I’ve been thinking about Leora’s early stories, even about what it might be called and an iconic photo for the cover. It will be the first in the “Leora’s Stories” series, even though it’s being written last.
That WWII story, well, it needed to be first.
Some of the episodes in the book will include having Indians (Santee Sioux) come to trade when Leora’s father Sherd wasn’t home (Leora was about 5)–NE Nebraska. Sherd “went bust” there and also at Key West, in NW Minnesota.
Riding a horse to piano lessons (Audubon County, Iowa), graduating from 8th grade (Sherd wouldn’t let his older children go to high school), and attending sewing school in Exira.
The rest of the book is set in Guthrie County, Iowa, where both Clabe and Leora were born and grew up. And eventually met.
I plan to weave Clabe’s growing up years with hers. Their childhoods and personalities were so different. I’m just going to have to imagine their first meeting. (I do know where and when it occurred.)
It’ll also include their marriage, births of the first six children, taking care of the popcorn farm of Leora’s brothers when they were drafted and sent off to fight in France, the misery of the influenza pandemic, Clabe’s job as a night watchman after the one before him was killed in a bank robbery attempt.
Also the Victorian house Leora’s parents and siblings lived in in Guthrie Center, and traveling there and back on the Liza Jane branch train.
It will end on a farm SW of Dexter, tenant farmers, where Junior is born and things are at least more secure.
Do you have a favorite photo for the cover?
I want the title to begin with the name Leora, but can’t decide on a working title:
Leora’s Guthrie County Years: Childhood and Meeting Clabe
Leora’s Early Years: Meeting Clabe in Monteith
Leora’s Early History: Clabe Joins the Story