Longfellow and Lisa: Contemplations on “I Heard the Bells”

Minerva Teichert's "Look to the Children"

This is by my sister, Lisa Blair Sabey, contemplating that horrifying day at Arapahoe High School:Friday, Dec. 13--Daniel and his Arapahoe Singers group were dressed in their knickers, sweaters and winter scarfs as they caroled through the high school halls. His teacher, Parm, who was well ahead of the merry group, heard gunshots from the top of the stairs, and yelled, “Double time to the classroom. NOW!” Daniel ran with his friends, went through the choir room and into a small dressing ro … [Read more...]

Before Jane James–another African American Mormon Found

connell's discovery

I read historians' work, and sometimes I go through microfilm to find answers to my questions. I am not the kind of historian Connell O'Donovan is, though. He is relentless and generous. I am posting his discovery with his permission, since he won't be writing about this woman yet. For historians, this might present new research possibilities.From Connell: "I don't know her name yet but she was the wife of (non-Mormon) Samuel Francis/Frances of Haight (now New Hudson), Allegany Co. NY - … [Read more...]

Jane Elizabeth Manning James

Jane james monument with Darius Gray, Margaret Young, and Louis Duffy

We draped a sheet across a metal trellis and called it a covered wagon. We used the sacrament table for Jane James’s bed. We let Elijah Able use the podium, and we put the choir in the cushioned seats by the piano and organ.This was our Genesis meeting on Sunday, March 5th, 2000. We debuted my play I Am Jane to a diverse audience that included LDS apostle David B. Haight, whose ancestor had been in Jane’s 1847 pioneer company, Elder Alexander B. Morrison, who had written about the LDS Chu … [Read more...]

The Story I told Him, Part 4

stars

He watched the sun sink.The sky was growing dark. He hiked higher, higher, higher.Then, directly above him, but far too high for him to even imagine touching, there was a pin prick of light. A few moments later, another appeared, and then another, and another. The darker the sky got, the more these lights revealed themselves. It was as though the sky itself had little holes in it, and each hole let out a hint of the brightness behind it.How would he describe these lights? … [Read more...]

Dayenu! (It would have been enough!)

Susie Mae Young Thomas and Me

(During some Passover celebrations, Jews drop bits of wine on a napkin, citing each plague which G-d caused to come upon the Egyptians and saying, "Dayenu!", or "it would have been enough with only that!")In 1998, when I was beginning to learn about black pioneers, Susie Mae Thomas started coming to my ward, though she didn't live in my boundaries. In retrospect, her presence was a miracle for me. Though she couldn't speak because of a stroke, she was my first guide into the race issues … [Read more...]

Darius Gray: Atlas with the Flu

Darius from Gene Heath 2

Elsie Gray was close to miscarrying her baby, and had already had several miscarriages. She summoned the "Sisters"--Pentecostal women, who anointed her womb with consecrated oil and ministered to her, dedicating the fruit of her womb to God. Darius Aidan Gray was born healthy on December 12, 19?? (no, I won't reveal his birth year), though he suffered health problems for much of his childhood.As a teen, he read about Sampson and decided that he would do as Sampson did. He would not drink … [Read more...]

The Story I told Him (part 3)

stars

David of Nebula Part 3 of 4 Part 1 is here. Part 2 is here.David walked towards the nearest armchair, glancing around. There were paintings on the walls—of big rocks and many hues.“But you did see the lights back then,” David said.“Of course. I waited thirty years before I wrote it down, though. Perhaps I left out a detail or two. And perhaps I missed a few things. Well, I didn’t see the rainbow, did I. Apparently, I did miss at least one thing. . .”David sat in the so … [Read more...]


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