Little Me

Wishing I knew more
about the picture -
but feel lucky
to have it.

She is the place
where the story begins.


A Laugh Today.

Its late and I am ready to curl up under a blanket. Need a nap.

Every day I escape the news. Do a catch up - and then turn TV to TCM for old movies. They provide voices in the house. Today was fun. They were featuring all day the Buster Keaton films, new to me. Whenever I gave the films attention I loved them and had good laughs.
Spent a long day working on the content I have gathered from the blog posts. They remind me of my life - for my working on a memoir. Good to remember  - but its not an easy project I have set out for myself. Not complaining - love it but cannot deny - this writing is a tough job.


Ellouise Schoettler Interview on Out of the Past

When Lee Shephard called to invite me to come for an interview a few years ago I was delighted. I have admired his work on the air here in Washington, DC for many years and I knew we would have a fun time. 

He and I met at Elizabeth Elementary School in Charlotte in the second grade. I found this video yesterday and it was wonderful to have the memory about our meeting and to hear us talking about Charlotte and Elmwood Cemetery. Robin S. Fox Gail Froyen

I love to pull genealogy and family history together with the days of long ago as I
develop a story. That began for me from my first family genealogy stories and then it became the primary way I wrote my WWI stories - especially Ready to Serve about the Hopkins
Nurses in the Army and in France from 1917 - 1919. By the time I began to perform the story
I felt that I knew the nurses well. Storytelling brings many gifts.


Catching Bits of Family History

In 2005 Jim and I went to Harrisonburg to find some more information about the Harrison family  
since I am in the line. Enjoyed being there and gathering a surprise.

Late afternoon light
and fragile dried fowers
timeless mystery.

It is in the book.
All Isiah Harrison descendants
are related to Abraham Lincoln.

But - we are southerners! 

Another genealogy surprise.

Fort Harrison, Dayton, VA
September 25, 2005



Ellouise telling a story from a night at her grandmother's house.


Thinking of My Aunt

                                               Watching      collage  artist: Ellouise Schoettler  circa 1998
Carson McCullers
Ellouise Schoettler

Carson McCullers is passing by
She lived in a boarding house down the street

Every day she walked up to get some kerosene
For her lamps.
She carried it home in a glass bottle.

Carson McCullers is passing by

My aunt ran to the upstairs window and peered out from behind the curtain
To watch the woman walking by
Its Carson McCullers 
She’s a writer

I knew by the sacred tone of her voice that was important
She’s a writer
She puts words on paper and people read them
She’s a writer

Carson McCullers is passing by
My aunt never wrote
She paid me 25 cents if I would write something
No matter how bad

Be a writer

My aunt never wrote
But she could talk

Today I am a talker.
And a writer
Thanks to Carson McCullers passing by.


California Doll

California Doll

All dressed up
patiently waiting
for a child
who is moldering outside

Melancholy notes
in rooms set up
to help the curious
glimpse the past.

Dolls more than hairbrushes
bring back the laughter and tears
of other days.

Children and childhoods

Only the stuff of memory remains

poem by Ellouise Schoettler - 2007
photo by Ellouise Schoettler - 2007


Reading SHE

This noon I was reading SHE - a last book Kathryn Windham wrote in a real and funny style to reveal her relationship with SHE - a woman who is actually her self as the old woman she is at 93. The relationship she created with SHE is believable and
and gives a good look at how you feel as you change.

Now that I have had my 83rd birthday its good to hear the stories of seasoned women.

In Brooklyn New York

 Twenty years ago Jim and I went to Vermont on a bit of vacation where I was also attending my first week long workshop taught by premier storyteller Donald Davis. 
That was the first time I heard Donald ask workshop participants to "take us somewhere we can't go if you don't take us." I have never forgotten that assignment and often use it when I am working on a personal story or just time traveling. 

I have been time-traveling a lot lately. Going back and forth to Brooklyn, NY.  In1957 Jim and I lived there while he was an intern at Kings County Hospital. And Karen, our second child was born there.

I even started writing a memoir journal about that period. I have been surprised by how many details I recall and how vivid the images are. Perhaps some of that is due to my reading and working with the exercises in Marilu Henner's book, Total Memory Makeover.  Things I had not thought about in years surfaced. For instance: Early in his internship one of Jim's patients, a Choctaw Chief, was so grateful for the care Jim had given him that he asked Jim to become his "blood brother". 
They had a small ceremony at the Chief's bedside. 
Jim asked me to bring our son to the ward so he could introduce Jimmy to Chief Two Bears.

Everyone was taken with Jimmy who was a very friendly child with a big smile and a deep laugh. The Ward Secretary, an older woman, came up to Jim who was holding Jimmy. She patted Jimmy's hands and told Jim, 

"Doctor Schoettler you make good babies." 
Jim smiled big and laughed deeply.