This weekend has been somewhat of a bust. We planned to go to a state park event, but on Saturday morning, DH was not so enthusiastic anymore . He said he would go, but I was not energetic enough to be perky for both of us! We lingered, hum and hawed until the whole day evaporated with nothing to show for it!
This morning after tea and reading, we started to watch the Sunday Morning news programs. I was knitting on a special project that had had a difficult start. However, a third of the way finished and I was going strong. When the program finished, I looked down to see a huge mistake in my piece. GRRRRR. I tried to save it, but alas, I had to pull it all apart and then DH was looking at me for lunch before the Sunday football games started! GRRRRRR.
So I made lunch, cleaned up, left the knitting on the floor, and went to my chair to look at a small book I had found the night before on my shelves. I don’t remember when or where I got it, but it is titled Remarkable Missouri Women. I could use something remarkable in my day because I felt like such a failure. I was not disappointed in the book!
On the pages I met women I knew and some I didn’t. Of course I knew Laura Ingalls Wilder, Rose O’Neil, and Kate Chopin, but these brief bios revealed new tidbits that were interesting to me. I also met a founder of Missouri kindergartens and the founder of Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri. One of the most amazing women was Cathy Williams, a former slave that impersonated a man and became a Buffalo Soldier after the Civil War!
But near the end, was a story that rocked me. I remember wearing garments with a Nelly Don label. Do you? Imagine my surprise when I learned that Nelly Donnelly had her start in Parsons, Kansas, right down the road from where I grew up. In fact, I “dragged Main”, went to the Drive-In for movies (Old Yeller, A Patch of Blue, How to Stuff a Wild Bikini), and drank copious icy drinks at the A&W there in my day. So I was surprised to read this story of a successful woman in the garment industry during the last century and her start in Southeastern Kansas.
Nelly’s story is multifaceted. There is her rise from poverty, success in business, a “wood colt’s” tale, a kidnapping, gangsters, both happy and unhappy marriages and more. She went from Parsons to St. Louis to Kansas City. You can find the main parts of her story on a website at http://www.nellydon.com/index.html Just the nostalgic look at earlier fashions is worth the time to take a look at the site.
I am ending the weekend with my mind on race thinking of all these women and possibilities and stories…especially of a little Kansas gal who made it big. And I never knew!
Hum...maybe I will go pick up my yarn and needles and begin again.....