Remembering. https://youtu.be/NcbU65MJEvo

The CWAO experience as a lobbyist and grassroots organizer led to my job on the staff of the National League of Women Voters as ERA Campaign Director,1979 - 1982, the last three years of the campaign to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. They hired me to represent the League with the other women's organizations, tend to the State Leagues and raise money for ERA.

We artists have ideas - we see things in new ways. It turned out that I came up with a new idea for the ERA campaign and for the League. I proposed and organized the National Business Council for ERA which brought the campaign support from Fortune 500 CEOs. Raised money and provided a professional umbrella which brought in The Ad Women of New York, could work with the ERA campaign.

It was a perfect combination - the League of Women Voters and Business. Our organizing co-chair, actress and business woman Polly Bergen was not just a name on the letter-head - -  she was hands-on. We developed stategies around her being present and she came. I happily held her purse so she could wow them. ERA Board Chairs Madeleine Appel and Lois Harrison were wonderful team members. And BPW ERA legend Mariwyn Heath was my mentor and supporter in the business effort. She told me at the end of the campaign - " I consider you one of my successes. I thought it was a dumb idea and did not believe that you could pull it off - - but I never said a word to discourage you." It was a good management lesson and I have never forgotten it.

Women did amazing things during that campaign. It was a dynamic volunteer grass roots effort, and inexperienced women learned their jobs by doing them.
Women cared about the issues and taught themselves the skills they needed to lobby effectively.

The loss of the ERA was heart-breaking for the supporters.

That's an outline. There are a lot of stories there. What to tell?
The fight for the ERA is active right now - - - and I am praying for all those working on the front rows that it will happen now. Don't forget that ERA is not in the Constitution - we are not safe under laws that are not protected - they can be erased - 
Here is a recent interview which tells today's story. I hope you will watch it - - 


Our Chimes Hang On


CHIMES, by Ellouise Schoettler – 5 a New Poem


Today I notice the small collection 

of green brass Chimes hanging from a black, failing limb of the tree which has held those chimes for 49 years.


After a few years we realized how fast the tree was growing because we had to stretch tall and reach up to make a sound - - - only the wind could stir a song.


I sit at my desk these days looking over my computer to where the chimes wiggle in the winds.  In the beginning the chimes were bright green. Today they are all faded.


They never broke

They lost their color as they aged

But when the wind is tossing there is still a concert 

And, I love it .


My only wish is that Jim was here  

to hold my hand as we walk by.



Frightening Days on the Front Yard in Washington, DC

Since Wednesday the days have been heavy, difficult and fearful.

That morning I rolled over in the bed and turned the TV on early. Things were not being filmed in a studio. All was going on outside. People continued to march up the street and stepping out onto the grassed area. And the crowd moved together shoulder to shoulder to the steps at the front of the Capital, a large sacred building where the crowd was calling out to the speakers standing at a microphone. All the people, mostly men,  were dressed as though they were going to a war.  It did not take long to hear and realize this was not a picnic or a colorful egg search - - -  it was an attack ---- by Americans - dressed up like members of militia groups. 

Ofcourse I was not close by  - -  I was watching from my bed room  

- - thanks to the cameras I could see and hear it all - -  which made it very terrifying.

Three days of watching the reports on what's happened. 5 people killed - on the US ground. The President has not been heard since his rally talks on Wednesday. He did not speak himself now  but many others, voices on TV were talking about him and what he has done - - and there could be more things  - - frightening,  frightening things - - -  in the time before he  loses his power as President January 20th. 

    But there has been a terrific surprise ---- 




A Favorite John Steinbeck Book


 I remember reading "Travels with Charley" as Jim and I rode away from Salinas, California in the 1980s.  
 Today this was a second or third  time reading the book for me - and as I read I was moved again by Steinbeck's talk about being back at his home near Salinas. Steinbeck continued writing on his page " it muddied my memory. When I went away I must have died to my friends and so in their minds I became fixed and unchangeable. My return caused only confusion and uneasiness. Although they could not say it, my old friends wanted me gone so that I could take my proper place in the pattern of remembrance - and I wanted to go for the same  reason.
Tom Wolfe was right. You can't go home again because home has ceased to exist except in the mothballs of  memory."

Today when I spotted the Charley book on one of the book shelves in my office I could not resist sitting down with it and flipping through the pages. As usual when I read beyond a first time I skipped through the chapters to remind myself of the story - 
it was was worth the time.
and the room was deep in the odor of moth balls.



First Day of 2021

Today is the first day of the New Year - 2021  with much to hope and pray for.

It has been gray and cold all day under pattering  rain. 

Thanks to Zoom technology we laughed together with our family - some in Maryland, Virginia and others from Californina - - an hour and a half of laughing which felt wonderful to me.

Doodling helps me put thoughts together--- especially since I am still living tacked down under quarantine rules for protection from Covid-19. 

Catching up with people on the telephone calls helps me stay put at home happily,

January 1st, the first day 0f 2021my friend Lucy and I caught up on how the holidays have gone with her- and with me.  I love talking with Lucy -- she and I have known each other for 48 years so we have plenty to talk about from those days and we also keep up with how the world is changing everyday.

            That day word came quietly by iPhone or email to let people know that Ann Zahn had died.  Ann was a member of the Washington Women's Art Center the same time Lucy and I were. For years we knew each other, often exhibited together, stopped to chat, worked on art projects and two years ago Lucy and I photographed and interviewed Ann as one of the early members of WWAC.  Ann Zahn was a wonderful artist, an imaginative printmaker, a teacher - -  and a dear friend. She will be missed and remembered by many.

Early in the evening Jim's youngest sister called from California. We laughed at family stories with Jim in them. I  reminded her that Dec. 30th was our 65th wedding anniversary. She laughed, "time flew by."

While we were talking I told her that a few days ago I noticed his eyes were following me from his picture  hanging on our bedroom wall.  "I loved it." 
"Ofcourse," she answered, "its a little miracle."

Thanks God for little miracles.



A Painting From My Past

I saw a few paintings like this when our family went to a small museum in Strausburg, France. 
 I don't remember the name of the artist on the wall in France at that time. I just loved her paintings.  

When we came home I was attending classes at American University and I started painting these kinds of paintings. Drawing the grid on and then working with the colors. 

It was hard but I loved it. One of the professors who was a sort of tough guy asked me if I was losing my mind when he saw me painting these little squares. No I wasn’t losing my mind.  It was stressful because of having to get the colors in the right place. 

There must be more in the studio.

Another important thing about this trip to Germany and France was that it we were all together.