Although this book is listed as biography/autobiography, it is actually FOLKLORE from the Midland Region of the United States and can be considered as Americana and nostalgia.
Elizabeth Pearl Lowe Boyd (1904 - 1965) grew up on farms in Warren County, Kentucky, near Bowling Green. Unlike many girls of that era, she went on from the rural, one-room school to graduate from what is now Western Kentucky University (a degree in English and Latin). After a year of teaching in Shepherdsville, Kentucky, she moved to Cross City, Florida, where she taught another year and married Robert U. Boyd, a railroad agent. By 1935 they had settled in Dunedin, Florida, where they raised their eight children. From 1936 until her death, she wrote a popular column in the local weekly paper, The Dunedin Times, titled From My Kitchen Window. The topics she wrote about were many and varied, and her focus was on the ordinary and commonplace. Over two hundred of these articles were about her recollections of growing up in rural Kentucky, and they were selected for this book. Although Florida had become her home, her heart remained in Kentucky. It was there, for that sweet land and for the hills and seasons, that she felt deeply attached. She never lost her yearnings for the hills, for the agrarian life of Kentucky. And it was of rural people, life, times, and history that she wrote most eloquently.
Pearl Lowe Boyd (the name she went by) was energetic, jolly, determined and focused, civic minded, and above all, a mother. She spread her children out over twenty-two years, and she was fascinated by her little ones, their beauty, their trust, their development and their emergence into big people.
Writing was the forum through which she best expressed herself - the same as music is for a musician. In her earliest writings and diaries she stated her desires to be a writer. Her opinions were carefully thoughtful, erudite, and tactfully voiced. The only time I remember that she got her dander up and went on an all-out crusade was when she got wind that the town leaders were planning to have an enormous, beautiful oak tree behind the Chamber of Commerce cut down. They lost, she won, and the tree is standing today.
She loved to read and kept lists of books she devoured - sometimes over a hundred in a years span. Yet her own mother was opposed to education beyond the eighth grade for a farm girl and was very much disapproving of her reading novels - even the writings by Dickens. It was her father who encouraged her education and her love of books and writing.
She was the kind of person who looked for the good in things, in people, in nature, and in life. Although she had periods of worry and depression, she never let them slow her down. The reasoning behind her positive outlook, which she described to me during one of my down times, was pragmatic and positive: why choose to dwell on the hurtful and the bad when one can live much more effectively by dwelling on the beautiful, the exciting, and the good of life?
She grew up during Womens Suffrage. As an early feminist, she insisted on fairness in all things for women as for men, yet in her own life she was comfortable with first being a had-working housewife and mother and being a civic leader and writer second.
Among her homespun articles she also wrote blistering articles against the treatment of Jews and others during World War II and against bigotry during the early days of desegregation. The n word was certainly not permitted in her home.
I remember her as a wise person. On one occasion when two of her children were arguing over splitting up a remaining chunk of cake, she utilized the King Solomon ploy by allowing one to make the slice and the other to take the first piece. Of course, the two pieces were precisely identical.