What do Eleanor Roosevelt and West Virginia have in common?

Eleanor-roosevelt

No, the title isn’t a joke…and for the love of gravy, please don’t tell me you hear “Dueling Banjos” right now, either.

First things first for all you nit-pickers out there, it isn’t Tuesday. I know it says “Trash Talk Tuesday” because that is how I initially set up the blog, but I’ll be honest with y’all…I simply CANNOT wait until next Tuesday to share some incredibly exciting news with you!

So…what do Eleanor Roosevelt and West Virginia have in common? You know, Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady and wife to FDR? Still not ringing a bell?

Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman ahead of her time in so many ways. She was visibly outspoken and politically active in a time when the measure of a woman was her outward beauty and her ability to marry well. Women with ideas – especially those who liked to talk about them – were sort of frowned upon.

She transformed the role of First Lady, was the eyes and ears of her wheelchair bound husband and was a champion of the impoverished, a defender of equality and an advocate for world peace. And oh yeah, as a delegate to the United Nations, she helped to pen this little thing you may have heard of – The Declaration of Human Rights.

So I ask you once again. What does Eleanor Roosevelt – born in to a life of privilege in upper crust New York Victorian society- have in common with the great state of West Virginia?

Arthurdale.

For those of you who know me personally, or those of you who have read my blog, you know that West Virginia is a state near and dear to my heart. It is where my people come from. I spent a great many summers at my great grandparent’s farm down in Strange Creek, West Virginia. I am the second generation removed from a coal mining life.

You could say I’m a coal miner’s granddaughter.

Back to Arthurdale, West Virginia…

It was the very first New Deal planned community. It was designed to take poverty stricken farmers and miners, move them to a modern rural community and provide them with the tools and skills they needed to become self sufficient.

Arthurdale is on the National Register of Historic Places and an organization called Arthurdale Heritage, Inc. has been formed to preserve the history of Eleanor Roosevelt’s New Deal Community.

I know you appreciate the history lesson, but you might be wondering what any of this has to do with me.

I am honored and humbled to announce that this morning I received the incredible news that my handstamped work featuring Eleanor Roosevelt quotes has been selected for inclusion at the New Deal Museum!

If my mind were any more blown, a purple smoke cloud would burst from the top of my head right now.

I could not be any more excited than I am at this moment – the tears they are aflowin’, y’all. And yet the news is bittersweet.

I really wish my granny could see all of this, I think she’d be real proud. She’d be proud of my ability to reuse, repurpose, to use my own two hands to make and create.

Makin’ a whole lotta something out of a whole lotta nothin’. Like candy from a potato.

I love you Granny…thanks for your dedication, your inspiration and your motivation.

And I promise, I won’t go struttin’ around like a banty rooster. *wink, wink*

Peace, Love and Blessings to All,

April