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Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Idella; Chapter One. By: Amanda Barwick and Dominique Erney.

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Presentation on theme: "Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Idella; Chapter One. By: Amanda Barwick and Dominique Erney."— Presentation transcript:

1 Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Idella; Chapter One. By: Amanda Barwick and Dominique Erney.

2 Portrait of Mrs. Rawlings S URFACE Was about 180 pounds, 5’ 7”, slim up top, heavy towards the bottom. Wasn’t into material appearance. Dresses were always covered in animal hair. Loved to be a hostess. Seldom wore makeup, but occasionally wore lipstick. D EEPER She loved to read, eat, and cook. She rarely smiled and she seemed like a lonely woman no matter how many friends she had. Had a heart of gold and helped those in need. She often drank more than necessary and would cause a commotion. “...[picking flowers] gave us both much joy. For me, it took my mind off of what to fix for dinner or lunch, and I like to think, as she picked the flowers, she must’ve been thinking of what to write next.” “…but as time passed, she became harder to deal with and her problems became too much for me to carry. When at last I could not get her to listen to me, I had to leave. This happened not once, but three times. Not long after I left for the last time, she died, and I felt a great sadness. I love Mrs. Rawlings, but in my heart, I knew that I had done all I could for her.”

3 “I want to begin at the beginning and tell you about me, my family and how I came to work for Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings at Cross Creek. This is how it was…”

4 My Early Years S HORT B IO By 1940, Idella had been working for 10 years, giving all she owned to her family for help. 8 people in her family. Lived in a “one-horse town” called Reddick. Peter Brown. Reddick had many colorful characters that made the town. U NCLE A DAM He had 2 brothers named Nat and Will. Talked about slave days. Slave songs held messages. Was a tiny, brown-skinned man. White hair, no more than 120 lbs and 5’. He “ate children”. “…you might say I met Mrs. Rawlings and went to work for her at Cross Creek because of a mistake. But when something changes your life the way meeting her changed mine, it’s no mistake. It was most likely the good Lord looking out for me and maybe looking out for her too.” “Uncle Adam Turner died in He was 100 years old, fierce and independent to the end, and surely one of the most memorable characters I ever knew.”

5 Papa & Mama P APA : J OHN ALBERT T HOMPSON Share-cropper: a person who lived and worked on another persons land and split earnings with owner. Side job: built wooden crates at the local citrus packing shed. The will to work was very strong in him. At 96, Idella and her sisters asked him to record his favorite stories. M AMA : E THEL R ILEY T HOMPSON Stayed home to take care of the children, and was known for her amazing cooking. She was a talented seamstress. Mama had little formal schooling. For the most part, every child was successful, although Idella’s brother, Edward “EM” Milton, died in WWII.  “Of all the fine qualities my sweet, kind Papa had, the one I admired most was the pride he took in the hard work he did. I have said to young people time and again that they must do the very best they possibly can at any job they do, and they must have an attitude of pride in their work. I smile sometimes when I hear myself saying things like that because it sounds just like Papa talking.” “Mama was a big, strong woman who seldom cried, and it broke my heart to see her weeping so … that’s when I made up my mind to go to work and help out, so Mama would never have to cry like that again.”

6 Schooling & Finding Work 1 ST J OB She liked school. She became a teacher at 16. When black children went to school, they had to walk no matter how far it was. 2 ND J OB Idella got a job in 1933 in West Palm Beach. “It was a good life.” Her working situation was ruined by a romance gone bad. Took a job in Ocala with the Camps. “I thank God that things are better now than they were when I was a student.” “It was a good life.”

7 “Is Mrs. Camp home?” & Mrs. Camp arrives, or so I thought. “ IS M RS. C AMP HOME ?” She came to find that the son of the Camps’ was the only one home. She gave him information on where to find her when his parents returned. She heard another person inside, and later learned that it was Cecil Clark – a friend of Norton Baskin, Mrs. Rawlings’ future husband. He told Marjorie about Idella, although she didn’t know at the time. M RS. C AMP ARRIVES …

8 “Not Island Grove” & Driving to Cross Creek N OT I SLAND G ROVE When Mrs. Rawlings came to retrieve Idella, instead of sitting in the back, where Mrs. Rawlings bird dog obviously claimed, Idella – under Marjorie’s request – sat in the passenger seat. The ride there was long, quiet, and beautiful. Instead of making small talk (which caused Mrs. Rawlings to swerve quite a bit), Idella got the chance to take in everything she could about her new employer. When they arrived at Marjorie’s home, Idella was taken aback by the simple beauty of her surroundings. “It was like discovering a magic garden in the midst of a jungle.” Marjorie was pleased that Idella seemed to like her new home. D RIVING TO C ROSS C REEK

9 “I’ll never forget the sky that evening… I can still see it today. The sun was just about to set, huge and red in the sky. The clouds were puffy, some white, others blue, and the white ones seemed to be chasing the blue ones until they all hid behind some orange trees.” “Oh my,” I exclaimed. “What a sight to behold.”

10 I Meet the Mickenses I MEET THE M ICKENSES When Idella met the Mickenses (another set of residents at the Rawlings home), she thought they were an odd bunch of characters. Marjorie asked Martha (the Mickenses Mama) to show Idella where she would be living. She led her to a small shack, also known as the Tennant house. Idella’s bedroom had no decorations whatsoever. I MEET THE M ICKENSES

11 “The way I felt that first night, it’s a wonder I stayed. I never dreamed that I would be there 10 years, or that I would come to love Cross Creek as much as Mrs. Rawlings did.”


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