Volume IV, No. 3, Spring 1977
Though these last few winter months have been extremely cold and icy, causing our school to be cancelled more than ever before, our work has continued.
Our new assistant advisor, Ruth Massey, returned to the New Jersey Pine Barrens in January to assist in the further production of the magazines ARMADA and SWEETWATER which she and Danny Hough helped with last September. Ruth stayed about a week and spent one very cold night camping out with the Project USE staff, who are helping put out the two magazines.
Mrs. Massey was one of several advisors who met in Washington, D. C. last November with Bill Strachan, editor of Doubleday and Company, and Pamela Wood, advisor of SALT from Kennebunk, Maine and author of a technical guidebook for cultural magazines entitled YOU AND AUNT ARIE. The purpose was to discuss ways for revising AUNT ARIE into a book of interest for the general public.
Mrs. Massey also continues to work on the manuscript for our first book, BITTERSWEET COUNTRY, to be published by Doubleday and Company, hopefully by spring, 1978.
Speaking of books, we now have paperback copies of I WISH I COULD GIVE MY SON A WILD RACCOON, which you may order from us at $4.95 plus $.45 postage and handling. Eliot Wiggington of FOXFIRE edited the book with all its proceeds going to the Reading Is Fundamental program of the Smith-sonian Institute. Included with the forty interviews of older Americans from across the country are our personal interviews with friends Mary Moore and Charlie Grace, who both died in mid-1976. We were honored to have presented copies to various family members in remembrance of their lives and friendships--compliments of Doubleday and Company.
In spring things pick up for all of us. We have the opportunity of increased public activity with speaking engagements at Springfield, Hannibal, Webster Groves, and Cape Girardeau. We will be involved in forming next year's staff. And, of course, we will continue our work on stories for upcoming issues: blackberries and blackberry wine, sunbonnets, cloth feed sacks and spring houses, to name a few.
We strive to make each issue better than the one before and this issue is no exception. I encourage you to take special notice of the photo essay beginning on page 54. No one can tell me the earlier Ozarkians didn't know a thing about farming '
Just one more thought before I close. My brown mouse, Michael, died this past winter. The weather made for an unpleasant funeral that morning, but even with the wind and falling snow, I stood beside the grave for one last moment with Michael.
So until next time--the Lord be willing--grace, peace and love.
THE EDITOR'S MAILBOX
My mailbox hasn't been overflowing lately but we did receive a letter from Doris Brelowski who was Lebanon's American Field Service student from northern Germany and also a member of our staff in 1975. Doris wrote about some of her experiences here in the Ozarks in "Reflections of a Foreign Student on the Ozarks" (Summer '75), and when working on the Ozark death and burial customs in "Gone But Not Forgotten" (Fall '75) she and Nancy Honssinger interviewed Mary Moore. A photograph from that interview appears in the Raccoon book.
Dear Mrs. Massey, dear BITTERSWEET staff!
One and a half years have gone by, and frequently I thought of you, of you as individuals and as
"the" BITTERSWEET staff, and four times a year the arrival of your magazine would remind me
of my being obliged to write to you. Now I'm glad I started, finally, and I'll try to give you an
account of what has happened since I left the States.
In the spring of 1976, we had our graduation exams (the feared ones:), first the written, then the oral part. It proved to be easier for me than I had thought it would.
In the summertime, I had a job down by the beach of the Baltic Sea for three and one-half months as I wanted to accumulate some savings for my life as a student and for future traveling. It was a nice vacation though. One could take trips into France, go sailing or mountain-hiking.
Back in Germany, I prepared for moving over to Marburg, my university city, located about seventy-five miles north of Frankfurt. So I am a university student now. The studies don't take so much time in the first semester, so I can do a lot of sports (long distance running in the forest right behind our students' home, and swimming and diving, of course) and reading and partying besides. It was kind of hard at first to adapt to living completely by myself again, but now I've got used to it and like the freedom of it. Also, I like it that one gets to know new people all the time which we can learn from and make new experiences with.
Dear BITTERSWEET people, let me assure you that I think of you even though I didn't write you all this time, and that I have the fondest memory of you.
I enjoy your magazine very much. I first learned about it at Uncle Charley Grace's home. And then I was one of the ladies present at the Adult Community Building in Branson when the girls came to learn how to warp a loom. I am glad you young people are interested in crafts and your heritage.
Gladys E. West,
Copyright © 1981 BITTERSWEET, INC.