Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 4, 1976 · Page 74
Get access to this page with a Free Trial
Click to view larger version

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 74

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 4, 1976
Page 74
Start Free Trial

Page 74 article text (OCR)

Two books for women SPEAKING OF BOOKS "THE AMERICAN WOMAN'S GAZETTEER," by Lynn Sherr and Jurate Kazickas, Bantam Books, $7.95, paperback. "WOMEN TOGETHER," by Judith Papachristou, a Ms. book from Alfred A. Knopf, $8.95, paperback. The first of these two feminist publications is a travel guide, nothing more, nothing less. What differentiates" it from the average tourist's handbook, however, is that all thelandmarks recommended for viewing memorialize the activities of women. In a Bicentennial year of dust- thickened air, kicked up by tourists roaring down highways in search of Americana, this volume provides a fresh breath. It is witty, bright, urbane and admittedly prejudiced. Its authors seek to fill a void, to point out the achievements and tragedies shared by the women who were virtually obscured by the Founding Fathers. An introduction tells us that the two-year research period turned up humorous discrepancies, Sacajawea, the Indian who led Lewis and Clark through the uncharted frontier is reverently buried and commemorated both in South Dakota and Wyoming, in graves 500 miles apart, dozen of American colleges insist they were the first institution of higher learning for women. Of particularlnterest to West Virginia travelers are the landmarks selected for inclusion in the section on this state. There are the Mary Meek Atkenson birthplace in Buffalo, the Harewood mansion in Charleston (where James and Dolley Madison tied the knot), the Clarksburg gravesites of the mother and sister of Dolley Madison, the Core memorial to a woman who singlehandedly protected her land from rampaging Indians, the Mothers Dav shrine in Grafton. Quite a lot of space is devoted to Civil War gem "THE CIVIL WAR IN WEST VIRGINIA," by Stan Cohen; Gateway, Missoula, Mont., $5.95 Stan Cohen, a resident of Montana who formerly lived in Charleston, has produced a pictorial history of the Civil War in West Virginia that properly belongs in the bibliography of works on the subject. Cohen draws heavily upon West Virginia historians for the text, which is secondary to the pictures, some of which I had never seen before. A Brady-like photo of Union volunteers assembled along Morgantown's High Street in 1861, for instance, shows the mood of the times in Virginia's rebellious Western counties. Pictures of Civil War battle sites, mostly drawings, give a "then and now" perspective to the viewer. Pictures of the many Civil War buildings still standing in West Virginia bring home a somewhat startling realization that all of Virginia's Western communities weren't frontier outposts. West Virginia's role in the Civil War was briefly played in the early moments of that ghastly drama. But it was an important role. Cohen's picture collection is an important record. . .. - --.. 'L.T.Anderson tcite Magazine: July-I. 197ft' the Pearl S. Buck birthplace at Hillsboro, and lesser amounts of type to the Point Pleasant grave of Mad Ann Bailey, to the Pratt jail that once held Mother Jones, to the Nancy Hart Memorial in Summersville, the Anne Royall home in Sweet Springs, the.Madonna of the Trail monument in Wheeling and Kate's Mountain near White Sulphur Springs. Sistersvllle is singled out as "the only town in the U.S. with this most hospitable n a m e . . . " The book, otherwise charming, has one glaring error. Under the subsection on Morgantown, W. Va., the reader finds, in boldfacs type, "West Virginia State College." The authors get a failing grade in his' torical research. The second volume, Women Together, is subtitled: "A History in Documents of the Women's Movement in the United States." Without editorial comment, the author has meticulously fashioned a chronology of the suffrage movement. A fascinating series of documents, including vintage newspaper and magazine articles, motions before state legislatures and resolutions adopted at suffrage rallies, is interspersed with old etchings, tintypes, photographs, and posters. Women Together is a book that surely deserves wide use as a reference tool in public schools. And, should that prove impossible, feminist leaders are obliged to. introduce the material into community centers, private classrooms and-most important--homes. Martha Smith HHH tells his own story "THE EDUCATION OF A PUBLIC MAN; My Life and Politics," by Hubert H. Humphrey, Doubleday, $12.50. Hubert Humphrey has had an incredible political life. In fact he has had several lives. Political analysts are presently wondering if, at the age of 65, HHH is capable of one more resurrection. During the 1930's the Farmer- Labor Party dominated Minnesota politics. Under the skillful leadership of Humphrey a political alliance was formed creating the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) in the 1940's. The DFL has dominated Minnesota politics since that combination. Presently controlling both U.S. Senate seats, five of the eight House seats, including a 100-24 edge in the State House, the DFL must be viewed as the nation's leading state political party organization. Minnesota has provided the nation a wealth of national leaders. Over the past two decades this relatively small state has given us Eugene McCarthy, Walter Mondale, Orville Freeman, Warren Burger, Harry Blackmun and, last but not least,.the perennial presidential candidate Harold Stassen. Hubert Horatio Humphrey is by far the most interesting of all. The Education of a Public Man is the story of HHH told only as he The winning cat "SOMEWHERE A CAT IS WAITING," by_Derek Tangye, Delacorte Press, ¥9.95. Tins book, actually a collection of three short stories previously published individually, might well have been subtitled "Confessions of a Reformed Cat-Hater." Derek Tangye is the author of 11 b. jks, most of them exploring the delights of a simplistic, back- to-nature lifestyle. This book describes in meticulous detail the transformation of the author's life after his marriage to a cat-lover. The child of parents who shrank from outward displays of affection, Tangye must adapt to an entire new way of l i f e as his b r i d e , Jeanne, introduces him to a warm, vital world in which all life is precious and in which love is affectionately, unselfishly returned. While he is perfectly willing to fawn over his new wife, Tangye stubbornly resists her plans to introduce a new member to the family. The unwanted waif is Monty, a tiny, orange-striped ball of kitten fluff, named after Field Marshal Montgomery. As time passas, Tangye mellows. Not only does he become fond of the cat, but also he carefully records . Monty's every conquest of his rapidly-falling defenses. The book" is divided into thirds, with the first dedicated to Monty's life and times, the second focused on the arrival of a second cat, Lama, and the third occupied with the addition of two new feline faces, Ambrose and Oliver.' · It is through passages devoted to Monty's death and Derek Tangye's painful refusal to become attached to a cat ever again, that the reader sees the true extent of the author's feelings for an animal whose love he once spurned. He vows never to accept another cat unless it is black, arrives at the cottage in a rainstorm and its origins are never traced. Enter Lama, who meets all the requirements. Once Lama has entrenched herself in the family, entre is a snap for Ambrose and Oliver, a pair who resemble the late Monty and the new Lama. One of the most charming aspects of this book is the easy flow of dialogue which incorporates lavish descriptions of the English cojn- tryside. It is a book that also makes good use of family photos without becoming sickly cute. A single objection to the book is its rather heft price: $9.95. It seems a trifle steep, suggesting that inflation is inescapable, even in Derek Tangye's pastoral English hermitage. Somewhere a Cat is Waiting is written in a breezy, highly readable style that is both entertaining and informative. Tangye makes quite a good argument for the genuine contribution a pet can make to any household, even that of a devout cat-hater. For those who can afford it, the book is recommended as the perfect birthday gift for a young person who may never have shared the love of a pet. Martha Smith could tell it. It is both wordy and worthy. The early chapters tell the story of his growing up years in South Dakota. Surrounded by a hard working family steeped in the Protestant ethic, Hubert found himself meeting people in his father's drug store. This drug store training proved helpful in more ways than one. Years later he would try to -unlock the m y s t e r y of N i k i t a Khrushchev by peeking at his medicine bottles. Humphrey learned his values as a child. Hard work, honesty, loyalty, and dedication to ideals were all a part of his family training. The closest he was allowed to get to evil ·was the contact he had with Grandmother Sennes, a beautiful woman who sold eggs and hid the money to allow for something frivolous. Such embezzlement was permitted to make a difficult rural life more livable. This ambitious man was to learn early in life that "the need of an education, an alert mind, clean liv- .ing, and a bit of culture" were to be the vital ingredients of a private man in search of a public life. One wonders just how a generation "of leaders reared oh such spiritual milk could give us Hiroshima, Vietnam, and Watergate. Humphrey gives us an honest picture of his hopes and dreams as well as the political reality he had to make peace with on his way to political stardom. For the most part he does well in describing the scene. Only on occasion does he take us down a garden path. One quote should be enough. "The Southerners, more than most of the rest of us, operated with good manners, a sense of graciousness, with a sense of humor and sociability. Graciousness and good manners do not excuse bigotry, stupidity, or simple wrong- headedness. But bad manners and ungraciousness make any resolution of differences tar more difficult." End of McGuffey's Reader lesson. Yuk! The influence of Carl Hayden, Sam Rayburn and Alben Barkley is seen early in the book. These men shaped Humphrey and left an indelible imprint on his personality and style. The strong figure in the book is Muriel, his wife. A constant companion and one described as "never too tired to listen," she will wind up writing the definitive work on HHH. Wait and see. Local readers will delight in the chapter depicting Humphrey's downfall in the 1960 West Virginia primary. Once past a glaring error about a banquet in Franklin County (there is no Franklin County in West Virginia) the pace is fast and furious. One discovers, if it wasn't already a known fact, that theltenne- dy victory was the result of big money controlling the election. Yes Virginia, West Virginia was sold to the highest bidder. Seventeen years later it seems some of the same dynamics still exist. The fascinating revelation, however, is the way in which political funds were pumped into West Virginia. Humphrey tells of a conversation between Cardinal Richard Gushing and papa Joe Kennedy, which took place in Cushing's library in Boston just prior to the West Virginia primary. At that time these two men decided which Protestant ministers in West Virginia would receive contribution for their church in exchange for JFK support. The power of this book lies in the chapters that deal with Vietnam. Humphrey, never a supporter of the war, was finally trapped, as all good heroes are, by one of his own virtues. Like a Greek hero, Humphrey becomes the victim of his own loyalty. By attempting to be loyal to his President, he ultimately gives up the remainder of his virtues. If only he could have found a way to be disloyal, an obedient rebel if you will, we might have, seen Humphrey's own words aftfer his 1968 defeat to Richard Nixon seem non-prophetic. "That top rung is never going to be mine." The memorandum of Feb. 15, 1965 from Humphrey to Johnson on Vietnam is printed in its entirety. Just recently released, this document at least helps clear the record of a fine liberal who contributed leadership in Food For Peace legislation, the structuring of the Peace Corps and a still pending full employment bill. Throughout this book, HHH is seen as a gregarious man, a man possessed by a dream to become a politician, a man dedicated to puh^ lie service. Publically he has given his life to this country and the reader can enjoy the rise and fall and rising again of this folk hero. Through the verbiage that is so much a part of the man, we are finally left with a feeling that he tried too hard. Almost every character depicted in the book is described as a "friend." This "every man my friend" quality to Humphrey's personality may betray a basic insecurity hardly visible in his smile and wordy presence. Or, it might give witness to the old political game of col'ect- ing friends like a gambler gainers in chips to be cashed at a futurs*. time. One thing is for certain. The *" biggest friend Humphrey collected, Lyndon Johnson, finally proved to be the one who gave him the biggest sting. Johnson got the loyalty he set out to attain but Humphrey lost his soul in the bargain. The American electorate will hardly forget that spectacle. James Lewis Mr. Lewis is rector of St. John's Episcopal Church in Charleston. Paperbacks " "STOP DIETING! START LOSING! By Ruth West, $1. * * * "FASTING: THE ULTIMATE DIET," by Allan Cott, M. D., $1. * * * "LOSE 7 POUNDS IN 7 DAYS." by Betsy Bliss, $1. '* * * * "THE MEDITATION HANDBOOK" by Tom Alibrandi, $1.25. CHARLESTON, W, I/A 25m

Get full access with a Free Trial

Start Free Trial

What members have found on this page