If you have known me for very long, you know that interesting things happen to me, whether intentionally or not. For instance, on a recent visit with Mother Goose in Fairyland, instead of the rose gardens along the west side of the river that she wanted me to tour, I somehow wound up in a turn-of-the-century building in a small western community called Rose Creek.
"Well, my goodness," a pleasant young woman said, looking up from her desk. "I didn't hear you come in! Do you have something to contribute to the Weekly?"
"The Weekly?" I asked.
"Yes, The Rose Creek Weekly newspaper. This is my office."
It wasn't easy trying to explain to her how I got there, but she was intrigued. Not too surprised, frankly, because it turns out there are some real time travelers who fade easily into the local landscape of Rose Creek. Imagine that!
"I see you are interested in railroads," I said, gesturing to a poster on her bulletin board. "Do trains go through here?"
"Oh, DO they! You wouldn't believe some of the characters who visit this place, intentionally or by accident, like you. A fellow named Thaddeus Gearbender has invented a train that moves amazingly fast, and with all the bells and whistles, so to speak."
And for about thirty minutes or so we had quite a conversation.
After we had spoken for a while, she said, "Let me write this down. You mean women DO actually get to vote in the future? Well, MelvaDean Stanton McAnary will be thrilled to hear THAT!"
"My father, I. M. Rose, who founded Rose Creek and my newspaper, would be, as well. He was a man before his time, a fervent believer in the advancement of social justice and women."
"I see some kind of Exposition is coming up in September," I said.
"Oh yes, our little town is having an Industrial Fair! Amazing tecnological advances, right here in Rose Creek, especially with Thaddeus's railroad transport; top of the line."
"Looks like somebody loves you, Ima Rose," I said, catching a glimpse of a picture tucked behind her head.
A look of sadness crossed her face and she leaned back in her chair.
"Yes, that was Joe. We had just become engaged when he decided to join Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Riders. I didn't want him to go but he felt he had to as a patriotic American." A tear fell as she said, "He died right after the Rough Riders took San Juan Hill."
"Oh, I am sorry. Looks like you were a Roosevelt supporter yoursef," I commented, nodding toward the political ad on the bulletin board next to what looked like a Gibson Girl calendar.
"Well, I WAS ...," she said, tapping her notepad. "Actually, I was quite bitter for a while, but Joe's brother Augustus helped me through it as we both mourned together. That was almost three years ago now and Augustus and I, well ...." She smiled. "Things are looking beter for me now!"
At this point, I felt the old familiar vibration and said, "Ima Rose, I'm very sorry, but I need to get home, back to my own time. My old friend and mentor Mother Goose somehow got me here accidentally, and I am very glad she did, but I can feel her calling me."
"Time travel is a wonderful thing," Ima Rose said, rising from her chair and shaking my hand. "I am so glad you came, Wanna, accidentally or not. You've told me some things my friends in Rose Creek will be glad to hear."
And with that, next thing I knew I was back in El Paso, reading The El Paso Times. Life is so interesting, isn't it? Especially when it catches you unexpectedly like that.
NOTES: Ima Rose was created for a special project on the Minidolls list, which is owned by Dana Burton. The theme for that project was Rose Creek, a small turn-of-the-century western community where, "Back in the days ... of Silk and Steam a new kind of traveler emerged. Men and women who combined technology and Victorian flourish, while time traveling from one point of interest to another, needed a place to call home."
In the course of that project, members of the list created dolls representing around 40 characters who resided in Rose Creek. (Thaddeus Gearbender, mentioned above, was a creation of Mysty Black.) As my part of the project, Dana Burton asked me if I could provide a newspaper, and I created The Rose Creek Weekly, where I commented on all the characters and their doings, which was great fun. Thus, it was natural that I created its publisher, along with another citizen, MelvaDean Stanton McAnary, a social reformer and crusader for women's rights.
At the time I created these two dolls, I was pressed for time because of my work on the newspaper, so I did not take pictures while making them. Basically, I followed the same processes as I have used for all my other dolls.