Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ella & Maud

So, two ladies, high in the ranks of the dear departed, share this day, a birthday. Maud Hart Lovelace was born on the 25th of April, in 1892, in Blue Earth County, Minnesota. Sure, the official name of her town, the one on the maps, is Mankato, but it's not, not really. To me and to the multitudes who delighted in the adventures of Betsy Ray (Maudie Hart), and her best friend, Tacy Kelly (Bickie Kinney), the town is and always will be Deep Valley. Maud H.L. somewhat fictionalized her growing up there in her series of "Betsy-Tacy" books. Lovely autonomous girl characters. Good-hearted families. They and Mrs. Wilder's books were the sustaining joy of my crabby, goofball childhood. Do, I hope you will, check out Unlike Laura's and Mary's frontier tales (1872-1885), Betsy's and Tacy's small town adventures take place in the years between 1897 and 1917.
It was on this day in 1917 (eleven days after President Woodrow Wilson declared war on the Germans, plunging the U.S. into the Great War), that Ella Fitzgerald was born in Newport News, Virginia. That's just for you to know and oh, how Ella would sing! "The only thing better than singing," Ella would say, "is more singing."
Happy Birthday, dear Maud and Ella up in the Blue Beyond, to the joy of my childhood eyes and to the joy of my grown-up ears.

1 comment:

  1. I love the Betsy-Tacy books, too! Thanks for sharing and reminding us (me!) of her birthday!