Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman





Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Remember When: Rocking Away

While enjoying the beautiful weather at the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Writing Conference at ASU last weekend I came across this scene. It is on the porch of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. The house was once where the dean lived and it is next door to Old Main: the "Normal School" built in 1894. The building is being renovated so I couldn't go inside but these wonderful chairs were so inviting.
 
 
Imagine yourself sitting on this porch. How old are you? What are you wearing? Do your feet touch the floor?
Who would you most like to have sitting in the other chair? Describe them.
What would you ask this person?

Memoir Prompts:

Write about where you came in the family and how your position affected you. (First, middle, last or only child.)

Write about the first sad thing that comes to mind from when you were a child.

Write about the first happy thing that comes to mind from when you were a child.

Write about things you have in storage.

List the schools you attended. What was your highest level of school?

Write about being homesick.

If you were/are surrounded by snow right now. What would you make?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Desert Nights, Rising Stars

 
I was so lucky to be able to attend the writer's conference at Arizona State University last weekend. Three days of listening to and hanging out with writers. The inspiration was visible on the faces of those attending.
After snow in Scottsdale earlier in the week the weekend was gorgeous and we were able to spend time around the fountain as we wondered back and forth between two historic buildings on the campus. I have always been in love with these buildings. Back when I was a student at ASU this was my favorite place to relax. The have refurbished them and the wooden staircases and window casings are wonderful.
What a perfect place to share our love of writing.
 
I have many things to share about what I learned and felt during the event but I'm still digesting (and recovering).
 
One highlight was asking Diana Gabaldon,
 best selling author of the Outlander series for a picture to send to my daughter-in-law. One of her biggest fans.
Diana was was most gracious.
Yvette, this one's for you.
 
(For those who aren't sure Diana is on the right.)
 
Excuse me while I go do some writing. So many ideas, so little time.
 





Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What is an udu?

When I heard Marshall Shore speak at the Phoenix Writers Club meeting on Saturday I had no idea one of his comments would link to a performance I planned on going to last night.

Canyon Records, here in Phoenix, is the oldest independent recording studio in the country. They have long specialized in Native American music and one of their most popular artists is R. Carlos Nakai.

I've been planning on attending this performance with Nakai and Will Clipman at Barnes & Noble for weeks and had no idea this was the world release of their newest cd: Awakening the Fire.

I love Native American flute but last night I found myself drawn to the haunting sounds of a the collection of percussion instruments played by Will Clipman.
The most fascinating was the udu a ceramic instrument that comes from Nigeria.
He was kind enough to let me get his picture with his udu. I wish I could reproduce the sound as easily but it is on the cd.
 
 
While the music soared through the store I was suddenly reminded of my niece who was a fantastic flute player. She once told me she would love to hear R. Carlos Nakai play. I know she was there with us last night.
 
Before the performance I was telling Doug how much I want to visit the Musical Instrument Museum which is near our house and is an amazing place. I've heard so much about it but we either don't find the time (I've heard it takes a couple of days to really go through it) or we can't afford it.
 
We won two passes to MIM last night. I have a feeling my niece had something to do with that.
 
It was a wonderful evening and as the rain pours down outside I am reliving the evening with my cd.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Remember When: Research

 
 
This is a photo of my maternal grandparents. I remembered Grandma Jennie told
me it was their honeymoon in Spearville, Kansas.
 
Today I decided to do a little more research to find anything else I can.
 
I found the following notecards which show the Hotel Bunyan in Fowler, Kansas. 
The photos are here. I also found a history of the builder here. His name was William P. Bunyan
and his daughter, Hattie Maude, married Frank Van Ryper who is connected to my family
in a distant way.
 
I love finding all these little tidbits even though more questions come up in the process. More and more history including old photographs are showing up on the Internet. Take what you know and start Googling. You may find photos of where your ancestors lived. How cool is that?!
 
Memoir Prompts:
 
Where did your grandparents go for their honeymoon?
 
Write about a gift you wanted as a child but didn't get.
 
What is your favorite place to be on a rainy day?
 
Have you ever smashed a finger?
 
Write about a time you stayed in a hotel.
 
What are some things  you haven't forgiven?
 
What kind of art moves you?
 
 
 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Arizona History


Arizona is the 48th State and celebrated its first centennial on February 14, 2012. We may be one of the youngest states but we still abound in history and people who are trying to save that history; including two Marshalls.
Marshall Trimble is the Arizona State Historian and spends his time entertaining with stories and music of the Old West history of our state. This photo was taken in Tombstone a few years ago. He has also been a speaker at the Phoenix Writers Club.
 
Marshall Shore is the Hip Historian and focuses on the more modern history of the state including Route 66.
 
Marshall was the speaker Saturday at the Phoenix Writers Club.
Here he is with our club president, Cindi Reiss.
 
Marshall S. is gathering stories and artifacts from the 20th Century.  Those of us who grew up in Phoenix love seeing his pictures of Mr. Lucky's, Legend City. Durant's, and Bob's Big Boy.
You can see more here.
 
Another little bit of history: Phoenix Writers Club started meeting in 1926 when Arizona Press Club wouldn't allow women into their ranks. Now, men and women meet once a month to learn about writing and to share information.
 
If you grew up in Phoenix, or even if you didn't, take a trip down memory lane with the Marshalls.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Remember When: Sharing


My oldest grandson and I have so much in common my daughter says that sometimes it is scary. GRIN!
We both LOVE paper, doodling, and now, pens.

His father got him one of those pens that has four or five colors and they change by clicking them.
He was telling me about his collection and I asked if he would like one from Arizona and he turned to his mother and said, "COOL!"

So Doug and I went looking for an Arizona pen. I was also determined to find a pencil shaped like a cactus. A favorite little gift for out-of-towners.
We struck gold with the following:




Isn't that pencil cool? I got one of those for his brother, too. Green for him.

I had also told the boys I would make them each a new scarf on my knitting loom since they liked the first ones so much. Alex wanted green and Brendan wanted red.
I couldn't find a light green I liked so I hope he likes this multi-colored one.
I sure do. I might have to go get another skein of this one.


 
If I get on a roll I can finish a scarf like this in an evening. It is so much fun.
 
Here's what the looms look like:
 
It all started because my friend C. B. was making socks. I haven't gotten brave enough to try something that complicated but I sure enjoy the scarves.
I enjoy wearing mine too. We've actually had enough cold weather here to wear them.
 
Being a long-distance Grammy isn't always easy but the boys sure enjoy the little things I send. Just like I enjoyed the Elvis magazine I received last week.
Have you sent a bit of joy lately?
 
MEMOIR PROMPTS:
 
Write about going to the dentist as a child.
 
Write about school clubs and organizations you were involved in.
 
What is something you can't live without?
 
Describe all the computers you have owned or used.
 
Did you ever go skinny dipping?
 
Have you ever been horseback riding?
 
Write about a snow day.
 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Remember When: Postal

Sometimes bad days change quickly. Like when a surprise package shows up in the mailbox.
That was how it happened on Friday.
 
This is what was in my box.
As a die hard Elvis fan a vintage magazine is a great gift. It came from my friend in Florida. We have been friends since 1965. She knows me well.
 
Thank you, Lydia.  
 
Also in the mail was the latest issue of the "Tombstone Times."
 
 
Including my latest article. I've been writing for them for over ten years and it still exciting to see my articles come out in print. You can learn more about this publication at "Tombstone Times"

And one last postal arrival was the latest issue of "Wild West" magazine.

I don't have an article in this issue but I have in the past.
 
All-in-all a good day at the post office
 
Tell us about a surprise that showed up in your mail box.


MEMOIR PROMPTS:

Describe a very proud moment.

What was the first thing you learned to cook.

Was there ever a fire in your home?

Write about a power outage.

Did you ever take anything that wasn't yours?

Did you ever take music lessons?

List the major stepping stones of your life.