This word I like... We architect our life...
A song, a sigh... developing words that linger...
Through fields of green, through open eyes... It's for us to see.
Interanimate: To animate or inspire mutually

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Dais - Part 7 of 7

Dedicated to William Henry Anderson 1920-2012
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The Journals

July 25, 1889, Rossville, Kansas. Gale Farm.
Well, that ends my telling of Dorothy Zona Gale's telling of her own story. My name is Hickory Dunn, a ranch hand on Henry Gales farm outside of Rossville Kansas. On July 6, around 3pm we had a fierce tornado appear out of the northwest. We just had time to lock up the barn and make it to the cellar when Dorothy insisted on returning to the house to find her dog. He would not let himself be coaxed into the dark cellar. Hunk, who's real name I never learned, instantly rushed up top to retrieve Dorothy just before the house shook fiercely for us down below. After the noise died down, we all ran outside to find out what happened to Dorothy and Hunk. The tornado had just missed the house and barn but there were pieces of farm everywhere. We could see large objects flying around in the sky to the Southeast. We heard Hunk calling from the house. Inside we found them in Dorothy's room. Dorothy was crumpled but breathing on the floor of her room with a nasty gnash on her forehead, probably from a burst window frame. Her dog was laying beside her whimpering loud enough to still be heard through the receding racket. To make my long story shorter, we quickly repaired Dorothy's room. Margaret, who likes Dorothy to call her Em, tended to Dorothy and sent Zeke into town to get Doctor Johns. Dorothy did not wake for 8 days. We were all very frightful and the Doctor said nothing to encourage hope. We had just about everyone we knew come by to visit and talk to her. Margaret talked to her for hours every day and took care of her needs as she lay in her bed so quiet; breathing and sometimes making small movements. Me, Hunk, Zeke, and Henry spent the next days and many nights tending to the repairs around the farm. We were thankful to God that Dorothy was still alive and also that most of the animals had survived. The corn crop was mostly gone. We mused that the crop ended up in Drake Miller's farm near Silver Lake. Anyway, we still had some acres left to tend. This morning, Margaret instructed Henry, who was repairing the pig pen, to find everyone and bring them to Dorothy's room. Well, I guess I made a long explanation of the story after all. The reason I'm writing this is because Dorothy was a different person when she came back to us. She talked about her dream constantly, almost as soon as she opened her eyes. The next day she kindly asked me if she could tell me her story from beginning to end and have me write it down. She wanted to remember it but felt she could not accurately write it herself. Mind you, Dorothy is quite a good student and a better writer than I, thanks to Margaret's tutelage and her classroom schooling. So, I wrote that story the way I heard it from Dorothy. I have only 2 comments about Dorothy's story. First, Dorothy is a very imaginative girl and we all love her. Also, I feel that her dog Toto is a very mischievous dog and, as much as he has frequently angered most of us on Henry's farm with his daily antics; mostly involving small farm animals, Dorothy's story has helped us understand that somehow he was an important part of bringing her back to us. Toto barely left Dorothy's bedside during her long sleep. When he did leave we could plainly hear where he was due to the horrible sounds emanating from the pig pen. Enough said about Toto. I'm writing this story in a second journal that I'll use for just for Dorothy, just in case she would like to keep it for herself.

July 30, 1889, Rossville, Kansas. Gale's Farm.
Dorothy was quite happy and thankful to have me write her story in my new journal. She already read it and decided to have me keep it. She wants to start her own. Dorothy is only 15 years old. According to Margaret she was born in Portage, Wisconsin. Not sure where that is, only been as far North as Madison. Today she said she wants to write stories when she is an adult. Seems to me that she has already grown considerably since the accident. She is more cheerful than ever and spends more time helping Margaret and Henry. She seems to find new ways to lift our spirits. I continue to resist my former impulses to holler at Toto. He is up to his old tricks. Henry said I need to nail up new lower fence slats on the pig pen. Maybe the constant hysterical squealing from the younger pigs will stop.

August 22, 1889, Rossville, Kansas. Gale's Farm.
Henry and Margaret entertained local friends and former neighbors from Topeka yesterday. The news of Dorothy's near brush with death, we're all calling it that now, has reached beyond Rossville by virtue of, not only word of mouth, but by the story she wrote in her journal. She read it to a very interested audience while Margaret served lemonade and biscuits. Lyman Baum, a friend of Henry's that Dorothy somehow remembered in her story, was a guest, smelling just like Dorothy remembered.

August 3, 1891, Rossville, Kansas. Gale's Farm.
Dorothy is 18 and leaving the farm for college. We are all saddened. Having achieved excellent grades at school she was accepted to college in Madison Wisconsin. She has become very passionate about writing and has already proven her considerable talents in this endeavor as the editor of her school newspaper. We will see her off from the Rossville train station next month. We are all so sad but do our best not to express that sentiment to Dorothy because she agonized over her decision for weeks. She said she will visit often.

November 2, 1899, Topeka, Kansas.
Henry and I moved to Topeka two summers ago after Margaret passed. I wrote extensively about that in my personal journal. Henry sold the farm. He bought a small rooming house and I rent a room from him. He is no longer able to work like he did on the farm but instead occupies himself with his new responsibilities keeping the house in good repair and servicing the 4 tenants, including me. I also help him with his stable and we are still good friends. His tenants provide a worry free income and he is becoming active in his church since it is only 4 blocks away. I work in the Miller Granary midtown, getting more than my fill of corn and wheat. We ship the product from here all over the country. Dorothy has visited the farm several times since she went off to college but hasn't traveled to Topeka as yet. We hope to arrange that trip soon with her fiance Lawrence. That will also be a little more difficult because she moved to Milwaukee and landed a big newspaper job. We know from her letters that she earned a masters degree in literature last spring from Madison. She wrote that, since she works with so many men at the paper she is now going by her middle name Zona because it sounds more professional. She wrote that Lyman Baum has published a children's book that closely resembles her own story of her 'week away' when she was hurt during the tornado of '89. She is not unhappy about that because Lymans story is very cheery and embellished with side stories that children will like.

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Matthew 5:16
"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven".

1 John 4:12
"No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us."