Friday, July 23, 2010

Pioneer Day- July 24th

Chapter 9 of Mamma's Boarding House is entitled Pioneer Day.   Pioneer Day has been celebrated in Utah since 1847.  In the summer of 1847, the weary Latter Day Saints, who had crossed the vast American plains seeking refuge from persecution settled in the dessert of the west.  It is hard to image it's barren welcome now, but those who saw it, raised it, and established it will never forget.  Generation after generation tells their family tale if they have one.  And up and down Utah every town closes for the day and celebrates the "founding of Utah."

Johns descriptions of the celebratory events are spot on.  Even today those same events take place from town to town.  In the book Price:City of Diversity, author Mr. Watt gives a brief supporting description of Prices Pioneer Day Celebration.
"The epitome of entertainment was the celebrations of the Fourth and Twenty-fourth of July held each year.  The celebrations for each were similar.  A gun salute began the celebrations; by mid-morning the people of Price viewed a parade and then at the town hall heard lectures or witnessed a musical program.  In the afternoon children's races were organized and oftentimes a children's dance as well.  In the evening a dance was held.  Beginning about 1900 these patriotic and other celebrations often included spirited horse races in the afternoon.  Everybody loved these events and people would come from all over the county to watch and celebrate together."

So in celebration of the intrepid Mormon Pioneers I offer you some of  the chapter Pioneer Day from Mamma's Boarding House.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Real Deal

In Papa Married a Mormon we meet a wonderful man named Henri Dussiere.  We are introduced to him in Chapter 13, pg. 163. 
"When the directors of the bank informed Papa they were ready to put up the money, either as loans, or to form a company, to bring in sheep and cattle, Papa asked them to give him some time to investigate the matter.  He had read somewhere that the Basques from Lower Navarre in France were among the best sheepmen in the world.  He wrote to the French Embassy in Washington asking them to recommend Basque immigrants, with the bank offering to advance passage money.  That was how Henri Dussiere and his wife came to Adenville."

In the book, History of Carbon County,  the following description is found on page 203.
"Many French people came from the Haute Alps Department near the Italian border and from the Basque area of the Pyrennes, some who were known for their skills as sheepherders came to the American West to herd sheep.  A number of them settled in Price, prospered as sheepmen, and invested in banks and stores in the commuity; among them were Honore Dusserre."
On page 30 we learn more.
"In December the First National Bank was established.  Alpha Ballinger, Dr. F.F. Fisk, and Honore Dussurre were among the primary investors in the local bank."
I made those written connections in 2003 on my first trip to Price.  A  couple of years later I found the following photograph at the Western Mining Museum.

The typed notation by photo's donor reads,

                   "Men in a bar in Price, Honore Dusserre third from the right."                    
                    Ladies and Gentlemen - Honore Dusserre / Henri Dussiere



Saturday, July 10, 2010

Memoir- A Valid Resource

Candidly in the foreward to Papa Married  A Mormon, John Dennis Fitzgerald states,
The story of the miners and the Mormons as Papa, Mamma, and I knew them, still had to be told, and could be told only by some use of poetic license so that the story would be of the people who made Utah history and not history per se.
Through out literary time writers have often employed this same choice and not be stung by it.  Catherine Marshall's Christie,  Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, there is even a running debated about the similarities to Harper Lee's To Kill a  Mockingbird and her real life.  Yet for the volume of stories that get by with it, there is a small pile of writers who get hung by it.  John Dennis Fitzgerald is one of them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

What Reminiscent Thing Are You Doing

Hi Everyone.  It's berry season here in the Northwest.  June wraps up strawberry season.  July opens with raspberry and blueberrys.  Most years we pick the berries ourselves.  This year time hasn't permitted it, but we have bought them at the local farmers market.  Once the berries are home the fun begins - JAM making.

Every year since my kids were little we have made gallons of freezer jam in every berry flavor.  We also freeze these lovely berries to use in the winter.  This year we have also started making pies and freezing them.

I feel very traditional when we do this.  My kids are around.  The jam is yummy.  And we step back in time.
It reminds me of Mamma's kitchen.  Always busy.  Always available for kids, friends, families.  We just didn't have any Indian Chiefs over.

Are you doing anything that reminds you of the books?  Please share.  We'd all love to hear.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Watch The Movie

The owner of the only copy of The Great Brain Movie generously gave me permission to post it.  It took me a while, but it's now available for your viewing pleasure at  Pop some popcorn, pull up a chair, and touch a bit of Adenville.

Thank you John Dennis Fitzgerald.

Summer Reading

I am back.  I hope you are having a great summer.  This past week I spent time driving to family gatherings.  Along the way my brother introduced me to a great author Richard Peck.

As we drove along my son, my nephews and I listened to an audio CD of Pecks On the Wings of Hero's.  It was delightful beyond words.

When we got home I researched the author.  Mr. Peck is an avid youth writer.  He is old fashioned.  He types all his work on a typewriter.  Any webpages about him are not his.  He loves to travel.  He was an english teacher.  Most of all he has the storytellers gift.

So if you are looking for a bright new read - check out Richard Peck - there is plenty to choose from.

I hope your all having a great summer.