Talented Marilyn Ball from St. George captures her family memories in poems about her youth. Poetry seems to condense experiences into their essence and captures in just a few words emotions and experiences to share. See if you can picture this chair from Marilyn’s home in the Uintah Basin and understand her mother’s many sacrifices on a remote ranch raising the family.
THE GHOST OF A CHAIR
I can still feel the chair,
smell its dusty rose brocade,
see the pressure spot where
Mother often laid her hand.
For someone who traveled less
than fifty miles in seventeen years
it was more than a luxury.
It was tears and young days gone
orever, a symbol of good times,
better cattle prices, the war’s end.
Now a companion in my kitchen
it is like a vision blending
with the other chairs. /
Somewhere back in my brain
tears begin; I see mother’s pride
in her one good piece of furniture
and the ghost of her in that chair makes
me sweat when I spend a dollar.
Another reader Sue Stevenson-Leth of St. George is a gifted writer who tells us about her grandmother HELEN VIOLA JACKSON KENT 1879-1971. Grandmother was 60 years old when I was born––which gives her diaries such great significance. A valuable source of information about her youth and early family life. At the age of sixty she seemed very young to me. I would guess her to be 5’2” or maybe I saw her as short because my grandfather was so tall and thin. From a child’s perspective she was warm, soft and offered protection. Always wore a clean apron and a few tendrils of hair trailed down the back of her neck from the bun on top of her head. Her clothes were moderate––solid colors, lace at the collar, a clean handkerchief always clasped in her hand. Her black shoes laced with moderate heels. She never wore polka-dots, even though her personality could afford it. Don’t you want to read more about this special grandmother?
Last call for stories about your grandparents, then we’re moving on to stories about your parents. Don’t let your grandparent or parent’s legacy be lost. Talk about them to your posterity, write their stories down and show their photos to your family. (Love to have my blog readers contribute-just leave your stories in a comment.) NEXT TIME: What’s Your Heritage?