Tracks of Hope
on a Sunday Afternoon
A few years ago, one of my cousins sent me an old family photo. His mother was the only person he recognized. I’m guessing from these dresses, this picture was taken about 1938. The torn bulletin banner worn off of the brink wall behind the stylish young women has long been covered with a newer, more famous Coca Cola billboard. Their faces haunted me. I struggled with, as I quite often do with old family pictures, “Why didn’t somebody write the names on the back of this photo?” I named them the “Wainwright Girls!”
Wainwright is a small farm community in eastern Oklahoma. My mother, her siblings, and cousins grew up on a farm right outside of town. My Uncle Carl, one of the older brothers bought the local market, the only store for miles around, from William Henry Wainwright sometime in the 1930’s. The brick wall these young women are standing in front of was on the east side of the Wainwright Market.
In the 1950s Uncle Carl’s store had two gas pumps out front. When we came to visit, I enjoyed helping stock shelves in the store and drinking RC cola after I poured a nickel bag of peanuts in the bottle. I bet a few of you remember doing that.
Shortly after my cousin sent me this photo I wrote a poem about these sassy girls, made post cards and sent copies to all of the cousins and a few friends. Life was beginning for them, I called the poem “Tracks of Hope”.
More recently, I created a Zazzle store and put the Wainwright Girls on a coffee mug, a T-shirt, a phone case, magnets, and greeting cards.
What haunts me about this photo is what I never knew about any of these young women and how closely related they are to my own past. I look at their faces, I wonder what they were thinking on that particular day in Wainwright. Why were they dressed up? Was it on a Sunday or someone’s wedding day? I puzzle over who took this delightful photo? Were these ladies hanging out in town and the camera person saw a window of opportunity? I marvel at how they are dressed, did they make these dresses with all of those buttons? They must have seen a fashion magazine, caught a ride to Muskogee, or ordered out of Sears and Roebucks. Do we have a Billie Holiday fan with a flower in her hair? The stories these women are not telling could fill some pages, let me tell you.
I promise you, I will be investigating more about these feisty Wainwright Girls and when I uncover who they were and what happened to them I will surely let you know.
If you feel like there is something compelling about the mystery of this photo and you love coffee mugs or greeting cards (5 x 7 and suitable for framing – check them out on Zazzle: https://www.zazzle.com/collections/wainwright_girls-119993028154625253
Coffee Mystery with Lady Blue
on a Sunday Afternoon
Monumental things do happen on Sundays. Back in the day, I was the first woman allowed in the local pool hall before I learned to type on a manual typewriter. I’ve had my eyes peeled for a portable typewriter for a few years. On the lookout at garage sales or when I meandered through a thrift store or an occasional look on ebay.
This morning Lorraine and I went to Mid-town. We had a nice breakfast at Creme Cafe and rambled through the neighborhood and ended up at Lorraine’s favorite thrift store the SPCA. Guess what? That’s right. I walked out with a 1966 Royal Aristocrat, a manual, portable typewriter. She is clean as a whistle, every key works, and she is baby blue. The case is in good shape, all of the original paperwork is inside, the manual and everything.
Here I am a few hours later, typing away. I’m surprised at how much I remember about a typewriter. Not exactly a soft touch keypad for sure. Talk about using muscles you haven’t used in awhile. There are certain keys that aren’t in the same place as a computer keyboard. The apostrophe takes a shift key above the 8, an explanation mark means, you push down the period, backspace, then hit the apostrophe! Oh and there is no number 1 and I remembered of course, we would use the lowercase L. There is a bit of difference, not much, between the keyboard number 1 and the lowercase l. Whatever works.
I made a few mistakes typing a page or two. I decided to use the x or to strike over the letters I missed, until I pick up some white-out. All in all I’m rambling along at a steady pace. Not the 120 words per minute I once typed, I’m getting the hang of it, though.
This very clean blue Royal Aristocrat is at home right next to my Mac on my cluttered workspace. Her new name is “Lady Blue.” Not to be confused with Billie Holiday, who was called “Lady Day” and well known for her autobiography “Lady Sings the Blues”.
We recently saw the documentary “California Typewriter” californiatypewritermovie.com/ very well done, maybe even a must see.
Lady Blue and Me will get better acquainted and you will hear from us in days to come. We have joined the typewriter revolution! https://typewriterrevolution.com
CoffeeMystery with Roberta Sa’ & Gilberto Gil – Afogamento on a Sunday Afternoon
A combo sound in Afogamento with: Gilberto Gil & Roberta Sá Baixo – Alberto Continentino Bateria / MPC – Domenico Lancellotti Clarinete – Joana Queiroz Violão – Gilberto Gil Sintetizador – Bruno Di Lullo Percussão – Bem Gil
Sunday Afternoon Jazz
It is a pretty hot Sunday afternoon in Reno. My creative mind is rolling with it. I made an iced Pachamama espresso roast with frothed milk for an afternoon delight. It is a day to be in a creative musing of collectable words traveling across a page.
A few weeks ago, I signed up for Mike Croft’s Writer’s Workshop, we have had two sessions so far and I’m climbing the walls with full live characters. Painting pictures with words, so they say. The story is in first person, the narrator is an enigma roaming around in a 1935, bootlegger’s bluesy drama. There is something to say about a writer’s workshops that untangles the edges of a wordsmith’s mind and juggles the loose parts of story.
It is a great day of dry, hot wind, Gilberto Gil & Roberta Sa’ and an iced coffee charming dramatic stories to flow from the most sensual, sultry places hidden in clever, indecent ramblings. What is more enticing than drama, fire, and raging love affairs. Need I say more.
Mike is planning to start another 4 week workshop soon – if you are a writer just waiting to start a short story or that big novel, jump in with both feet. Get in touch.