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My Aunt Jamie, Gene Stratton Porter, Angel & The Limberlost



Ahhhh, I just read this and heard of it for the first time. When I was 12 my family took a trip to Louisiana and visited my Dad's oldest sister, Jamie. I always loved Jamie because she, I don't know how to express this exactly, but she was very high class. I loved her beautiful house with lemon trees out the back door. I loved the stories she'd tell me about each of her pieces of crystal and her silver. I loved how she would serve us real coffee with real cream in beautiful china cups. She walked beside the governor of Louisiana, as one of his best friends, advising him.


My dad told me yesterday, how a member of our family wrote the history of Texas that the earliest schoolbooks in Texas schools used. I said, "Do we HAVE that book?" and my parents said, "Yes, we do." I knew this but had forgotten. It's actually mentioned in my own book, "Chapelgate, a Spiritual Memoir," in my 70 page opening which documents my family history back to George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Meriwether Lewis, Webster (Webster's dictionary), and the President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis. My aunt Jamie kept up with that, as well as her sisters, and to an extent, my mother. We always told family stories around the dining table. So yesterday, they visited us in our new house for the first time and we all went to eat at Cracker Barrel. Dad was telling his stories around the table. He mentioned the history book of Texas. I told my Mom, "I'd like to have those stories for "Texas Tales from a Lone Star." She said I could.


I didn't even mean to write that, that's just what came out when I saw this picture. What I meant to write was that my Aunt Jamie took me upstairs in her home when I was 12 and opened her son's closet so I could choose a book from hundreds of books in his closet, to read on our trip, and to keep. I chose "Freckles," by Gene Stratton Porter. In that book, which I loved, was a beautiful girl with long blonde hair, like my own at that age, and blue eyes and honor. She was lovely. She was good. She fell in love, in the story, with a boy who was also very full of honor. He was the guard for the swamp that is the setting for the book. The name of the swamp was, "The Limberlost." Gene Stratton Porter knew about that swamp, perhaps lived close to it, and it is in several of her books. I have most of her first editions now, bought when my husband was alive.


I actually sacrificed that book to God, when I was about 18, because at that point in time I heard our preacher say that we shouldn't love ANYTHING more than we loved God. So I packed up a big trash bag of every single thing I loved. It had my Dan Fogelberg music albums, it had my gold crosses, it had a Dan Fogelberg light blue T-shirt with "Captured Angel" on the front. I gathered up every single thing I loved, including a notebook with 1000 poems I had been writing since I was around 12 years old. I had used that notebook to show the judges my "talent" when my mother had entered me into the Imperial Miss Tennessee beauty and talent pageant as a teenager. I had won the state of Tennessee in talent because of my book of poems. I had thought they meant REAL "talent" so instead of twirling a baton like most of the girls I had shown them my writing talent. I had won first place. THEN I had flown to Houston where my Aunt Jamie met me for the National contest. She was there from Louisiana, for me. She took me to buy my dress and my Grandmother gave me $50. to buy it. That was unheard of money at the time and I had chosen the most beautiful dress, one that I could keep wearing when I went back home to Tennessee. It was cotton, light blue, floor length, and had a lace up front that was like a paisley pattern of blues, purples, greens and pinks, my favorite color combination, the color of my own room as I type.


Because of that book and the idealism in it I had chosen the name "Angel" as my pen name. I wanted to be good and full of honor, grace, and beauty, like in the book. I loved learning about God in church and the Bible and by the time I was 12 I had been learning for 12 years. So I thought to myself, "I will keep the "Great Commission" to go to everyone in the world, like Jesus told us to, through my writing. I will use "Angel" (which means "messenger" ) as my pen name and write about God and our walk together, and what I learn about him, to teach others. That's exactly what I did, and what you see me doing, always.


The name of my swamp camping property I bought in Florida a few years ago, is "The Limberlost." I named it that for the Limberlost setting in my book my Aunt Jamie gave me. So a minute ago, I saw this picture and post about the Limberlost. I didn't know this until just now. I'll go learn more. Meanwhile, I wrote a story about it. Love, Angel


The article I was responding to is HERE


Quote: "Addie Pollock purchased the logging rights for 100 hemlocks on what is now known as the Limberlost Trail. She named the area Limberlost after the novel "Girl of the Limberlost" by Gene Stratton Porter. She was the sole female to take part in the lobbying efforts in Congress that brought about the creation of Shenandoah National Park in 1935."


Copyright 2023 Angel Isaacs All Rights Reserved

Written March 16, 2023 at 2:11 pm


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