength has gotten me across many bumpy roads and onto smooth, calming paths.
Looking back and wondering what we wished could have been in our lives, we find that most of what we made of our lives along the way was the way it was meant to be. It's good to count the blessings of our lives.