Thursday, March 25, 2010

Eulah Day

So, as I write, the last few days of Women's History Month are ticking away.  By the time some of you read this, 'twill be April, Nat'l Poetry [Sexual Abuse/Board Game/ Violence/ Grilled Cheese] Month or, perhaps, beyond, but that, for now, is in my unimaginable future when this day, March 25, 2010, will be, for you future readers, your past (and mine). For me and my family, today is the anniversary of the birth of Eulah Brown in Cameron, Missouri, in 1893.  She'd grow up to be a hard-headed (She went off to business school in 1912, worked as her hometown's very first female "typewriter" in the office of Mutual Tornado Insurance Company. Eulah gave up the job when her fiancé, Harley Wolfe, returned home at last from the Great War in the summer of 1919 and married her.) , dark-haired young woman with a lovely features that became wondrously crone-like in her latter years.  Troubling, in a way, me being something of a cronette and one of Eulah's grandchildren.  
More importantly, world-and-women-wise, today is the 75th (yikes! time is a runaway train, no foolin')  anniversary of the birth of journalist and social activist Gloria Marie Steinem.  What young feminista/Baby Boomer did not delight in the quote attributed to Gloria:  "A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle." My very own eyes saw those words on many a T shirt under which no customary underwear constrained the wearer's bosom, set free. whew! Or "The truth will set you free. But first it will piss you off."  Yup: anger is a terrible master, but it is an amazingly effective servant.  And bless you, Ms. Steinem, for having said: "Women may be the one group that grows more radical with age."  Think Lizzy Cady Stanton, revolutionary in crinolines, totally rad.
Loftier, more seriously, Gloria noted that, "like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before." 
And best of all, to my mind: 
"Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities," said Gloria S., Birthday Woman, "Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning."  
With all her being, Ms. Eulah would agree.  Happy Birthday.  Go Girls, this month and all year round. March on.

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