Sunday, August 03, 2014

Parley and Wiley Redd

For some still-mysterious-to-me reason, I want to put this up tonight, even though I had planned another photo. This is an image (shared with me by my cousin Randy) of two of my grandmother's younger brothers. Wiley Redd, (1886-1972) standing, wrote one of my favorite ancestor-autobiographies. It was manly and no-nonsense and his life probably would have made a good documentary basis for a great Western television series. I am pretty sure he would have thought feminism was a bunch of foolishness. But he knew who he was, where he was planted, and how to handle horses. I would like to quote from his memoir, but I don't have it here and am reminded again that I have to get some of these precious things digitized and up into The Cloud. I just Google-searched in hopes that someone else had already done it, but didn't get lucky this time. Anyway, here they are, holding very still for the photographer in their wrinkled trousers, near the end of the Nineteenth Century. Both are listed on, one of the very best sites for finding facts about your ancestors! This picture might have been taken in the Mormon Colonies in Mexico. where they grew up.

Once when I tried to get my grandmother to tell me about their life then, she brushed aside my questions and showed me instead her two new Sunday hats with gloves to match: one set was lime-green and one was lavender. She was more about now than about then. And I suppose that is a healthy attitude. But I am still curious about then,

Here is another poem by my new enthusiasm, James Galvin.


In regard to their own movement
The stars we track have no inkling.
They're just burning.
Is the willow less in winter?
God's a far cry and busy
Counting dead ants, dead stars.
In regard to its own movement the willow tree
Knows less and less.
Now and then now and then
I forget what I am saying
To myself, often
When you touch me,
Even if we are just wandering down this street
On the surface of a planet
Turning through the fire.

James Galvin
from Elements, Copper Canyon Press, 1988, page 17.

Like Czeslaw, JG capitalizes the initial letter of each line. I am becoming convinced that this is an interesting thing to do.

Turning through the fire. . .

1 comment:

  1. Nineteenth century people seem so serious. It's easy to forget that they may be holding still for the picture in a moment between smiles.