I have always been grateful that many of my ancestors were writers. The words they wrote in journals, letters, newspapers, and magazines have provided me with information, encouragement, and entertainment. The records of their activities and celebrations are pleasant reminders that they were people who enjoyed life and loved their families. Their thoughts and ideas have given me insight into the hardships they endured and the problems they solved.
There were three people who wrote more than anyone else in the family: my great-grandpa, Calvin W. Banta, aka Rufe Bolts, my grandmother, Della Springer, and my mom, Colleen Simmons. In fact, they wrote so much that I’ve never actually read or recorded all of their writings. I have many samples of their writings, including some original manuscripts. They run the gamut from simple news reporting to inspiring poetry. Calvin frequently wrote about local politics. Della wrote about family and friends. Mom wrote about the problems that people face each day.
This morning I logged onto the local newspaper archives in search of information about the Liberty community’s clubs and associations. I knew that Della belonged to a ladies group and I have a couple of items about their meetings. I wanted more information about some of their projects for one of the articles I’m writing, so I tried searching a ten year period when I knew she was in the club. Well…..
A search using Della’s name resulted in so many items that I had to reduce the total by targeting each specific year. Wow! At least I know I won’t run out of reading material this winter!
I scanned a few years and discovered several bits of information that were totally surprising. First of all, I didn’t know that Della had been to Hollywood to see “Queen for a Day” (old TV show). If she or mother ever mentioned it, I had certainly forgotten about it. In my own defense I was only seven at the time. I also didn’t know that she had survived a tornado! I’ll post that this morning in Family Ties. And I didn’t know she had written much about politics. Guess she got that propensity from her father. Here are two gems I found this morning. The 1967 one is in response to criticism of Kennedy.
October, 1961- “Until the American people forget their petty prejudices and face the world problem with fair-minded humility we are going to remain in pretty much the pickle we are now in.”
September, 1967- “Ignorant, unlearned, frustrated people blame the world situation on our leaders, but that kind is more to be pitied than censured. If they would go to work to bring about good fellowship between neighbors, between states, and nations, then world peace might not seem so far-fetched.”
Seriously…the woman was a genius. And I find myself saying a prayer of gratitude this morning for my ancestors who wrote words on a page, for the newspapers who deemed them worthy of publication, and for the tech wizards who have given me such easy access to them.