The Girl from Coke
Essay published in Under the Gum Tree
A faded color photograph is my sole relic from the days I spent in Meridian, Mississippi. Creases span the worn surface, and smudges stain the yellowing border, hinting at its age. The date printed on the top border, May ’67, confirms it.
In the photo, my twenty-two year-old self leans against a red Camaro, smiling. I’m wearing an outfit I made on my Singer sewing machine: a short-sleeved, white blouse and a straight red skirt that hits just above the knee. A red ribbon ties my then-dark hair up and back, and white three-inch heels encase my feet, one foot slightly ahead of the other in a kind of fashion-model pose.
The cherry red of the Camaro almost matches that of my skirt. A sign atop the car shouts, “The Girl from Coca-Cola is Here! Hundreds of chances to win $10-$35!” Looking at the old photo of myself, I see a version of me, a version that can’t know all that experience has taught me these many years since. The 1960s in the Deep South held almost unimaginable turmoil—hate, fear, violence. Yet possibility somehow lay in the mix. The possibility that our country really could do better in fulfilling its founding promise of equal opportunity for all its citizens. But who was I then? And how did that person find her way to being the current me?
To read more, purchase Issue 37: Fall 2020 of Under the Gum Tree
Because We Wanted To!
Finalist: Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award (Women’s Studies)
Finalist: Colorado Authors’ League Award (Creative Nonfiction)
Get a glimpse of the unconventional lives of Clara Reida and Margaret Locarnini, and the rich stew of adventure, courage, and friendship that surrounds them. Writer Carolyn Servid says, “One cannot help but feel the vibrant resonance that emanates from these two visionaries and the singular place called Singing Acres Ranch.”
Cookin’ Wild – Margaret’s Way
Cookin’ Wild takes you on an enjoyable tour of the late Margaret Locarnini’s kitchen at Singing Acres Ranch, high in the Colorado Rockies. And it does more than that. You’ll not only be engaged in her recipes and perspectives on preparing wild game, you’ll also find yourself happily getting to know the feisty, creative personality of Margaret herself. Reading her book about cooking is much like sitting down for a visit over a steaming cup of coffee with the author. A woman of many talents, Margaret hunted, built, taught, painted, created, and more. Producing interesting, delicious meals was one of her favorite things to do. Many people attest to Margaret’s culinary skills, and ranch partner Clara Reida is one. Clara says, “My weight is a testimony to Margaret’s good cooking.”
Still Point of the Turning World: The Life of Gia-fu Feng
Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award in Biography (2010)
Finalist: Indie 2010 New Generation Award
Finalist: Colorado Authors’ League Top Hand Award
Teacher, translator and Tai Ji master, Gia Fu-Feng is remembered for his colorful life in which he learned and taught alongside some of the twentieth century’s greatest writers and thinkers, including Jack Kerouac and Alan Watts. Through his life and work, he sought to bring the ancient wisdom of the Tao into the modern world. His translation of the Tao Te Ching has sold over 1,250,000 copes and is widely considered to be one of the most readable and influential translations of our time. Carol Ann Wilson, sister to Gia-fu’s heir, used Gia-fu’s biographical notes and numerous outside sources to write the extraordinary story of a rogue Taoist sage.
The Florida panhandle, the rural South. 1942. On a day that seemed like any other, a nineteen-year-old girl goes for an ordinary walk only to find herself on an extraordinary hitchhiking trek across the country—a trek that creates a geographic and emotional blueprint for her life.
After almost forty years as an educator—teacher, high school principal, assistant superintendent, university instructor/visiting professor, school-university partnership director, and consultant—Carol Ann Wilson has turned her attention to writing. Her favored genre is creative nonfiction.