Honey Receives A Copy Of Dear Mad’m
June 1, 2014 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground
NOTES FROM ABOVE GROUND
By Honey van Blossom
(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste)
A package arrived in the mail with my cousin Little Barbara’s address in the top left hand corner. I found a note inside the book in the package. Little Barbara wrote she and her sister Daina thought I would enjoy reading a book about an eighty-year old woman who begins a new chapter in her life in the mountains of Trinity County (sic: actually Siskiyou County), near where our Aunt Big Barbara taught in Blanchard Flat School in Hoosimbim Mountain during the Great Depression.
I’m approaching seventy, and my cousins approach eighty. This book seemed like it would be just the ticket to a new way to look at growing old.
What reading the book — and then following up with some research — turned out to be was the revelation of a life that vividly soared without a safety net over a ranch in Stockton, literary San Francisco and a remote cabin near Happy Camp in Trinity County. (sic) The author was not an eighty-year old; she was close to ninety when she finished writing it.]
Although Honey was incorrect about Trinity County, Dear Mad’m moved to her cabin near Clear Creek just down river from Happy Camp, CA and was in Siskiyou Mountains of Siskiyou County, California. She seems to have enjoyed the story. Stella moved to the mining claim when she was 80, after a leg injury, and wrote the story, but it went to various publishers and had final editing from the eventual publisher by 1955.
The printing was postponed to 1956 after McCall’s Magazine wanted to include it in serialization that spring.
To see more of Honey’s account of the story: http://boryanabooks.com/?p=4514
New Friends, Peter and Karen from Maine.
The best part of the evening was the opportunity to meet new friends from Maine, Peter and Karen Benson. They brought a very special gift, a first edition of “Dear Mad’m” from 1956 that had belonged to Alice Buck from New Hampshire. Alice Buck had read “Dear Mad’m” and written a fan letter to Mrs. Patterson. Unfortunately, Stella Patterson had passed and Fred (Dear Sir) answered the letter. In fact, he said that he had hundreds to answer and was behind!
Alice Buck kept his letter and it has been passed on to us along with her scrapbook with photos of Stella, Fred Crooks (Dear Sir) and Cy Jenson (Up ‘nup.) There are photos of mining activity, the sawmill, building the road to the mine, cabins and gardens, especially flowers which were a passion of Mrs. Patterson! Alice’s cousin living at Seattle Creek, Capt. Ben Joyce, is shown in a photo from 1943 with Fred, and also one of Dora and baby Tina. The three ladies, Joan Richardson, Vivian Witt and Marie Miller who came to live on Dear Mad’m’s claim and the house built there for them, were also pictured, as well as cats. Cats weren’t mentioned in the book, other than the cougar, to my recollection. Since paper-mache didn’t keep the rodents out, perhaps they decided cats were needed. Roberta Everett brought a rocking chair that had belonged to Stella and a display of Christmas greetings Vivian Witt had painted.
Pete &:Liz signed autographs in the wonderful new book, Dear Mad’m Who Was She?
Pete and Liz Lismer will be the speakers at the 2012 literary luncheon in Happy Camp in October! Pete is a grand-nephew of Stella W. Patterson, who wrote the story, Dear Mad’m of her adventures moving to the remote forest cabin on the Klamath River at the age of eighty!
Dear Mad’m Who Was She? Published in 2012