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“Music is a language.”

Grandson No. One is attending a Victor Wooten Bass Seminar this week.  Ignorant Grandmother had to ‘google’ Victor Wooten in order to listen to his music.  Expanding my musical knowledge and happy for my grandson.

stepping into Granddaddy’s boots

There is no grandfather

who does not adore his grandson.

~ Victor Hugo

RTD Art – Denver, Colorado



I’m almost finished reading Broken A Love Story by Lisa Jones and I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book such as this.  It is hard to put the book down; I want to read it in one gulp.

Arapaho Stanford Addison is a fascinating  figure and Lisa Jones has truly captured him.  Of course, I recognize the Colorado towns Ms. Jones writes about and many of the Wyoming places, also.  However, Stanford Addison is like no one I’ve ever heard about or encountered.  His story is heartbreaking and it is uplifting.

broken_blogIn February I drove up to stay with Stanford and his family for what would be a nearly five-month visit.  I was nervous.  So I did what had worked for me when I was nervous in grade school:  I brought my mom.  Mom was perfect for this expedition.  She was adventurous and friendly and flexible and interested.  She’d grown up in Sweden, spending her summers fishing and eating berries.  Her connection to nature didn’t lessen when we moved to Scotland, nor did it change when she rescued ducklings that were swept through a culvert away from their mother at our home in suburban Denver, or during our subsequent move to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she would prowl the huge cement irrigation canals looking for crayfish that she’d bring back in a bucket and cook for our dinner.

I was fifteen by then, and my friends’ moms drove around in air-conditioned white station wagons and fed their teenage girls what they wanted–Fresca and Space Food Sticks.  The sight of my mother walking through the suburban streets wearing a big hat and carrying a bucketful of squirming crustaceans made me want to die.  But fifteen lasts only for a year, and I enjoyed her unabashed naturalness later in my teens when we’d be hiking in the woods of Colorado and she’d announce, “I’m going up there; I’ll be back in a minute,” then bolt off-trail and return a while later with sticks and bits of dirt all over her shirt, her hands full of mushrooms.  Or we would be walking along on a sweltering summer day and she–in her late sixties by this point–would jump into the river, hat and shorts and shirt and shoes and all, waving as she floated by.

printer’s ink

Edward W. Bushyhead House - San Diego, California

Edward W. Bushyhead House - San Diego, California

When I began dabbling in some family research, making all of the amateur genealogist mistakes, I was surprised to learn that my father’s Cherokee lineage included folks who were in the newspaper business.  Since my father began in the Roy, New Mexico high school printshop and worked for newspapers all of his life, this was interesting news to me.  I worked for New Mexico and Colorado newspapers.  My brother worked  several years for newspapers (New Mexico and Colorado).  My father’s brother – ditto (in New Mexico and Arizona).

But to learn that my paternal line had printer’s ink in their DNA for a hundred years (or so), was a revelation to me.

The snapshot above is of  the Edward Wilkerson Bushyhead house in San Diego.  It  was not open to the public when we visited the San Diego historic district in the early 1980s; this is the only snapshot in my Stack of Forgotten Photographs I’ve been searching (and it is not a very good photo at that).

Edward Wilkerson Bushyhead was a nephew to my direct ancestor Richard Bark Foreman.  Richard Bark’s half-brother Reverend Stephen Foreman worked alongside Elias Boudinot on the Cherokee Phoenix.

Edward “Ned” Wilkerson Bushyhead (1832-1907) – Miner, publisher, and lawman, Bushyhead was born near Cleveland, Tennessee. Part Cherokee Indian, he was the son of a Baptist preacher, who he accompanied from Georgia to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears at the age of seven. When his father died in 1844, the 12 year-old went to work as a printer with the Cherokee Messenger and later worked in Fort Smith, Arkansas. In 1850, the 18 year-old headed to California where he landed in Placerville seeking his fortune. Having some luck as a miner, he soon allocated his resources and became the publisher of the San Andreas Register in October, 1867. This; however, was short lived, as he then moved to San Deigo, where he became the “silent” publisher of the San Diego Union which was first published on October 10, 1868. In 1873, he sold the newspaper, which continued until 1927, and was resurrected for five years between 1942 and 1947. In 1882, he ran for sheriff of San Diego County and served two terms and in 1899 became the Chief of Police in San Diego, California, a position he held until 1903. Due to health reasons, he moved to Alpine, California in 1907, where he died on March 4, 1907. His body was returned to Oklahoma, where he was buried in the family cemetery at Talequah.

[copied from Legends of America]

printer’s ink in the blood

Miss America by Day


We were living in Farmington, New Mexico in 1958 when Marilyn Van Derbur was crowned Miss America.  She was (and still is) a  beautiful woman.  She has been a motivational speaker for several years and although I’ve not heard her in person, I have heard audio portions of some of her speeches.  We are so very fortunate to have the Guadalupe County Children’s Advocacy Center here in Seguin who can help children who were abused as was Marilyn Van Derbur.  In the 1950s, no one even spoke about child abuse as we are able to  do today.  Thank God we have come a long way and help is now available for these children – and for adults who had such horrific childhoods.

You can hear Marilyn Van Derbur’s story at this site.

When we lived in Denver, I recall occasionally reading about Francis Van Derbur (Kappa Sigma Man of the Year) and his wife Gwendolyn “Boots” Olinger Van Derbur. Van Derbur was a millionaire businessman and he and his wife  were philanthropists and socialites in Denver; they were very involved in all aspects of Denver life.

I read Miss America by Day in 2003 (the year it was published) and know that Marilyn Van Derbur has since helped many women and men who have similar stories.

on the road with granddaughter – Texas to Colorado


Prayers for Sale

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas

“Silver Heels worked in a dance hall thirty miles over the mountain in Buckskin Joe.  She had the face of an angel, and she wore silver slippers to show off her feet, which were as tiny as a Chinaman’s wife’s.  That’s why the miners called her by the name of Silver Heels.  Some of these girls that worked in the saloons and dance halls were hard boiled as rocks, but Silver Heels was just a little bit whorish, not enough to hurt.”

Silver Heels had worked in Buckskin Joe a year or two when the small pox came, and the men began dying like fish in mine runoff, Hennie continued.  The girls left town so they wouldn’t catch it, but Silver Heels stayed to nurse the miners.  She cooked for them and washed their faces with cold creek water when they were out of their minds with fever, and she wrote letters to their folks back home after the boys died, claiming she was a minister’s wife, and saying they’d died in the bosom of the Lord.

“…Silver Heels herself caught the pox, and the boys feared for her life, but she came out of it.  Her pretty face was gone, however, all poxed up and ruined.  So she left out.  No one knew where she went.  A few years later, a woman wearing a heavy veil showed up at the burial ground to put flowers on the graves of the miners who’d died in the epidemic.  You couldn’t say for sure who she was, because her face was concealed, but the Buckskin miners knew.  They said she was Silver Heels, and they named a mountain for that hooker,” Hennie finished.

Buckskin Joe lives on!

It has been awhile since I’ve read a Sandra Dallas book – however  I always enjoy her writing.  Prayers for Sale is certainly an interesting read (especially since I recognize so many of the Colorado sites mentioned in the book).

Chevy Beretta – a sweet car

Chevy Beretta - in the barn

Chevy Beretta - in the barn

1989 Beretta

1989 Beretta

Faithful Beretta

Faithful Beretta

perhaps a 1990 model ?

perhaps a 1990 model ?

Our Chevrolet Beretta has ‘lived with us’ longer than our children did (although the kids have come back now and then).  We bought this car for me when we lived in Denver, Colorado.  Then later it was hubby’s car (and I got a different automobile).

This car is either 20 or 19 years old and it has been such a Sweet Car.  Well, today this Sweet Car left us and hopefully someone will buy it from Seguin Chevrolet and gift it to a son or daughter for graduation.

It has been a great car!

Our Ladies of the Tenderloin

Colorado's Legends in Lace

Colorado's Legends in Lace

“I went into the sporting life for business reasons and no other.  It was a way for a woman in those days to make money and I made it.” – Mattie Silks

With the discovery of gold in 1858, the population of Colorado’s Rocky Mountain region exploded.  On the heels of greenhorns and tenderfeet, eager to strike it rich, came the women, and usually for the same reasons.  And many of the early female arrivals were “ladies of the evening.”

Historical accounts of  “our ladies” can be found in newspaper archives, particularly obituaries and criminal cases.  Other sources include census records, cemetery records, and a few business directories.  However, a majority of prostitutes lived in shades of gray.  By moving from town to town and by changing their names and inventing past lives, the identities of these women constantly evolved.  Today it is often difficult to separate historical truth and folklore.