A prairie populist: the memoirs of Luna Kellie , Edition: by Luna Kellie

By Luna Kellie

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So she promised again and again to bring the pieces to church when I could get them but years ran on and she did not do so and at last I went to her house for them. There was the baby quilt soiled and pretty well worn, 2 or three chair cushions also worn. The babies had on little sacques and skirts made from the larger pieces, and in short all she seemed to find was a small handful of pieces for me. This was another shock to me. I had not realized as I do now that a lying mother will most surely raise liars and thieves.

H. Wright and a number of the young folks were going away I forget where to celebrate and wanted him to go but that would mean new clothes etc. So finally I agreed to go but I sure did dread it. Pa was on some of the committees and was busy getting things ready. [He] hauled up green willows from sand creek or the Blue for a bower [and] meantime he had gone to town and got a list of things I just had to have to make a good picnic dinner. He must have got the boys a work shirt or so and probably one at least a new pair of overalls but they went barefooted.

Indeed, A Prairie Populist is most convincing as a record of a woman's complex feelings and perceptions during a key period in her and her community's past. As present-day feminist rural historians like Deborah Fink, John Mack Faragher, Lillian Schlissel, Glenda Riley, Judy Lensink, Ann Oakley, and Joan Jensen have variously argued, personal histories like this one must be understood in a dual perspective. If their full cultural significance is to be recognized, readers must carefully trace the specific emotional, social, and material circumstances of a particular life-story.

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