Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today is the first installment of excerpts from Ralph Gregory's Book posted above. You will notice that Ralph's style is to tell it like it is...or was...with no embellishments. Just a true from the heart description of life growing up in Missouri 100 years ago. Take the time to travel back with him to an America that none of us have experienced...only heard about. What struck me as I read his book is that it makes no difference whether you live in New England, Arizona, Minnesota, Europe, Australia...there is a strain of truth that we can all identify with and probably wish we could have experienced.

The blog is now read by nice folks all over the world thanks to the global internet. I remain truly thankful and humbled by your loyalty and continued interest over the last year. My challenge to you is if at all possible, seek out someone in your area who has the perspective of years on this earth with learned wisdom from life experiences both good and bad. Take the time to talk with them about their life...we can learn so much from them. It will be conversations that you will never forget.

I hope you enjoy the next few days with me.

"Peaceful State"
As I think back, people in Washington and around entered this century (20th century...Dan's addition) in a prosperous and peaceful state. Of course a little boy has little general knowledge of social and economic conditions, but as, I believe, an unusually curious boy in town and country I saw nothing I would call suffering poverty. I saw no homeless of local origin. Families took in and cared for their own, old, sick, handicapped or whatever. There were "bums" and "tramps" and we always helped them. But as a boy I saw no sign of hardship and danger among people I was growing up with before World War I.

Some people were poor by our standards now, but they felt secure, were working hard and enjoying life. Washington and the county wre in thier "Golden Age". The civil war was long past, the industrial revolution was in full swing and the Spanish-American War and the war in the Philippines did not scare practical life...............

Our family went to farms of relatives along the Missouri and Bourbeuse rivers and stayed for days. Going in a wagon, we would not be expected to return the same day. Anyway, we came intending to stay a while. We were always well fed and bedded. We did the same for their families when they came to town or my grandfather's farm."

As I read Mr. Gregory's accounts...I noticed a continuing theme throughout his book...The strength of the family unit and how everyone cared for their neighbors and friends as if they were family.

Tomorrow we will visit Ralph's grandparents as he goes to bed by candlelight.


Glen Hartjes said...

Dan, Very nice again. I do enjoy looking at your work. Keep it up.

septembermom said...

I know that I will enjoy this series. Thank you Dan for sharing these stories of humanity accompanied by wonderful photos. Glad that you enjoyed my "Jewel" post today!!

Marc said...

This book truly looks like a treasure. I look forward to seeing more, thank you for sharing this with us.

"Going in a wagon, we would not be expected to return the same day"

So hard to imagine these days.

Sunny said...

Thank you for sharing such an interesting story. Wonderful colors in your picture.
Sunny :)

Monica Manning said...

I look forward to other exerpts. Life was hard back then, but it still seemed much more serene in its simplicity.

I was also prompted to write a small piece based on your photograph. You've been quite the muse for me the last couple of days, Dan!

Dan Felstead said...

Thank you Glen...I am going to have to get back to your blog as well to see your new images.


Dan Felstead said...

Septembermom...Jewel made my day. That particular song awlays brings to mind my son and a past girlfriend...long story!

Thanks for the comment, I have really enjoyed photographing him and writing about him.


Dan Felstead said...

Marc...thanks...he speaks in another part of the book about his home being about 2 hours from St. Louis but was an overnight trip to go in and back.


Dan Felstead said...

Thank you Sunny. I always enjoy your comments. By the way I saw that you visited Glen's blog...aren't his pictures stunning!


Dan Felstead said...

Monica thank you so much and thanks for using the picture for an idea to write about...I always am honored when someone uses an image to write. In my opinion...the words about a photo are just as important as the photo.


Cynthia L. H. said...

I think that family connections are very important. I would like to live like that...where each person is more concerned about the other than "stuff."

Dan Felstead said...

Cynthia...will we ever get back to that point again? I agree with you.


dianne said...

Yes a much more caring time, when life moved at a slower pace, people shared all and helped each other, a time when folks didn't have to lock doors and be afraid.

Thanks for that Dan. ♥