Saturday, February 7, 2009

"Down in the Valley"

Ruching violets in a dry lake bed
sewn in the fashion of postcards from the teens.
--a letter for Myrtle.

“We were happy. Mother played the organ. There was a lot of singing. Our home became a home away from home for many of the Irish boys who had settled in the area. There were always stories--either told by adults, or books--read to us when we were small, and later read to ourselves. An evening was usually spent with a book. The family sat in a circle around the old wood stove and kerosene lamp.

“The final crushing blow from which Con never recovered occurred July 16,1936, Myrtle was walking down a country lane to fetch the cow for the evening milking. She was struck by a car driven by a young man from Colorado. He was looking for a summer job, and had spent the afternoon drinking with the wife of a nearby rancher, hoping she would influence her husband to hire him. This devastating tragedy was deepened when the Good Samaritan taking her to the hospital, hoping to save her life, crashed his car into a railroad abutment, and was also killed.”

Julia O’keeffe Olaeta, Silver Lake, Oregon

No comments: