Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Synopsis: 2012 August 19

          Hurumph--- I reviewed my writing and research   --- and the state of my  desk.  Huruuummmph -- not as productive as I had thought, two Sharing Memories sent into cyberspace; three drafts hanging around in blog post list; a desk that hasn't completely seen the light of day for several weeks.

          Well, old gal, was it really that bad?

          You did significantly rework "Snow Storm" to the point that is an OK piece of work;  made edits on "House at Hungry Hollow" and it is good until decision as to where it goes in the overall story.

          Talked with Cora in Canada; got book ordered and permission to use pictures from the Bentley Chronicles with acknowledgement.  Review and chose pictures for the Jabezes article about the Bentley Jabez, so that one should come struggling out of the computer this week.  Also corrected and updated the posts which had Synopsis misspelled --- yikes what lousy proofread am I --- it went on for months!

         Huruuumph-- not all that much work done and completed.

         Even though the writing --- and clearing off my desk --- was not all that I would have liked there were some wonderful gems.  My sis came down from Eugene on Thursday, and on Friday night we went to see  Woody Guthrie's, An American Song  at the Camelot Theater.

          Of course, I had heard about the Dust Bowl and how those poor unfortunates had their land literally blown away.  I never realized that this piece of history affected me because that most terrible dust storm of April 24, 1935, happened six months before I was born.  The Zuckerman ranch where I was raised was a magnet for Klamath County's unemployed of the Depression, and so it was for the a number of  the Dust Bowl refugees.

          Often I have written about those guys of my childhood  -- guys with wonderfully interesting names. By the time I was three years old, we had workers on the ranch with names like Okie, Big Oakie, Little Okie, Gutter Okie (he could gut and clean a duck the fastest of all) , and the Arkies, Little, Big and just Arkie.  There as also a Tex and even a Utah.  Being Mac's daughter, and for a number of years the only child on the compound, not only were these my "friends" but I had a special place.  I have often laughingly said that this was where my "princess" complex began --- other's have not disagreed, but dinna think it all that funny.

          Some of these fellas stayed on, married and themselves raised families; others would drift away, only to return months or years later.  After December, 1941, many enlisted for service in the war, only to return periodically.  These were the guys who if my father wasn't around fixed my tricycle, bicycle, caught my horse when she bucked me off, and later pulled me out of ditches in my early and  nefarious attempts at driving.  These were the guys who ate at the big cookhouse, and for whom my dad installed an "air-raid" type siren to roust them out of the bunkhouse.  These were the guys that peopled my childhood --- and almost every one of them was a Dust Bowl refugee.

          So when I sat in the front row of Camelot's new  theater, the songs and stories resonated with me.  Images flooded my mind, images of long ago times when I was a child and my "friends" had a wonderful array of names and a soft lilt to their speech.  Songs that I have always seemed to have known, now in that darkened theater, once again connected me with those guys with the strange names that peopled my world as a child -- songs that connected me to their lives and plight, and just as surely molded my life.

         A wonderful night of memories  --- brought back through the music and stories of Woody Guthrie.  Thanks, Camelot and a great cast.

~ ~ ~
© Joan Hill, Roots'n'Leaves Publications


  1. What a wonderful week. Sometimes the desk just MUST stay messy!

  2. Actually it was a pretty good week and the MESSY desk dinna diminish the wonderful nite of Woody Guthrie music. Thanks for reading.

  3. Sounds like your fun levels more than outweighed the desk chaos. Life's for living! Don't you love it when art reminds you so much of life. I remember a similar situation when we saw a play about the 1960s...so much fun and memories. Glad you enjoyed yourself. I loved "Gutter Okie"

  4. Gutter Oakie was quite the character of my childhood. I loved those guys with the strange sounding names --- made people with regular names (like Joan) sound so boring.