Gulf Shores

Gulf Shores
Photographer Patricia Gulick

Sunday, May 18, 2014

11-30-13 RMB Happy Endings

11-30-13 RMB Happy Endings 

Dear Rita Mae Brown,

On this Saturday, Maria came over to help me with mail. I have issues dealing with mail. Major things I’m good with. I do okay in emergencies. But toss a bit of junk mail my way and “Ugh!” I guess we all have our weaknesses. Some of mine are plain silly, frustrating and silly.

After working a bit, I visited the library where I checked out the 1982 novel Annie On My Mind by Nancy Garden about two young women who fall in love. I am grateful that our progress has made this incredibly well written book available at the county library. On the last CD there is an interview with Nancy Garden. She speaks of a childhood where the discovery of her homosexuality in the 1950’s came at a time when she first had to discover that such a thing existed, oh and at the same time, come to the realization that it was unacceptable.

At that time, there were no books at the ready, in the library or anywhere, depicting a positive life for a person with her inclinations. Fortunately for her, there was one person that understood, or at least tried to, as they sorted out who they were and what they meant to each other, girlfriends that fell in love and helped one another through life.

While driving together down a road that ended with a stone wall, after her girlfriend’s parents threatened to send her away to keep them apart, Nancy contemplated, in one brief moment, driving into the stone so they would be together forever. Fortunately, she didn’t do that, because in 2004, after living together for 35 years, the childhood sweethearts were able to legally marry in their home state of Massachusetts.

As a youth, the one book she eventually discovered that helped shed some light on the subject was Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. I gather it is a sad book. Today I am grateful for its existence, because at the end of it was an “impassioned plea for justice and understanding”. Nancy Garden states “it was that plea that made me vow to someday write a book about my people with a happy ending. Annie On My Mind was that book.”

Happy endings can happen, for everyone,


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