Rebecca Frank is with Cindy Stupnik. (From FACEBOOK)
Thank you, Buffalo, for such a great opportunity to visit with interested and interesting non-fiction and fiction readers. I had a glorious time (although it spitted rain, I had to hold on to my umbrella pole because of the wind, it was chilly, it was warm, and I got stung by a bee).
Why am I frowning? Not because of my future audience, but the hour. I woke at 5:15. By the time, Becky drove me to Buffalo and helped me set up, it was 8 in the morning– me–who doesn’t crawl out of bed before 8:30-9!!
To this crowd and all others: I am sorry if I sometimes get too animated when I am talking about the history of my former community, Clearwater, Minnesota. It is the teacher in me (taught English for 25 years, was raised with HISTORY/HERSTORY–from both parents. Dad had great pride in his home state of South Dakota, specifically, north of Yankton and German-Russian. Mother had an interest in all things Minnesota, her deep American roots as well as her European roots.)
My writing has been inspired by what my parents inspired in me. One of my favorite subjects is women and their everlasting plight to be heard, believed in, and respected. The struggle the average woman has had to face throughout her lifetime needs continual documentation because men didn’t do everything.
In all my research, I have found my small community, Clearwater, Minnesota, to be a microcosm of all that was good and awful in the world for women at any given time. Some are natural-born leaders and respected by all. Jennie Phillips, my protagonist in Scruples and Drams, was a leader in her community. From her views on the patent medicine products she sold in her store, to some of the other over-the-counter health products, how she feels about a high school joining the elementary and upper grades to the existing school building, etc, villagers, both men and women, newspaper reporters, asked her advice on important matters of the day.
The oldest girl in the family, smart, teacher-turned pharmacist, business co-and then full-owner of Phillips’ Drug Store, Jennie may have been successful and respected, but she faced disappointments as well. One was that her brother’s name legally had to be included on the Phillips; Drug Store sign in 1910 because she was a woman and wasn’t smart or trustworthy enough to handle business matters. Only men held those honors or responsibilities. It wasn’t Jennie’s first disappointment as a woman trying to pursue a career in a man’s world, though….
See what I mean? I get so excited and tangled up in my subject, I forget to shut up. I will stop and let you read my books. My next event is in Rice, Minnesota. Sept. 11-12. Saturday 8 a.m. to 6. pm and Sunday 9-4.