|Issue No. 23, July 2009
Hello from breezy Hood River, Oregon – a popular windsurfing spot, but we came for the train show and the world’s best cherries!
My newest Ancestry piece, A Tombstone Tells Its Story, posted to my website and Ancestry’s in mid-June and within a week had become the most popular article on my site. It was Sunday edition front-page news in the Grand Forks Herald, referenced on Minnesota Public Radio’s website and picked up by blogs and various websites concerned with history, law enforcement, civil rights.
For me, four simple words on a tombstone — “Killed while on duty” — turned the death of Officer Even Paulson of Mayville, North Dakota into a story that needed to be told again, and it has clearly struck a chord. A life cut short in the performance of public service always demands our attention, but this story awakened something more. The community for which Offer Paulson’s life was taken had forgotten the long-ago tragedy, even though his tombstone telling the story was in plain sight. It is a reminder to all of us that quiet heroes are among us always and, as Tombstone concludes, “it speaks to the fragility of any random moment in which history is written and lives are irreparably altered. It reminds us to live our lives acknowledging that that fragility could shatter us at any random moment and that both the good and the bad we do can live on after us.”
I hope you can spare a few minutes to read Officer Paulson’s story, and to honor his sacrifice and the sacrifice of others like him who do what they do for us in increasingly dangerous times.
For fascinating further reading, follow along with some of the news accounts I used to reconstruct this story of “the most atrocious crime in Traill Country history” and two decades of political fallout on my website.
Read the Grand Forks Herald story here [word doc]
Excerpt from A Tombstone Tells Its Story:
It’s a wonderful parable, how I went to North Dakota looking for ancestors and came home with a police escort. As genealogy buffs, we avidly believe in the adage “every tombstone tells a story,” but few gravestones do it as provocatively as Officer Even Paulson’s.
Even Paulson didn’t write his own epitaph, and the instant I laid eyes on it I felt the piercing depth of loss dealt to those who did – not just a family but a whole community. Embodied in those few chiseled words - the shock, the sorrow, the anger, the spectacle of a sensational trial played out in the media across five states, and the repercussions that would rage on for two decades...
Read this and other stories like it in Ancestry magazine
New on my Facebook author’s page:
Those who have followed me for the last couple of years know of my great love for Soapstone, a women’s writing retreat in the coastal mountains of Oregon where I have twice been honored with a residency. During my first residency, my housemate was Brittney Corrigan-McElroy, and as they say in Casablanca, it was the beginning of beautiful friendship. Brittney was recently named Executive Director of Soapstone, which is part of why we look so darn happy in the photo on the left, at the annual work party last month.
I know by the stack of books and manuscripts on my desk that many of you are aspiring writers. I can loudly attest to what a period of solitude in the woods can do for your writing energies.
The application period for Soapstone residencies is now open. Applications postmarked between July 1 and August 1, 2009 will be considered for residencies starting November 2009 to November 2010.
Learn more about Soapstone and download application forms from their web site: www.soapstone.org.
The focus for the next issue will be autism. We would like to hear from parents, educators, clinicians or anyone else who has information to share with our readers. The limit is 1,200 words, and we will be requesting bios and a photo of authors whose articles we use.
For more information contact:Pat Sullivan
Editor, Healing Magazine
4085 Independence Drive
Schnecksville, PA 18078
610.799.8340 | Fax 610.799.8001
Following are some groups and organizations who have contacted me recently. These groups are all actively involved in supporting families living with autism. I hope some of you can hook up with these People in Your Neighborhood:
OPEN DOORS TENNESSEE
KOREAN REHABILITATION FUND
REENA (Thornhill, Ontario)
MACKAY AUTISM SUPPORT GROUP (Queensland, Australia)
AUTISM FAMILY ONLINE
VICTORIA SOCIETY FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
ST. PETERSBURG COLLEGE (Florida)
PACIFIC RIDING FOR DEVELOPING ABILITIES (Langley, BC)
If you are new to our newsletter community, please visit the newsletter archive on my website and browse some popular past features here.
June 2009: For my dad, for all dads / On My Soapbox: Tragedy or Opportunity? / The Difference Between Heaven and Earth
May 2009: Ellen’s Archive: I Sound Like My Mother – I Hope! // Mixed feelings about Autism Awareness Month // Vietnamese translation of Ten Things // Hyperlexia literary journal debut issue
April 2009: Right on the Money// Encouraging playground interaction
March 2009: On hiatus
February 2009: You Said It: Your favorite articles in 2008 // A Readers’ Favorite: Three Little Words
January 2009: On My Soapbox: The Less the Merrier for 2009 // Winners quit, quitters win
December 2008: On holiday – see you next year!
November 2008: Interview: Autism and the Holidays
October 2008: Childhood Obesity: is it abuse? // A-(scavenger) hunting we will go // Happily ever after, in real life
Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
Ten Things Your Student with Autism Wishes You Knew
1001 Great Ideas for Teaching and Raising Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
The Autism Trail Guide: Postcards from the Road Less Traveled
If you’ve read my books and feel inclined to share your thoughts with others, please consider posting a review on my book pages at www.amazon.com. It’s easy to do and you don’t have to post your real name.
Please forward this newsletter to anyone you feel might share an interest in our kids with autism. New subscribers can sign up at here.
©2009 Ellen Notbohm | Third Variation Strategies