Saturday, October 14, 2006

Tumor Marker Down, Bowling Score Up

My CA19-9 tumor marker was down to 1245 this week. Last week it was 2280 and the week before 1810. Week before that it was 1544, so this is the lowest for some time. A trend down is good.

I bowled Wednesday night: 91, 92, and 112. My handicap is 91 so that last game ended up being a 203. I really concentrated in the last game, plus I'd taken some Ibuprofen during the first game that took a while to kick in which alleviated some of the bursitis pain in my hip. I'm learning you don't have to throw so hard. A well-placed ten pound ball can get all or most of the pins. To pick up one spare pin, throw gently and it goes straighter.

Today is the "Vignettes of History" performance. My friend Toni asked for more info on Verena Jacobson whom I'm portraying. She was born here in 1907. Her maternal grandmother immigrated from Switzerland with two young daughters (one of which was Verena's mother Ida) after her husband died over there. She met Ami Massard in Salt Lake City and they married and moved to Ouray in the 1880's. Ida's younger brother, Frank Massard, was born in 1897 in Ouray and would be a close uncle to Verena, only 10 years her senior, and more like a big brother.

Verena's mother, Ida, married a mine engineer from Liberty Hill, Texas named Frederick Rucker in the early 1900's and had four daughters, Verena being the eldest.

Verena said the kids had to make their own entertainment growing up here. There was no TV, no radio (that came after WWI), no running water (had to go outside and pump it). There were 23bars and saloons on Main Street, so the kids weren't supposed to hang out there, and especially not on the two blocks of Second Street where the very active red light district was. Verena said they did a lot of hiking and had picnics in the hills as kids. They'd build a bonfire and roast weiners. The curfew bell would go off at 8pm and all youngsters freshman and below better get home. If the marshall took you home, your parents would ground you.

Uncle Frank and a partner opened a corner pharmacy along with the Isis Movie Theater next door which is where the Variety Store is now. Verena started working at the pharmacy as a young teen when she could barely see over the counter. She and her sister also worked at the theater next door taking tickets. The pharmacy was just a block up the hill from the red light district. Verena said some of those ladies would come in the store dressed very nicely (you would never know they were prostitutes) and were very polite - easy to wait on. They didn't mingle much with the rest of the town.

Verena went to college for two years after high school - there were only five students in her graduating class in Ouray. She attended Denver University for one year and then Western State in Gunnison for the second. She then took a test which enabled her to be a school teacher. She taught first for one year at a school on Log Hill, all twelve grades, and school only went June - October due to all the snow. Then she taught at the Piedmont School for three years. The kids there once put a snake in her desk drawer. Then she went to the school in the town of Sneffels up above the Camp Bird Mine and across from the Revenue Mine. It was very cold and snowy there and she was only able to get down to Ouray once in the winter - she walked down the 10 miles and 2,000 feet for Christmas, and then back up. The snow was packed on the road due to all the mule trains and teamsters hauling goods up and down from the mines. An avalanche came down the mountain once while she taught at Sneffels. They heard it coming and didn't have time to do anything. She told the children to cover their faces. She slide went around both sides of the school and filled it with snow and mist, but Verena and her four students (all from the Cook family) were fine.

Verena's sister married a man from Minnesota, Leonard Jacobson, in 1931. She had Verena come out the next summer to help when she was having a baby. Leonard's brother Julius started taking Verena to dances amd the movies, and they got married later that year. Julius died in 1960.

Verena came back to Ouray in 1971 to help in take care of Frank's wife and ended up staying and taking care of Frank as well. She got involved with the Presbyterian Church, Woman's Club, and the Museum. She wasn't afraid to go to a City Council meeting and let the mayor know exactly what she thought. Verena passed away earlier this year at age 98.

Just up here in Colorado, channeling the ghost of Verena!

Sincerely, Caroline

1 comment:

Hoskins Family said...

Hi Caroline,

I,m glad you have all the energy to keep going. Dave and I used to bowl a lot when we were still in Japan. The first and the last that I bowled 156 was when I was pregnant with Danica, trying to go into labor without being induce!

Thank you so much for the card that you sent us. It's beautiful! Today is our 18th wedding anniversary but we can't do much, same as last year. Dave has been in pain for the last few days. It must be the weather!

Take care.