The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 3:08 pm Tuesday, November 28, 2023

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By Linda H. Barnette

Daughters of the American Revolution, better known as DAR, is an organization for women who can trace their lineage to a person who fought in the American Revolution, a Patriot. The group is a non-profit organization that promotes education and patriotism. The DAR currently has close to 200,000 members in the United States and other countries.

As early as the presidency of George Washington, Americans sought ways to honor their history. One of the things that came about was the formation of the Sons of the American Revolution-SAR– in 1890. Because this group would not allow ladies to join, a group of women that included the grandniece of George Washington, organized their own women’s group, meeting for the first time on August 9, 1890.

The DAR has been an active organization since that time. Today there are about 3,000 chapters in the United States alone. Any woman 18 or older regardless of race or ethnic background who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. Each chapter has a Registrar, who is available to assist prospective members with their genealogy information.

The DAR has historically helped to fund and promote patriotic and educational events and organizations. They contribute a large amount of money annually to support schools for students with a variety of special needs.  One such school is the Crossnore School in Crossnore, North Carolina.

The chapter that I am a member of, the Elizabeth Maxwell Steele chapter in Rowan County, does several things to support the veterans who are patients at the VA Hospital there. They also sponsor an annual history essay contest for students in grades 5-8 and also has special activities every year during Constitution Week in September. In addition, members lay wreaths on the graves of soldiers buried in the National Cemetery in Salisbury.

There are a lot of famous women members.  I noticed that Rosalynn Carter was a member as were Laura Bush, Senator Tammy Duckworth, and former Senator Elizabeth Dole who is originally from Salisbury.

Sources: various articles read and personal information.

End of Times

By:  E. Bishop

We are told by the powers that be that the United States is one of the most powerful nations in the world if not the most powerful.  Do you dare to think that this is indeed true?  So, is it possible?  Could our nation be struck down to barely surviving, living in a new dark age after a horrifying apocalyptic event?

A former coworker recommended I read “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen (2009) which is a fictional story of such an event set in a small mountain town in North Carolina.  It is so scarily believable that I want to go stock up on food, water, medicine and anything else I can get my hands on to survive, just in case.  Praise for the book included a statement by William B. Scott, former editor and bureau chief of “Aviation Week & Space Technology” – “A blood-chilling wake-up call that chaos and death are but a power plug away…”.

The weapon of destruction is an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which would render our nation inoperable as we know it.  A solar storm set off above the atmosphere would destroy all the electrical infrastructure, communication would be shut down, no more internet/cell phones, generators disconnected, and massive chaos would occur immediately afterward.  Breakdown of our society  as it now is would follow.  At this point, it would not matter who was to blame for the catastrophe be it another nation or a cosmic event.  In the beginning, almost everyone will be only for themselves and their loved ones. People in the cities would be trying to migrate to the countryside thinking it would be safer and have more food available; martial law would be put in place since there would be massive looting, etc. But, only the strongest, most intelligent and bravest will survive to help defend the nation and make a new beginning.

While reading this book, it made me think of what horrible conditions would exist for my own family and loved ones if this were to really happen here and how we would cope. I thought of the Horne Creek Historical Farm visit and how people in the 1900’s had to live to survive on their own little parcel of land. There are lessons to be learned there. We would have to revert back to farming and hunting off the land.  And, on a more serious note, it also made me fully realize that in other parts of the world today, there are such horrific destructive activities happening to so many people.  It is the “end of times” for some of those people stuck in war zones.

This is a great nation that we call home; let’s don’t take it for granted and hope the dire warning of what could be in our future, according to this book, is never considered a possibility.

Inspired to Tears

By Stephanie Williams Dean

“The anguish of my loneliness was more potent than the agony of burning.”

These feelings were expressed by burn victim Allison Massari after spending 400 days in hospitals, surgical suites, doctor’s offices, and physical therapy following a car accident. Her story was one of healing – and gratitude.

Surrounded by 20-foot flames, Allison was burning to death in her car. But while slipping out of consciousness, a man’s eyes appeared at her car window. He busted out the glass and pulled Allison from the flames. Her clothes had to be cut off her body – those which hadn’t already burned off.

With 2nd and 3rd degree burns over her body, many surgical skin grafts followed. Her entire scalp had come off her head and had to be stapled back to her skull. Can we even imagine living through something like this? Yet, sometimes we wonder how we’re going to get through the next 24 hours.

But Allison’s thoughts were closer to, “How am I going to get through the next second?” She felt so deeply betrayed by life. It took her years to get through the depression, pain, and anxiety. But one day, in her mind, Allison heard the words from her deceased father saying, “The power of the mind, Allison.”

Artist and celebrated speaker, Allison shared this story at the 34th annual High Point University Thanksgiving luncheon hosted by the Rotary Club. As part of her story, Allison shared with guests her greatest secret: The pursuit of happiness is greatly misunderstood – pain will always be part of our lives. But happiness is possible in the midst of suffering – happiness and pain stand side by side, and one doesn’t exist without the other. None of us want to face pain, but there will be moments when we’re forced to feel it. Allison’s pain was inescapable. Sometimes in life, there comes no break. What you have to do is dig deep when tragedy occurs.

Most think of happiness as bodily fulfillment, but these are all fleeting moments. They are all dependent on something external. Something deeper is available to us – but how do we get there? Do you often find yourself saying, “One day I will be happy?” I know I do.

But in each situation, we have every chance to pour kindness into something. Every act of kindness makes a difference and counts. We can master the art of bringing kindness to someone if just to hold a hand, offer a simple expression of love, or smile at someone – it’s not always about the right words. “You never know the impact you might have on someone’s life. We cannot underestimate what kindness does for those around us.”

The guy who saved Allison? He now sits humbly in a chair beside her. Every time she thanks him for saving her life, he answers, “No, it was you who saved me.” His wife had died, and he’d lost all hope. He was not a nice person and had wronged many people. He’d lost his will to live. And what a complete coincidence that he was even there that day – he was supposed to be somewhere else. But at the very moment that Allison was burning to death, he pulled up to her car as it burst into flames. Allison was an artist and had just picked up gallons of turpentine before the accident occurred.

Allison’s final message to us was to stay “defiant.” Think about this word not like a rebellious teen but more like no matter what happens to you – choose peace and keep your heart open in the world we live in. Stay defiant. Even in the most tragic of circumstances, good can be found. A fine line divides a life of bitterness and sweetness. Don’t forget to nourish beauty and goodness. Through all that is despairing and painful – you can choose love and kindness. Seek to find the good – it’s always there. The power of your Spirit is incredible. “May you shine like the sun.”

In the end, Allison created an adventure camp for burned kids. Yes, pain and joy can exist side by side.