As with many respectful Americans, I am saddened by the loss of this wonderful woman. For me, it is a bit of concern too about what will happen in the future. When a monumental change occurs like this, it affects us all on levels we can’t quite understand. Queen Elizabeth kept up traditions in her country and stood by strong values and duty to her country. I am not sure we understand what this really means here in the U.S. I can’t imagine a president seeing themselves as having a duty to uphold, in quite the same manner in which she did. Perhaps they see that they have a role but sometimes I am not so sure they have our countries best interests at heart. Of course this is a matter of an opinion, just as the same would go for a British subject or for those in the extended empire.Continue reading
There are two Youtube videos that I will be embedding here. It is an hour long talk given in 1963 for the Ladies Club of Minerva Park. The speaker is the very first Mayor, Carlton Berry, speaking about the Minerva Amusement Park from 1895-1905. This is what Minerva Park originally was. When it closed down, the owners had opened another park in the center of Columbus called Olentangy Park Casino. The Mayor will go on to speak about the Minerva Park incorporation in 1940 and bringing the ladies up to date to 1963. These oral reports are so fascinating because he is providing so many details about life in those years. While these are Youtube videos, there is only one photograph for both of them. The first photo is the “Casino” of Minerva Amusement Park but it was not a gambling center but an opera house. Evidently, this is what they were called in those days.
My home was built in 1928 and is one of the very first homes to be occupied in Minerva Park. I live on a street that was originally a wild bear exhibit, when they had zoo animals in the park, as well as the casino. The original owner was Opal Dunn McAlister and you can read more about her in another article featured on this website.
Hello fellow women’s history lovers. I just opened up a store on Etsy where you can buy these wonderful history t-shirts for yourself, your friends and family. The shop is under OhioWomensHistory or https://www.etsy.com/shop/OhioWomensHistory
This is my first time working with Etsy so I hope it will be a successful adventure. Thank you in advance for being a part of the Ohio Women’s History Project by following us here and/or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You box won’t be bombarded with emails so don’t worry about that!!
Also, Thursday, October 1st, 2020; 9 am to 10 am, I will be speaking about Ohio Women at the Ohio History Alliance Conference virtually. The title of my presentation will be “Transformative Women Who Brought Us to Where We Are Today” and the Session Description: Join the Ohio Women’s History Project to learn to learn about women who have transformed Ohio and the county. We will highlight women’s contributions beyond the vote while recognizing the Centennial of Women’s Suffrage. If you love history you might like to be a part of this amazing conference!
Hello fellow Ohioans!
Are we having fun yet? No, well, there are lots of reasons why we can be strong and tough right now. We have weathered many storms in the past and we will do the same right now. We have been through tornadoes/Xenia, blizzards/Columbus (other parts of Ohio I assume, I was a teen then). We have gone through concert crashing for the Who in Cincinnati. We have been through a terrible shooting at Kent State University. We have lost two policemen in Westerville a few years ago and I am sure that is not the first time policemen have been killed in action in Ohio. We got through all of this because we are Ohio Strong and we are tough Mid-western people who have ancestors from Europe, who were farmers, who are Appalachians from down south, we are strong spiritual people, we are from so many different backgrounds now and so we are a combination of strength, resilience, perseverance. We will look back on this virus very soon as nothing but a memory. We will talk about how we coped, we will show photos of empty shelves and we will tell people what we did during this very uncomfortable and annoying time.
I have been talking to people in my family to check-in – by phone (landline) and see how they are doing. Everyone is coping very well. Most of my family and friends are Hungarian and they have already migrated here after the revolution of 1956 or later. They have crossed borders in the coldest months of the year. They have left behind families and brought with them whatever they could carry to the U.S. I have a family member who took political asylum before the wall came down and had to live in Germany for a year before being admitted in the U.S. I have friends who came here more recently. Being raised in this mindset makes me one tough cookie. “Don’t vorry about us, ve are fine,” they will say to me and this is why I call them because it reminds me to stay strong.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a BIG difference. Winston Churchill
My cousin Maria/Marika, is at Children’s managing a unit in the infectious disease area. She tells me she is being like Churchill right now, commanding her troops and keeping them informed as well as empowering them to be tough and stand strong. I am a psychotherapist for a living. I am channeling Dr. Viktor Frankl who was a psychologist that survived Auschwitz. Dr. Frankl went on to write a great many books about being resilient in times of struggle and unrest. Who better than he could share the answers to this? I am teaching my clients to focus on well-being, safety, and to stay away from the news media and only pay attention to the facts on the science websites. I am encouraging them to look at this as temporary and that this will end soon. If we see a crisis as short-term and take it one day at a time; we can focus on being here and now instead of panicking about an uncertain future.
When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves. Dr. Viktor Frankl
Women have been in the trenches since time began. Not taking away from men’s roles or their contributions; but we have done this without freedoms. Without being able to have rights to ourselves or our children. We have been on battlefields nursing the wounded. We have been in impoverished areas tending to the sick. We have put the rights of our sisters ahead of our own families and traveled around the country and the world educating others about the rights of women. We have crossed the great divide while our husbands went in search of gold and maintained our families with no income – creatively figuring out how to make money. We have launched campaigns to protect women and children with our prohibition speeches. We have escaped slavery in order to help others escape. There is nothing women haven’t done in history in order to protect, serve, educate, fight, and this virus is not going to stop us now.
It is not going to stop any of us here in Ohio because we are Ohio Strong.
Tips for managing this world war where there is no escape. Though it will end soon.
- Don’t listen to the news media which is full of propaganda and fear mongering. Listen to Science websites and focus on the FACTS not the possibilities. You can only work with evidence not probabilities.
- Try not to focus on going into the Black Market business. Unlike WWI and II, we will not be struggling for years with this virus. The shelves will be re-stocked tomorrow. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
- Stay off of social media as much as possible because this is filled with conspiracy theories and fake news.
- Focus on the safety of your families and doing what is in their best interests. The panic will cause more conflict than the virus and there will be a surge in crime in the coming weeks no doubt. The unemployment rate is much higher and those without work are mostly those with the lowest paying jobs. This is unfortunate but you can’t be in denial. Takes steps to keep your house safe and walk in public with your head held high and very aware of everything around you. I learned this from living in L.A. and never had anything bad happen to me as a single woman.
- Use this time to be creative in your homes. Dust off your instruments and play some music, sing songs, get out the board games, take a walk in the parks – together, have cooking contests or bake-offs, learn to bake bread, pull out your sewing machine, learn a language online as a family.
- Wellness is key here and some old family herbs, vitamins, regimes are a good thing to allow to re-surface. Honey is a nice preventative medicine as is vinegar (both by tablespoon once/day). Echinacea is a good treatment when you are feeling a little low. Pull out grandma’s cures and remember her advice. A good pot of chicken noodle soup always does the trick.
- Prayer and Meditation will help with anxiety and fears. Having faith is one thing that has always kept people in balance.
With every ending comes a beginning. Each time we have faced a crisis things changed as a result. We will learn so much from this time period and we will grow as Ohioans. Let’s let this period be like no other. We will come out on top because again, we are OHIO STRONG. O-H-I-O Never forget and never give up!
Genealogy is a weird word to spell and I have to look it up every single time! Our language is weird period and I have heard it is one of the most difficult to learn. But, learning to speak French is even more bizarre to me, especially when you look at how they say their numbers past 40. C’est la vie! As we embark upon the Christmas holidays and, for me, four years into running this blog post, I felt it would be important to address genealogy and its importance.
Christmas is one of the top holidays celebrated around the world, next to the Day of
the Dead (which Americans call Halloween and don’t celebrate in the original style). While Christmas is a Christian holiday traditionally, many non-denominational people celebrate as well. It is just so much fun. It is a sacred family tradition one way or another and now, as families are splitting up and moving all over the place and mixing with various races, cultures and classes; the family tree has turned into a hybrid and has come a long way from where it began.
This is why it is important now to do a DNA and collect the family data so that your descendants will have some idea of what their roots are. Christmas is when Ancestry.com slashes the costs in half and you can get your DNA kit for a lower price while the season lasts. Christmas is when you often have a ton of people together and can ask the questions, write the names on the back of the photos and start scanning them in the computer and attaching them to your tree.
I use Family Search – it is free. I use Ancestry.com because I started there and have most of my data on there (before I learned about the former). There are lots of other databases but I think these two can be used together. Both for research though I don’t believe it is possible to take something from one and send to the other. Nonetheless, it is a tool to begin your work.
Genealogy is a lot of fun because you begin to understand YOUR whole picture. You see what your ancestors looked like; demographics or photos, financial aspects, jobs, etc…one way or another you can get a story. I have actually written stories about each of the people on my tree that I knew well. I want their memories to remain alive so that others will have a sense of who they were (from my perspective naturally). When I go to a gravesite and see an ancestor, I feel their spirit reaching out and sense the connection (say the name out loud and open yourself up to their presence). I imagine what the funeral might have looked like.
It is important to also do a psychological profile if you can (for mental health family trees) and a medical profile (which you can gather from your DNA report). With a psychological profile, you want to write down what the person’s diagnosis was or you think it was (make a note of whether or not they were diagnosed or this is your belief). Write down what they did for a living. This is important as it can give clues to why they might have had the mental health issues that they did. For example: veteran – PTSD or TBI possibly, coal miner – lung disease or cancer but this might have also led to mental health issues. Write down things such as whether or not they were divorced or had multiple marriages. Collect and write any pertinent information that might be relevant – even if it seems strange. After you have gathered as much as you can about various members of your family, you will begin to see a pattern. On my paternal side of the family there are about five generations of single mothers which is highly significant when you look at depression or personality disorders (as a possibility). It then says something about their children’s mental health issues.
By day I am a psychotherapist and I often support people (especially adoptive clients) into doing their DNA. Often people report they are scared. They feel that they are opening a can of worms – which they will be. Their stories however, provide answers and give closure. This helps them to build empathy. One person found long lost relatives and saw what they (the client) looked like. One person found they were very healthy which pleased them to no end. Sometimes they are shocked – a presentation that I went to of young people doing their genealogy – a boy learned that his grandfather was not blood related. That is sad but then he found out who he really was at the same time. History doesn’t need to cause you to stop loving someone. History opens up a window to show you a whole new world of knowledge that you can do with as you choose. Choose wisely though as these are your ancestors.
My maternal grandfather’s mother was divorced when she died. Her own grandchildren had no idea of this because they had never met her. This didn’t bother me as much as it did them because I had no attachment to it. In fact, it was just one more secret to add to the list we already had and helped me to understand my psychological picture on a much broader scale. I am not surprised about anything anymore.
The fun thing I learned is that I am related to Daniel Boone through his brother Charles and then it stopped with his niece because as a woman, her name ends. I used to watch this show as a kid and absolutely loved Fess Parker (the actor who played him). I even stayed at his (Fess Parker’s) hotel in Santa Barbara once. There are these intricate moments that are symbolic and add to the richness of who you are.
As a word of caution in our Politically Correct world of ancestry destroyers, be proud of who you are. It doesn’t matter that your ancestors were slave holders or Nazis, because this does not define you now. Unless you personally are involved in human trafficking or anti-semitic actions in this day in age, you are not bad because they did something bad. Would you blame yourself if you were related to Attila the Hun? What if you were related to Pontius Pilot? Some people find that type of history exciting but it is no different. You were not there, you did not make those actions occur.
Sarah Winchester (in San Jose, The Winchester Mystery House), spent the final years of her life plagued with nightmares about her (husband’s) families gun legacy, who’s fortune she inherited. She was a little closer to this knowledge but she still was not to blame. Her family was not to blame either for an invention that people used for good and bad reasons. Many people fed their families hunting with a Winchester Rifle. Unfortunately, her unconscious mind only focused on those who perished in battles. It is not confusing to me though because when she began to have these dreams, she had left the east coast for the west. This was after her child and husband died. She was grief stricken and a lonely woman in the end. She became obsessed with a compulsion to remodel her home, based on the dreams she had. In reality, she had construction workers around her house 24/7, so she was never by herself. She was a philanthropist in the community and well known and loved by locals then. Her mental health is often the butt of jokes but I felt that the woman who lived there was very sane. Being a woman who lives alone, I can empathize and resonate with what her life might have been like. Being a therapist, I do understand racing thoughts and how some people, when vulnerable, and without a professional to speak with can allow their minds to overpower them.
There is always a story. There is a path to understanding these stories if we are open to researching this. History was about choices based on the society that the person lived in. Today is about choices based on our environment now which will be judged one day when our descendants look back at us – I guarantee you. You may think you live a great life but they may think you are a fool – based on whatever society is like then. Live your life consciously and in a way that makes sense to you, as long as you bring no harm to others (intentionally). Take that DNA test and begin your adventure today. You will be richer for having done so no matter what you find.
I have not written anything significant since returning to Ohio. Am I really a writer or was I just walking down memory lane in California and trying to keep everything I remembered about Ohio from slipping away. From dying forever. Returning to Ohio, it is all dead and gone and buried and will never return again. The fact of this is too difficult to bear. I must bear it because I don’t have a choice in this matter. Yet, I yearn for better times, more decent times. I yearn for people to remind younger ones of these things and for them to listen. But they don’t because their parents don’t teach them to have respect for their elders.
There is so much to learn from your elders. So many stories, history, life in simpler times, ways in which people behaved, values, and there is strength in learning these things and a sense of pride that you begin to embody when you know this. When I look at our life today, it is as if everyone has given up and retreated into social media caves that they daren’t go out and behave like civilized people in society. And yet, they will attend an event, if it means a social media “moment.” Everything must be a social media moment in today’s culture because we can’t just enjoy that time with our friends or even complete strangers as we grow and learn as people. Everything must be shared. Perhaps they want to make sure, like I do, that history isn’t forgotten this time. And yet, history, what we do know and what was documented is precious simply because it is rare – the documentation – and only certain things were preserved. Certain things lasted because it was stored properly or because the universe deemed we would have this memory and somehow, miraculously, that one thing survived.
I want to remember the smell of the grass out in the country, which seemed to smell differently when there were no chemicals in the ground (from Monsanto type companies) and it was just pure and native and normal. When cornstalks were not tightly grown together and you could actually walk through the fields of corn and play hide and seek or have a romantic lover’s tryst. I want to go to bed listening to the crickets in the field and let this be my lullaby rather than my Ipad playing synthesized music on the meditation app. I want to see young girls dressed in little dresses with black patent leather shoes, hats and tiny purses just to go to the movies or shopping with grandma. Not girls who wear generic clothes that look like they are from the thrift shop so that no one can guess what their sex is or because mom doesn’t care because no one cares. I want to go out in clothing that says “Me” and makes women envious and men turn their heads. And yet, I want to compete with other women as we admire each other’s choice of style and fashionable creation. Instead, everyone dresses like slobs in jeans and t-shirts and men look like a plumber or a farmer or a factory worker. Though in my day, no factory would hire them dressed like people are today. You wouldn’t even be hired as a farmer or an electrician because a guy dressed like he is today would be seen as irresponsible and lazy and weak and they would be right.
I’d like to go to a fair where it is just simple and people are laughing and older women have their summer best dresses on with hats and simple shoes and are walking and talking together about their times long ago. Young people are with their parents (2) learning the rules of what will happen that day and how many tickets they can [afford to buy] for rides. The families walk together, children respecting their parents and waiting to see what decisions their parents will make. Eager with anticipation of what is allowed or not.
I’d like to walk around to a store that I can get to from my house. A store that I walk to, simply to get out of the house and take a walk. Maybe I look around, maybe I buy something, mainly I talk to the shopkeeper about the town and what has been happening that week. I might stop at the grocer’s and pick up something I need. Instead, I drive to the gym and workout and take my shower. I drive to the grocer’s, too far because it is the better neighborhood for shopping and I trust the produce there. I will be with decent people here and not the one’s closer to my home. My home is in a nice neighborhood but on the outskirts of our little village it is not. It is dangerous and not a fun place to walk and go shopping. The stores in walking distance probably sell drugs on the side, or their customers do and I don’t want to be near this or associated with this. I wasn’t raised this way and I’d rather read about it in the police news as to what action they accomplished for the week. Reading this news helps me to feel safer in my little nook of the world. From the time I was able to ride my two wheel bike (without emergency wheels), I was running errands for my mom in town, where we lived. I felt so free and independent doing this shopping and being held responsible. I would see other children doing errands for their parents and we waved and acknowledged with a look that we were aware of our important deeds for the day.
I would love to go in a business and see professional people working there. People who take their jobs seriously because they are glad to have a job. Environments where the customer is taken seriously and looked up to because they are the key to the business becoming bigger and stronger. The customer is key to the employee proving how good they are at what they do. Instead, I see people dressed like slobs who could care less whether you are there or not. They make their obligatory “welcomes” which you feel are inauthentic just by the way they pronounce the words “Can I help you with something?” They could really care less about helping you, they are just counting the minutes to break or lunch or closing time so they can get home and follow their media. Of course sometimes, you can see people in businesses looking at their media when they are supposed to be working. They don’t even wait to go home because media is more important than their job. When you went into a business, in the past, you felt you were wealthy and important. The butcher, the baker, the retailer, the TV salesman, they were all greeting you in a spontaneous and unique and authentic way that was meant for you. If they knew you well, they were greeting a friend and you would have a chat without even mentioning what you were there for, for quite some time. Your friendship was equally important to your sale. If you bought something, you might get a discount or a little extra.
I would love to see children playing outside, like the ones across my street. Mom sits out on her lounge chair, with her bathing suit and portable stereo next to her. The kids drench each other with the hose and laugh and scream when the cold water hits them. They run around and play tag or they skip rope or play hopscotch or ride bikes in circles in front of their house – all within the view of mom. When we got older we went out on our own in sets, pairs or groups and we talked about people that we saw around us. We might also sit in our backyards and pretend to get a tan, even though the sun would burn us and give our friend a nice olive complexion. We’d gossip about boys and talk about other girls and what they did and didn’t do. We’d share activities we had gotten up to with our families. Sometimes we might scold each other for a way in which we had behaved and teach each other what would have been more proper. We’d envy each other’s clothes or shoes or the way the other did their nails or their hair. We’d talk about our futures. This was what friendship was for. It was real and in person and honest and silly but sacred. No one knew about what happened except the person or persons who were right there in that moment. It didn’t matter.
I loved going to restaurants where the level of cleanliness was taken for granted, not something you had to be careful of. The food was homemade by some immigrant from a European background. You dressed for the style of the restaurant and the waiters and waitresses were in uniforms – no matter where you went. Your order was important to them and they took care to get it right. Their boss would always be observing and noting and remarking to them later what they needed to do differently. It was a place you went to on a special occasion, not because you were too lazy to cook. You treated this outing special and you knew to behave special. Everyone had their place and their role.
In fact, no matter where you went, people wore uniforms and knew their place and their role. Whether it was carpenters or garbage men or postal men or waitresses or secretaries or receptionists, you wore a professional uniform or style that was indicative of the business you served. These employees had respect for themselves and showed this in their manner of dress. By dressing in a decent way, even if you were the trash man, you appreciated your job and took pride in what you did for a living. Even the gas station attendant wore a uniform and smiled authentically as you pulled your car up. They were happy to look under the hood. Often these were young people doing the services of the day. Their first jobs and they knew it was not forever or even if it was, they had dreams of what they would accomplish one day. They might take over the gas station once the old man retired. They might go on to study some trade at school or college; once they earned enough to help their parents pay tuition. They might just be thinking about buying their first car or taking that special someone on a date. The job was a place of building and creating yourself. Your boss was someone who showed you the way and one day you would go back and thank him or her for that first start out in life.
Even though I don’t go to church anymore, because I am not of that faith, I admired the way we all diligently walked in the door and sat in our “assigned” seats. Everyone seemed to have a certain time in which they arrived and a seat that they liked the best. I always enjoyed passing other churches on the way to ours and observing the styles women chose for that day. I secretly envied the shoes and made notes in my head as to what the style was should I ever be able to afford them. In church, there were unwritten rules. You didn’t turn around to see who had just come in (but kids did). Some older folks still followed rules of women on one side and men on the other. Some did not. Some were widows or widowers and they were fond of little children. After the service we went downstairs and socialized and drank coffee (the adults did and from a tall percolator). They discussed their lives or the sermon or matters of the church. The kids ran around. Sometimes we might be allowed to walk down the street to the bakery and get a donut. One, mind you, per person. Church was a sacred place that people respected and they respected themselves and the manner in which they arrived and dressed. Now it is a jeans and flip flop place with guitar players instead of organists and it is about fitting in with society rather than having values that had been passed down from one generation to the next. It gives people a sense of belonging but has fallen apart. Churches are shutting down all over the country and are in such disrepair. No matter how desperately they try to fit in, ultimately, there is no need for them when it is easier to stay home and sleep in. To not have a belief but to self-soothe with too many cookies or candy or soda or chips and have the waistline get larger and larger. Single parent families are more and more of what is normal because there were no values taught to them in the first place. Marriage is about sex and having fun rather than waiting and building a foundation.
I miss going to grandma’s house and seeing the aunts and uncles sitting around her, waiting their turn to speak. Her home was where you knew to behave differently than your own home. You behaved like you were in a castle and the queen had walked in the room. She dressed nicely, you had the best manners, you ate what you were served, you played quietly, you spoke when you were addressed. It was formal but taught us to respect ourselves. When I look back on these times now, I see that the discipline was very important in making me the person that I am today. While it may have been a little too strict at times, I still value the meaning of the lesson. I know it can be taught in a nicer way now and even a strict way without the use of belts and paddles. Yet, people don’t do this. They entitle their children because it is easier to pacify them rather than stand firm and set limits and teach boundaries and begin to watch them grow into responsible people. It takes too much work to build a fine young man or lady. You can’t let the child get away with anything. When you do, it is too late and they will continue to take advantage. Teaching children how to behave gives them a sense of respect for themselves, for you, for society and helps them to know their place in the world. They grow up to behave properly around others and have respect for their environments and dress professionally and decently while in public. Grandma was our matriarch and we all talk about her now as if she were a saint. We laugh at those moments where she had let her guard down, just a little. I remember the fan in the room. It sat there blowing that much needed air to keep us all cool on hot summer days. I remember my uncles taking turns standing in front of it. The noise it made as background music while the adults were discussing the challenges of the day.
I miss grandma because she was that person you admired from afar as she was not the type to coddle you. You knew that she had the wisdom and whatever she said was the right answer. It was right because all the adults told you it was right and explained that you had to revere her. If she said you could dress a certain way, your parents acquiesced. If she said a movie was acceptable to watch, you went. She managed the family and made sure they were all good parents who raised their children the way she had raised them. We listened.
People that love history and are involved in it on some level, are factual people. Whether it is the Renaissance Festival, where they are dressing up in authentic costumes or movie directors/costume designers/set artists, that are paying attention to detail or writers who write either historical non-fiction or fiction. The most important part is to get it right.
The first thing a person who loves history will do, is look for the mistakes. Not intentionally but unintentionally. When I watch a movie, if I see something that is glaring – such as a minority who is a foreigner to that country and would not have been there in that time period – it throws me off. I can’t watch it anymore because if this is wrong, so is everything else. It would be like putting a dinosaur on Downton Abbey. Why would you? It would look ridiculous.
The most important thing about historical writing, movies, etc… is to allow the viewer to feel as if they are in another time period. Escapism, naturally, because the viewer is so passionate about this time period, they want to feel they are there. You can’t do that with a dinosaur on Downton Abbey. Not unless you are selling your craft as a fantasy/sci-fi period piece. Then of course you have a whole different genre of people watching it and it, most likely, won’t be history lovers.
The same thing goes for people who are writing about someone’s life and then project their politically correct opinions into the story line. Taking us out of the story for a moment so the author can bash the person for wearing fur, for example. Recently, when I read a book on Florence Harding, the author had to point out the fact that Florence was really big on animal right philanthropy and yet she wore fur stoles and coats. In my opinion, the book should have something on the cover that states “this is a politically driven book by the author.” I wouldn’t have cared to purchase it if I had known this because she took me out of the story for a moment to hear her opinion. Animal rights in Florence’s time period meant domestic animals. She was concerned about the rights of pets because she had a love for these furry creatures. In that time period, it was very normal for middle to upper class women to wear fur. This showed other people that you had achieved a certain financial status. We have been concerned about fashion and the way we look since time began. It wasn’t until PETA formed in 1980 that people began to turn their noses up at fur. Anything prior to 1980, should not be discussing politically correct opinions because it is not a fact during that time period, it is just an opinion. No one cares about peoples modern opinions about a time period, they only care about the time period.
This sounds terribly mean but if you want to talk or write or show history, than do that. If you want to do politically correct than write a book that bashes women in history or their fashions. Two different audience mindsets and genres. You could also write a thesis or dissertation for a class – or blog it.
There is nothing to be ashamed of when you are portraying history or researching it. It has happened, you can’t go back. You can learn from it though and gain knowledge, this is why history lovers enjoy this. It is also because there are certain aspects of history that we adore and wish were still present now.
When you hear someone say “I miss the old days” many people will say “Oh yeah, when it was racist, they smoke cigarettes and drank, etc…” It really has nothing to do with that. We miss the old days because at that time people had more respect for the way they dressed. They had work ethics and overall, were decent people. You knew where you stood in life. We didn’t have the word “terrorist” in our repertoire or “arsenal of weapons.” We sat on our porches and drank lemonade. We didn’t worry about going to a spiritual building or a shopping mall or a restaurant or a tall building. Missing the old days doesn’t mean we are gullible and we are unaware of the context of that time period. We are amateur historians, after all, and this is the most important thing to us is understanding the whole picture. Sometimes people are just into the fashion, or the cars, or the homes or the mannerisms. No one who loves a time period is saying “I loved the 40’s because it would have been fun to be in a German occupied village.”
History is rich and so exciting to be a viewer of when it is done accurately and with characters who look like the originals. Unfortunately, this accuracy is falling by the wayside with plays like “Hamilton” and books that insert their 21st Century mindset. It is depressing because children are being misinformed and given an image of a time period that never existed. It also means that I have to review information I am hoping to look at by watching trailers or checking the authors background to make sure they are focused on authenticity rather than comedy or political beliefs. It is faux history, I think, not the right history.
I love putting together puzzles. This is a great form of meditation and a great way to really put some thought into the person that is being revealed as you put the pieces together. While working on this particular puzzle above, I couldn’t get the song “Sister Suffragette” out of my head from Mary Poppins. That is because this puzzle is from the UK and made by Gibson, so these images are British Suffragettes. I also began to think of the statements shown in this puzzle and the context in which they were made back in that time period. For example, “I rather be a rebel than a slave,” stated by Emmeline Pankhurst. Some people take offense to this now because they aren’t capable of taking in the the deeper meaning and the context. Obviously, around the time of the Civil War, a woman would not want to be a slave. Even today, with all the Human Trafficking that exists world wide, I would expect a woman to continue to make this statement if they were in a country that can be considered vulnerable to exporting women for prostitution. It meant that these women were fighting back against their “oppressors” which in that time meant men: husbands and fathers; politicians, who wouldn’t allow them to speak out. These people who wouldn’t recognize the need for women to have rights. Women felt that they were slaves to these men. Anyone who is being oppressed feels like a slave to the oppressor. History is not something to be ashamed of but to learn from and respect the lessons. Likewise, to think about how it could be applied in today’s society.
The other point of interest in this puzzle is the Derby Tragedy, which you can see in the middle of the poster. This actually shows the woman under the horse, rather you can see her hat that she was wearing and understand that this is what you are looking at. This is Emily Davison who martyred herself by running out in front of the King’s horse. To imagine that a woman felt so strongly about suffrage that she would give up her life for the cause. I doubt very many women would do such a thing today. I can’t imagine having this amount of passion myself even. You generally see people blaming rather than doing. Women weren’t blaming during suffrage. They were pointing out the importance of women having rights. They were educating other women and encouraging them to have a voice. This was a life changing moment in history. If they had merely went to lecture halls and focused on blaming their husbands and fathers, no one would have listened as this was too threatening to someone. It would be nice to see women taking this approach today, they might get more accomplished than they do.
Another puzzle I have finished in the past is one of my favorite artists from Mexico – Frida Kahlo. This puzzle was created by Tino Rodgriquez for Pomegranate puzzles. I have several books about Frida, including one that shows a collection of her paintings. She is someone I admire because of the amount of pain she lived with during her life and her persistence to accomplish her dreams. While she did not have success with everything she wanted (and who does), she kept trying. Her paintings to me show a woman journaling her life story. Most people today do this by writing in a book. She took it a step forward, when journaling was not a popular self-awareness exercise. She gave us her inner feelings, the pain she suffered, the trials she faced, her political beliefs, all through her art work. Now, she is honored in Mexico almost as if she were a Saint (you will often see “Our Lady of Guadalupe” in the same places). When you go along streets in various villages it is hard to not find a shop or a restaurant that does not pay homage to this courageous woman. Even immigrants to America will do so in their restaurants and stores.
This puzzle by Master Pieces is of Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122/24-1201). She was the Queen Consort to France and England and the Duchess of Aquitaine. Katherine Hepburn portrayed her in the movie “The Lion in the Winter.” I saw the movie which seemed to focus more on her sons then herself. I have not read her biography yet so I don’t really know a lot to say about her. It is on my list of women to learn about. The image itself, as you see here, was quite magnificent to behold as I was putting this puzzle together. She seemed more of a Goddess rather than an actual live human being. This photo is reminiscent of Artemis who was generally seen with hounds by her side as she was a Huntress. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of the puzzle, when I finished it, so I am showing the image used for the puzzle. The colors were equally rich but I seem to recall a lot of glitter used on this image which I don’t find very amusing.
I think it would be wonderful if we could see more puzzles created that depict Women’s History. I find that I have to work hard to look for them online. There are a lot of Goddess type puzzles. I finished one puzzle that was from a Tennis Club in Rhode Island (circa 1920’s). I only picked it up prior to a winter storm. I was at Wal-mart to get an online purchase and thought I might as well see what they had in the toy department. Much to my surprise, there was actually one thing there dedicated to women. I actually thought it was a suffragette puzzle (due to one woman in the left corner having the red sash on, which caught my eye). Though it is interesting that she is featured there and dressed differently than the other ladies in the picture. Perhaps she was returning from a meeting and planned to change into her tennis clothes at the club. By the way she is dressed, that would mean that this puzzle is not exactly 1920 as this was when suffrage was ratified.
At this point, I haven’t found one single puzzle dedicated to Ohio Women’s History. Unfortunately, I am not a painter but I do have many ideas for puzzles that could be created in a way that would delight the avid puzzle collector. When I work on a puzzle, I like to see a variety of colors and images and yet not too busy that it is overdoing it. You don’t want one that is all sky or ground or too much of one thing (for example a photograph). It is more exciting to see characters in action, as they would have been, with much detail. While I am working I feel almost like an artist, creating the scene that was chopped up for me. Building homes, train stations, plants, buildings, figures, it is exciting to try and put together a mess of pieces.
If you have a daughter that enjoys puzzles, introduce her to a few of these ladies depicted here or that you are able to find online. It will help introduce her to someone new that she wasn’t aware of. There are too many modern women online who are not exactly great role models. Reaching back into our past, in a more elegant time with very intelligent and fashionable role models – there are stories begging to be heard.
P.S. I am going to add some other Women’s History puzzles here as I find them. MasterPieces has a puzzle out of Norman Rockwell’s version of Rosie the Riverter. Eurographics has a puzzle with the actual poster that more people are familiar with today, from the artist Howard Miller.
On this day, August 20, 1920, The right to vote, 19th Amendment was ratified. Here are photos of newspapers and women celebrating this major life-changing event!!!
Mandatory Credit: Photo by Universal History Archive/REX/Shutterstock (3875386a)
Alice Paul and other women celebrating
Here is an interesting video created a year ago for Women’s History Month. It is four women sharing their experiences of being in the military and they happen to be at a local Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio. I thought it would be very motivational for young women considering their own future paths.