Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Announcement! WOW!

Sunday morning I was heading up to Akron to visit my friend Akron & to teach her, Mary, and Teresa the Trash to Treasure class. Before I was ready to head out the door, I checked my web site e-mail & to also see if any storms were going to show themselves along the route. I got this e-mail:

"2009 Fourth Bi-Annual

Theme: Earthen
Land of Odds, 718 Thompson Ln, #123, Nashville, TN 37204
615-292-0610 www.landofodds.com warren@landofodds.com

Congratulations! Your Beaded Art Doll submission to the 2009 Fourth Bi-Annual All Dolled Up: Beaded Art Doll Competition was one of 6 semi-finalists chosen by a panel of judges, and which the panel felt best represented “beadwork and dollwork design” considerations! "

Let me tell you that I was dancing on air. If you've followed my blog in the past 9 months, you know I've been working on this project since way back in January when I decided on the doll form I wanted to use, practiced my needle sculpting techniques, and started to bead like a mad woman. I wish I could share a picture of Rachel's Dream with you, but the contest rules state that I must wait until m piece is put up on their web site in November 17th for official on line voting. 75 % of the judging is to be done there in Nashville, but the other 25% are for you all, the Internet audience. I'll definitely post the link when that time comes. I need to get her to Nashville by Oct. 7th, so I'll have some time to take her to the Guilded Lilie meeting on the 26th. And since I'm leaving on the 29 for Reno, I'll mail it out that Monday before. Ralonda who was the semi finalist in 2007 is also a semi finalist, and I heard that one other gal from Dayton beaded doll group has gotten the nod too. Small world, huh?

I've been off work since Friday trying to relax some since work has been too stressful this Summer. Like I said before, Sunday I went to Akron & had a wonderful time (as I always do with Pam), and Saturday I took Chris up to Lodi for Estes Radio auction. He came back home with a Element full of old table top radios to work on. That will keep him busy for awhile. Yesterday I took a trip over to visit my Mother & delivery her some extra tomatoes. Today, I have no idea what I'll do, but since I was up until 4am beading, I'm sure a nap is in my future. We use NetFlix which is fabulous for movie buffs like Chris & I. We watched "The Secret Life of Bees" last night. Chris knew nothing about it, but I had read the book when it first came out. Let me tell you all that the movie was fabulous. I loved the book, but this movie was bringing tears to my eyes. Even Chris loved it so much he told me we might have to buy it to add to our collection.

I don't know if you've ever watched a movie that triggers a past memory or not. I do sometimes, but this movie really got my brain to clean out the "back room" and bring out a gem of a memory to me. I grew up in LA until I was 15 when my parents moved back to a small Ohio river town. In LA, I grew up in a Hispanic culture & learned to speak Spanish starting in 3rd grade. Moving to Ohio especially SOUTHERN OHIO was a big shock for me. This was back in 1967 after the Civil Rights bill had been signed by Johnson. Now, I had never had one African American in any of my classes in Los Angeles. One Summer, I worked in the Neighborhood Youth Core program at the YMCA with two other girls from my High School. One of the girls was Carla & I only remember her name because she & I went to Ohio State together & lived in the same dorm for two years, but the other girl I don't remember her name (wish I could). We worked the locker room together, watched the children in the game room, worked the telephones, and did pretty much whatever the staff at the Y asked us to do. Carla & the other girl were Black. I had never ever been around Black people before. Carla one day after we'd been working together for a week asked me what was wrong with me. I actually told her & this was 1970 that I was afraid of them. She laughed & said oh well, they were afraid of me too. There we were sitting in the chlorine filled room with tears in our eyes laughing at our fears of each other only because of the color of our skin. Instantly my fear of others evaporated because of Carla. Now growing up in LA, I was exposed to so many other types of cultures, but I knew nothing about the Black culture besides what I'd learned from my parents or on television. Let me tell you that it was a huge awakening for me. I think that was the point in my life where I realized that I was my own person & could decide who'd be my friends and to not listen to my elders. Well, the memory that "The Secret Life of Bees" triggered was a hot hazy August afternoon in Southern Ohio which is awful if you don't have A/C & back then hardly anyone had A/C. I had gotten to the Y & Carla reminded me that I didn't have my bathing suit because we were suppose to monitor the pool that afternoon. I dreaded walking back home, but Carla's boyfriend was still sitting there in his car. He told me he'd take me home to pick up my suite & to bring me back. I was over joyed as I didn't like thinking about getting all hot & sweaty walking the 1 1/2 miles back home & then back to the Y. So I jumped in his car yakking away all the time. When we pulled up in front of my parents' house there was my Mother standing on the front porch with this look that made me curl up inside. She had gotten a call from some busy body telling her I was "seen" in the car with a Black man. I was so embarrassed with the way she grabbed my arm & turned to give that poor sweet young man who was only doing me a favor a look that would freeze. I told her he was only giving me a ride, but that was not enough for her. By then I told him to go ahead & go as I did not want a scene there in front of our house. I walked in grabbed my suite, and ran back to the Y crying all the time. You see, up until that time I hadn't realized how racist my family was. I was humiliated and could barely look at Carla's eyes when I got back to work. She pulled to the the side and told me her Mother would do the same. I hugged her & thanked her for being a friend. That was a moment. Like I said before, Carla & I went to college together & for the first year we kept in touch with each other spending nights eating pizza with her roommate & discussing all kinds of things that were happening to our world in 1972-74. I lost touch with Carla, but she's still inside of me. She taught me tolerance for those with narrow minds who have never seen all people as the same no matter the culture, the language or the color of their skin. I wish I could find Carla sometime & thank her for teaching me open my heart and mind.


Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Yes, I lived through that era, but I knew from day one that MY family is racist. Sad.

Congrats on the contest. I think Joan Cromley is one of the 6th finalist also.

Dulcey said...

Congratulations!!! I'm so happy for you.

Diane Lithgow said...

congratulations on your success. You have been so inspiring i have purchased a beanie baby to try to bead. i have made a little beaded man and a dottee doll both of which fit into an altoids tin. they are addictive. I love tahoe and visit there with my brothers in-laws when we visit america. I am very green on you going to the bead retreat and am hoping that there might be one next year as we will be visiting. keep up the speedie work - i wish i could do as fast.
Diane, New Zealand

Veleta (Sammy) said...

I wanted to thank you for the amazing story on Carla and I do hope you someday meet up with her! Dot, your beading work you are doing is just amazing! I am in total awe of you!