Monday, October 21, 2013

Hometown Monday - We have a lot of persons for J

Hometown Monday - We have a lot of persons for J

We are continuing this series of posts of excerpts from the novels, novellas, and short stories of "The Homeplace Saga" family story-telling, with a new twist. We have adopted a format from the: "Blogging From A to Z Challenge." Each week we will share a published except related to a person whose name begins with that letter. 

This series of posts is to provide an insight into the story lines that may not be clear from other promotional pieces about "The Homeplace Saga." These will also be coordinated with the content of the developmental Wiki, "Beyond the Books" - to expand the information available there, as well. [Links in the text, below, provide more information on that person or entity]

Today we look at names beginning with the letter J - our most numerous first letter given name.

For J, we have (with one long excerpt, below):

Jack Evans - insurance agent; wife of Mona, father of Laura and Nicole; son of Doc

Jacob Howell - city manager in 1996

Jason Winslow - deceased in 1996; leading character in Back to the Homeplace; husband of Karen (Bevins) Winslow

Jennifer Bevins - local veterinarian by the summer of 1996 (in high school in 1987)

Jill Urich - wife of Danny, the McDonald's manager - in MBTHP, 1987

Joan - secretary in Ogden Law firm

Joe McDonald - deceased; father of Mildred (McDonal) Bevins in 1987

Jonathan Offutt - younger brother of Rhoda - Oak Creek Outfitters founder - first appears in Christmas novel

Josh - ISP technician team leader in 1996

Judy Watson - Librarian as the Public Library - introduced in Fall 1987 in MBTHP, as friend of Penny Nixon

Julie Barnes - Activities Director, Big Thunder Lodge - in summer and fall of 1996

Today, we start using excerpts from the forthcoming novel, "Christmas at the Homeplace," which will release on Friday, October 25, 2013, and be available at… for Christmas purchases:

The Judy Watson excerpt from "Christmas at the Homeplace" is from Chapter 6,  Saturday, August 24, 1996:

Brian Kirk and Jennifer Bevins were sharing another afternoon at the Oak Springs Public Library. This week, they had volunteered to work with Judy Watson, the Librarian, on some local history collections materials that had been received but not yet properly documented and stored for use by the public.
“It is hard not to read every piece of paper we come across,” Jennifer said to Judy, as Judy laid two stacks of paper on the table in front of them.

“I totally agree, Jennifer. That is partially why I’ve not done more with them, myself. I’d want to stop and read each one from beginning to end.” Judy paused and took a deep breath, then continued. “I really wish more folks would come and spend some time doing what you have volunteered to do here today. If they did, before you know it, we’d have a much more complete, and useful, local history section here at the library.”

“Have you asked folks to help out, Judy?” Brian wanted to be supportive.

“I’m sure not often enough… and probably not the right people, I must admit, Brian. We just have so many needs around the library.” As she spoke, Judy noticed her friend, Rhoda Offutt, sit down at another table, nearby. “Do you two know Rhoda Offutt? She is a retired school teacher who is also very interested in researching her family history.”

Jennifer replied, “No, but I do recognize her from seeing her around town.”

“Do you mind if I invite her over and introduce you?”

“No, that would be wonderful.” Jennifer watched as Judy approached Rhoda, and they both returned to the table where Brian and Jennifer were sitting. Brian rose to shake Rhoda’s hand as they were introduced. Jennifer did likewise.

The four new friends quickly found they had a number of common interests and concerns centered on doing family and local history research, and began to talk about others they knew with common interests. Rhoda mentioned that she had regularly worked some with Harry Flanders, at the bank, and his wife, Sarah, since they did have some ancestors in common. Rhoda shared that they each descended from the Campbell family in the west valley. Victor Campbell’s family had settled there in 1836, just a few years after the McDonald’s and the first settlers arrive in the east and central valley. This news led to more discussion of common and different information each of them found most interesting.
Brian was the first to raise the question of whether Oak Springs had ever had a local historical or genealogical society. Judy and Rhoda each shared what they knew about efforts to form such a group back in earlier times such as the town’s centennial. They seemed to agree that the idea never caught on with enough people for a lasting organization to take hold. That led, of course, to the question, “what about now?”

Springing from the interests they each were expressing, and noticing the spread of ages and interests among themselves, they began to talk about others, young, middle aged, and older who might now become interested if their interests were shared and they took a leading role. Judy said she would certainly support their efforts, as librarian, but could not take too active a role, personally. They then talked a bit about how each person that might get involved with such a project would have to realize part of their efforts would need to go to the ‘common good’ while part of their efforts would continue to be on their individual interests. 

They soon realized they were writing down notes of organizational priorities and other persons in the community to invite to join them. They also agreed they would want to involve the newspaper, the Oak Springs Enterprise in some way. Judy was quick to say she would be happen to connect them with her long-time friend, Penny Nixon, now Associate Editor of the paper. She was sure Penny would be happy to help out in such a community project.

Dividing up responsibilities, Rhoda agreed to make a list of others she knew, from her past work, that might like to be part of their initial planning. Brian agreed to apply his legal background to some research on similar organizations and what others were doing around the region and the country. Judy agreed to contact Penny and get her with Jennifer to talk about generating some publicity – about whatever it was they were agreeing to initiate. They decided to meet at the library in a week, to invite others who might be interested, and see where these ideas might take them.

Jennifer and Brian then tried to get back to sorting and labeling the stack of paper before them, but after about an hour they gave up. They realized all they were really getting done was talking about the new local history and genealogical society they were going to form. Their volunteer task would wait for another day.

"May each of us have a Homeplace to hold onto, if only in our minds."

Bill  ;-)

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