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Sunday, May 29, 2016

A Hastily Arranged Marriage in the Ozarks......

It was July of 1861 and Pap had just finished reading the dirty and scribbled note thrown through our parlor window tied to a rock.  It read:
            “If yu valu yer lif yu betr git out a the Ozarks”
“Perry, where are you when I need you?” I wondered silently.
We lived in Ozark County, Missouri just one-half mile from the ArKanzas line.[1]  I had just become engaged to Perry Campbell, the handsomest and most Christian man in my memory and my father’s business partner’s son in the making and selling of Peach Brandy.
 Even though I had just turned twenty-five on November 10th, 1860, barely nine months ago, I did not feel as old as some of the women here in the Ozark County of Missouri treat me.  For most of them any woman over the age of fourteen who is not married is considered to be an old maid.  In our family, until the proper match is made in which both parents and the intended all agree that the match is right, there is no marriage.  I have to admit I am more comfortable with our traditions and am glad for rules which make sense and give guidance for the future.
Both Perry’s and my families have been helping the slaves escape across the North Fork of the White River from ArKanzas to freedom in the North and we were now being threatened with our lives.
 Pap said, “We are going to escape as soon as possible and enlist all of our families’ help, cousins who do not agree with us are not being told of any of our plans.  However, we are going to stay in Southern Missouri as long as possible to help the slaves who are trying to find their freedom with precious little help." 
Johnson's home in Ozarks 1850s
 


Perry had shared with Serenia that one of the slaves they had helped had given him over 30 melon seeds which were black in color and called Water Melon by the Africans.  He planned to plant them when they finally had their homesteaded land.   He immediately asked Serenia’s Pa, “Can’t Serenia and I be married as soon as possible so I can personally take care of her in this threatening situation?”


[1] Serena is pronounced “Sireena” though the spelling might indicate otherwise.
ach Brandy.


[1] This is now located in the Mark Twin National Forest

Thursday, April 7, 2016

PIONEERS WITH PURPOSE

Prologue

In 1862 my forefathers and foremothers left a lucrative business selling their Peach Brandy to the New Orleans Liquor Distributors.  We had always wondered why anyone would leave a life which seemed all that anyone could hope to achieve in the beautiful Ozarks area of Missouri for a life on the Prairie of Kanzas midst the primitive Indians, rough shod cowboys, ten foot snow storms, sod houses with bugs and other varmints falling from the cracks (all told us by our Great Grandmother and children of these pioneers) and meld into the prairie life which was to be their new lives until the 1890s, when weather, and ultimately New York bankers, would push them into what would be a more restrictive and humbling lifestyle in the nearby cities of Salina, Ellsworth and Hays, Kansas.
In 1986 our Great Aunt Rena Boston passed away at the age of 92, leaving the family photographs and letters of our father’s side of the family (which included her namesake and grandmother Serenia), from the time just prior to the Civil War until the end of the 19th Century.  In these letters and hand-written testimonials we found the reasons behind their move and a generosity of spirit and Christian pattern for life of which any family would be proud.
The following is a possibility of dialogue and circumstances which follow nearly exactly those letters and intentions written at that time.  Here then, are those memories passed down from generation to generation and shared with us by our Great Grandparents and Great Aunts and Uncles when they were still with us.
I hope all readers enjoy this Saga which includes romance, bravery, and warfare, as well as confrontations with the Indians and just plain hard work during the period from 1861 until 1893.

Campbells in their new brick home - Thompson Creek 1875

It was July of 1861 and Pap had just finished reading the dirty and scribbled note thrown through our parlor window tied to a rock.  It read:
            “If yu valu yer lif yu betr git out a the Ozarks”
“Perry, where are you when I need you?” I wondered silently.
We lived in Ozark County, Missouri just one-half mile from the ArKanzas line.[1]  I had just become engaged to Perry Campbell, the handsomest and most Christian man in my memory and my father’s business partner’s son in the making and selling of Peach Brandy.
 Even though I had just turned twenty-five on November 10th, 1860, barely nine months ago, I did not feel as old as some of the women here in the Ozark County of Missouri treat me.  For most of them any woman over the age of fourteen who is not married is considered to be an old maid.  In our family, until the proper match is made in which both parents and the intended all agree that the match is right, there is no marriage.  I have to admit I am more comfortable with our traditions and am glad for rules which make sense and give guidance for the future.
Both Perry’s and my families have been helping the slaves escape across the North Fork of the White River from ArKanzas to freedom in the North and we were now being threatened with our lives.
 Pap said, “We are going to escape as soon as possible and enlist all of our families’ help, cousins who do not agree with us are not being told of any of our plans.  However, we are going to stay in Southern Missouri as long as possible to help the slaves who are trying to find their freedom with precious little help. “



[1] This is now located in the Mark Twin National Forest



Thursday, August 20, 2015

DEEP WATER~Sequel to The Writer and Her Agent series......

Jenny & Doug in Algeciras
This is the sequel to Assignment ~ NOLA which is the sequel to Assignment ~ Love.  Both of these forerunners to Deep Water are about Jennifer Lee Stewart who was and always has been a writer.  Her work began as a reporter for the local newspaper during college and afterward, and after she married and became pregnant in Baton Rouge, she began writing for API as a freelance writer.  She branched into Romance Novels for steadier income until the children grew up.  Her first husband was Kenneth Olson, an architect who after 25 years of marriage to Jenny takes a mistress in his assistant.  Jenny catches them in flagrante delicto in her and Ken’s bed and realizes she and Ken haven’t enough left between them as a couple since their last child left the nest, to try to repair their marriage.  After a quick divorce, Jenny moves to a smaller home next door to a hunk who immediately is attracted to her as well.  This hunky neighbor, Douglas Campbell Nelson, who shares with her that his credentials include being a CPA for the government, finds he must warn her on her first night in her new home that their neighbors could be a danger to her.  Before their second date is over they both receive phone calls from their bosses and are assigned immediately to Mexico in pursuit of one the most corrupt cartels….the Los Endekas (in this novel Los Zetas) who have just buried innocent tourists and locals in Tamaulipas, Mexico after stealing their money, jewelry and raping them.  Their assignments pair them (Jenny as a free-lance writer for API and Doug as an FBI Agent) from the beginning on their flight to Mexico where Jenny figures out that Doug is more than a CPA and their futures take on an exciting and romantic twist while pursuing the drug runners along the Gulf Coast. 
In Assignment ~ NOLA Jenny and Doug are now married and Doug is asked to assist an old Marine buddy/ex FBI Agent/Friend who is attempting to determine if the Football Bounty problem is true or not midst the Saints Football Team in New Orleans.  Doug takes a Leave of Absence from the FBI in order to help his buddy and Jenny accompanies him in order to make his cover as Recruiter and his Wife seem more kosher as undercover work dictates.  He and Jenny soon find the mafia is involved and the FBI decides they want them both representing the FBI in order to keep better tabs on the mafia and  its’ involvement in the Bounty situation.  Great food, a kidnap, a 300 year old River Plantation with a ghost which takes over Jenny at every opportunity and fantastic sex between the newlyweds keeps Assignment ~ NOLA humming along until the surprising end.

Now Doug and Jenny are being asked by the FBI to follow up on their OP-Mission Interception found in Assignment ~ Love with a new mission in Algeciras, Spain…….on AMAZON under Kathleen Boston McCune