What books are you reading now? That’s a question I’ve been asked quite a bit recently. It’s a natural question this time of year; you likely received a book or two as a gift this holiday season.
Maybe you bought an e-book reader last year — a Nook or a Kindle. I’m very intrigued by the e-book readers. The features of the Nook or Kindle appeal entirely to my recent book-reading habits. I multitask and browse books, at times working even on two or three, and predictably, barely finishing any of them. With an e-book reader, I could browse on the go. And, when asked what I’m reading, I would reply, “The Help; A Passage to India; The One-Year Chronological Bible; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle; and a book on yoga with a racy title.” All that and more would be on my Kindle.
But I don’t have a Kindle, and I’m settling into a book early this year — one that couldn’t even be loaded on an e-book reader: Me and My Family by Gladys Groves McPeek, 1974. I’ve been carrying around this tidy 64-page book with its sunny yellow cover and intricate hand-tooled cover type, authored by my maternal great-grandmother (born in 1883). It’s the story of her growing up on rural farms in Rome and Derby, Ind., in Perry County, marrying, and later moving to Osceola, Iowa, where my mother was born to the only daughter of my great-grandmother’s seven children.
“Mother Mac,” as I knew her, was a gifted writer. I especially have enjoyed reading about her teenage years in the Ohio River Valley:
There were forty to fifty young people in our little valley who were closely associated during my fourteen to seventeen-year age period, and we had many exciting times. There were many home parties and well advertised Sunday School picnics which were almost universally attended regardless of church affiliations. Of course excitement at any age is always a relative matter, and without automobiles, television and movies, it is difficult for our teen-agers of the 1970s to understand how a bright colored croquet set and a big grassy country lawn could entertain six or eight young people for a whole Sunday afternoon.
I am treasuring the vivid scenes “Mother Mac’s” text has given me this year.
Perhaps you noticed the volume and issue number of this issue of Evansville Living, printed on our masthead: Volume 12, Issue 1. With each issue, our staff strives to convey to readers of this magazine its sincere appreciation for allowing us to share the great stories of Evansville. Thank you! We traditionally open the year with the annual Best of Evansville issue, a feature we have much fun putting together.
Happy New Year! As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Kristen K. Tucker
Publisher & Editor