S: Dollie's Book
FC: Dollie's Book
1: If you would be wise and rare, Choose your grandmother with care. - Stephen Vincent Binet
2: Those of you in the next generation down from me know well that you did that. But what you may not realize is that Wendy, Stuart and I were equally perspicacious. Allow me to introduce this lady, our grandmother, Doris Marjorie Gage. Her nickname was Dollie. She married our grandfather, Winfield Dudley Wolcott and they had two children: Doris Mayflower Wolcott (my mother) and John Stuart Wolcott. She died when I was only three years old and when she was only fifty-eight. (She had rheumatic fever as a young child, and this had left her with a weak heart.) There are four sections in this album. The first is the book our grandmother made for us... and of course for you. The second is a copy of Dollie's scrapbook. The third is a story my mother wrote about Dollie, one that not only seems to capture the spirit of her mother but also makes me smile in remembrance of my own. The fourth is a story Dollie wrote herself.
3: Part One: Dollie's Book for Wendy, Stuart and Elizabeth
4: I have copied the book exactly as she made it for us, only fixing up the pictures. The words are hers. This is a little confusing, at times. It is important to remember who is speaking (Dollie) and to whom she is speaking (Wendy, Stuart and me). Thus, when she says "your grandfather," she means MY grandfather, not yours. So you should add as many "greats" as is appropriate. Rather confusingly, when she says "Mother," she means her daughter, my mother. This might be a good time to introduce myself, as another object of confusion. She knew me as Elizabeth, as that is the name I was given, but I grew up to be Jadis, which may be the name by which you know me.
5: In the book, I am not going to write about any picture. Some pictures were just put in the book without comment. No picture was titled, so for this album I added only a few names. Other than that, the words are all hers. There are a couple of pictures that need comment, though, so I'll put it here. There is a picture towards the end of a motley group of kids, with no commentary. I recognize my mother in the front row, holding the doll. There is also a picture of Harold Lee Gage. Uncle Harry was Stuart Gage's half-brother. He was the son of Chauncey Hurlbut Gage and his second wife, Isabel Lee Peck. (Stuart was the son of Chauncey's first wife, Mildred Smith.) Harry was a very nice man, by all accounts. Finally, my grandmother had two pictures of Stuart and Wendy in the book. I'm sure she carried me in her heart. Well... reasonably sure.
6: Oh, okay, fine. Craig (my husband) requests orientation. Okay, briefly: Hannah begat Eunice who begat Middie who begat Stuart who begat Dollie who begat Didi who begat Wendy and Stuart and me. (Which leaves us with only one burning question: Do women beget, or do they just get?) Middie married Chauncey, had Stuart, and then died very young. Chauncey then married Isabel and they had Harry (and his brother Lewis, who isn't pictured because he died as a baby). Stuart married Stella. Dollie married Win, and they divorced when their daughter Didi was about eleven. Didi (Doris Mayflower) married Sandy. Wendy married Skip (who was really named Lawson), Stuart married Barby, and Elizabeth changed her name to Jadis and married Pepe and Craig, but not at once. Whew. Are you oriented, or just really confused? By the way, lots of brothers and sisters (like my Uncle John) are not included in this direct lineage.
8: And now that we are oriented (or not), here is Dollie's book...
11: This is the oldest picture of an ancestor we have. Her name was Hannah Lillie, and her daughter Eunice Lillie Smith, married Captain Martin Smith (ship, not Army). Their daughter Mildred (Middy) Smith, married my grandfather Chauncey H. Gage. She was the mother of Stuart, my father. So that makes this lady your great, great, great, great grandmother. This picture is made on tin, called a tin-type. They didn't know how to make the kind we have nowadays. Mother has a prayer book that this Grandmother gave to her granddaughter, Middy Smith.
12: This is the first baby picture of Grandmother Doris Marjorie Gage. I was about five or six months old, I think. I was born on July 17th, 1899, and my Daddy went to Alaska on May 23rd, 1900. I think he took this picture, as taking pictures was difficult in those days, and great Grandmother Stella did not attempt it.
13: This is Great Grandmother and me when I was nine or ten months. These were taken for my father to carry in his wallet, I suspect. I was the fourth baby. Big Nana was about thirty years old.
14: My first real photograph, sent to my grandfather in Michigan. I was a year old or a little more, judging by the hair. Evidently no feeding problem.!
15: Grandmother Dollie Gage at about four, the one with the doll. This was in Seattle, on Queen Ann Hill, and the house in back was our house that my Daddy built when he came home from Alaska. Aunt Alice was born here.
16: My sister Mildred and me. I was about five, I think, and she nine or ten. She was a blonde, and always had everything blue and I had pink. We loved each other. She died when she was twenty.
18: This is a picture of Stuart Maurice Gage (my father, your great-grandfather) when he was a little boy in Saginaw, Michigan. He looks to be about seven or eight years old. His mother died when he was just a baby, and his Grandmother Gage and his Aunts Elizabeth and Jennifer raised him. He was born on the 4th of July, and when he was little they let him think all the Parades were for him.!
19: This is Stuart Maurice Gage, my father and your Great Grandfather, and his daughter Doris taken in early 1909. My mother, big Nana, was in Los Angeles on a visit with little Alice, and this was taken to send to her. I was nine and a half years old, my father forty-three. I loved him very much, as you can see. He died in May of that Spring.
20: Doris Marjorie Gage about seventeen or eighteen years old. The war was going on, and the middy was a present from someone I knew in the Navy.
21: Big Nana (Great Grandmother Stella Gage) | Uncle Harold Lee Gage
22: Winfield Dudley Wolcott and Doris Marjorie Gage Wolcott
23: Grandmother Doris Gage Wolcott and Grandfather Winfield Wolcott, taken in Yellowstone Park just before they were married in 1920. I had been in Southern California, and had come up on a visit to Montana. Five of us took a camping trip thru the park. This was our daily bath.!
24: Doris Mayflower Wolcott in the front row, holding the doll.
25: Grandmother and Grandfather ten years and two babies later. In San Pedro, up on the hill. Doris nine and John four or five, just entering kindergarten. Doris finished the fourth grade here. Picture taken by Doris with her new camera, May 1930.
28: Wendy and Stuart Ullman
29: Part Two: Dollie's Scrapbook
30: It is hard to remember that only a few years ago, the only way to access information, great quotes or great literature was to find it in print. Usually, this meant going to the library, but my mother and her mother also collected many books of their own. Still, the number of books anyone could own was limited and it was impossible to do what we can do today - to search on the internet and instantly find an almost infinite number of references, thoughts, ideas or quotations. People would also read magazines, but unless they hoarded them all in their homes the magazines would not be available for very long after they were read. So many ladies kept scrapbooks containing those great quotes, or great articles, or recipes, or thoughts, that they wanted to remember and that were important to them. This is an exact copy of one of Dollie's scrapbooks. I think it reflects who she was and what she valued better than almost anything else would be able to.
31: The clippings are not in any particular order. She would find something she liked, cut it out, and stick it in at the end of her scrapbook. Apparently, one of her favorite quotes (and therefore one of my mother's) was from one of the last poems: "He finished the job, and disappointed the whole mob." I never knew my grandmother, but I knew the daughter she raised. I heard stories about Dollie, about how she loved life and had fun, about how she was sensible and capable, warm and loving. She gave her kids "airbaths" every day, during which time they ran around naked, because she felt that was healthy. She fed strangers and soldiers, even when she didn't have much to feed them. She was a single parent sacrificing to send my mother to college before women routinely did either of those things. She was adventurous, facing life with joy and a sense of fun. She died in Mexico after having spent the day at the bullfights. (I'm not actually sure that last is true, but if it isn't it ought to be.)
32: I love you for what you are, but I love you yet more for what you are going to be. I love you not so much for your realities as for your ideals. I pray for your desires, that they may be great rather than for your satisfactions, which may be so hazardously little. A satisfied flower is one whose petals are about to fall. The most beautiful rose is one hardly more than a bud, wherein the pangs and ecstacies of desire are working for a larger and finer growth. Not always shall you be what you are now. You are going forward toward something great. I am on the way with you, and therefore I love you. -Sandburg
33: Though I am hurt, I am not slain. I'll lay me down and bleed awhile, And then I'll rise and fight again. | Something more than the lilt of the strain, Something more than the touch of the lute; For the voice of the minstrel is vain If the heart of the minstrel is mute. -Lucius Foote
34: Promise Yourself To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel there is something in them. To look on the sunny side of everything and make optimism come true. To think only of the best, work only for the best, and to expect only the best. (To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.) To forget the mistakes of the past and
35: press on to greater achievements in the future. To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and to have a smile ready for every living creature you meet. To give so much time for the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others. To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear – and too happy to permit the presence of trouble. To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world – not in loud words but in great deeds. To live in the faith that the world is on your side – so long as you are true to the best that is in you.
36: Young love is passion, Old love is peace; Such is love’s fashion Never to cease, Young love’s a carol; Old love’s a psalm; Child love is wild love; Old love is calm. Young love is rapture; Old love is rest; She wings for capture; Deep heart for nest; Dawn love is silver, Wait for the west; Old love is gold love Old love is best. -Robert Lawson
37: Does anyone ever do anything except from selfish motives? You always try to do the thing that brings yourself the greatest satisfaction. But whether your selfishness is good or bad depends on what kind of a self you possess. If you have a small, narrow, mean self, you will struggle for money in order to lord it over others, air your importance, pile it away like a miser or spend it in wasteful ways. But if you have a large, big-hearted, broad-minded self, then you will struggle for money because you get happiness by using it to bring opportunity and wealth of life to others. All depends on the size of your own self.
38: Eyes Three walked the lane at morning, going to catch the early train: One found the muddy ruts annoying, One watched for signs of rain, One saw briar-roses, buds and clover When Winter wasn't even over. - Virginia Brasier | When we on simple rations sup How easy is the washing up. But heavy feeding complicates The task by soiling many plates. -Christopher Morley
39: And in the world, as in the school, You know how fate may turn and shift; The prize be sometimes in the fool, The race not always to the swift. Who misses or who gains the prize Go, lose or conquer as you can, But if you fall or if you rise Be each, pray God, a gentle man.
40: Mirrors: A Parable for Lovers I do not like my cheval glass, It always says to me, “Alas, My dear, you’re plainer than of late. And don’t you think you’re gaining weight?” It swings in daylight strong and bright And every smallest thread’s in sight, “Pull down your hat – it should be wide – Your slip shows badly at the side, And also there is powder shows Upon your nose.” I know that all it says is true, And do the things it says to do. But I am saddened as I pass; And how I hate that cheval glass.
41: I like my dressing-table glass; It says, “How gracefully you pass!” It has pink curtains on a hook And smiles: “My dear, how well you look! That hat is just the thing for you, You chose the very shade of blue – That frock you thought a little wild – It makes you seem a perfect child! Remember, when you go away, You’re sweet today.” I know it generally lies, But I smile back with brightened eyes And simply spread joy where I pass! I love my dressing-table glass.! -Margaret Widdemer
42: Go to the Grasshopper By James Abell Wright Everybody picks on the grasshopper, The grasshopper's laud is scant; Everybody flatters, Everybody chatters Of the ant. Oh, the ant's as busy as a bee is; Oh, the ant is a cute little scamp; But the grasshopper's shiftless, he is; Aye, the grasshopper's just a tramp. Now the ant wears a wise little noddle; He is complex, hence romantic; He's a very model model In his every eager ant-ic.
43: But the grasshopper, he makes music, And the grasshopper he has fun, And he snaps his heels, And he fiddles and squeals, And he'll snooze, should he choose, in the sun. Yes, he'll shiver when the chill winds gather; He'll starve when the world wears rime. His fiddle won't chirk. And his hopper won't work, And he'll die in a very short time. But oh, what a lovely May day, And oh, what a precious June, And July was a lazy play day, And August a long sweet tune. A fig for a bleak November! Let Boreas rave and rant; He's had his fun, remember.… Did the ant?
44: Just for Today By Dr. Frank Crane Here are ten resolutions to make when you awake in the morning. They are Just for One Day. Think of them not as a life task but as a day's work. There are two kinds of pleasure -– one from yielding or receiving, the other from effort or overcoming. Only the latter kind need reinforcement by the will. These things will give you pleasure. Yet they require will power. You don’t need resolutions to do what is easy.
45: 1. Just for Today, I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life-problem at once. I can do some things for twelve hours that would appall me if I felt I had to keep them up for a life-time. 2. Just for Today, I will be Happy. This assumes that what Abraham Lincoln said is true, that “most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Happiness is from Within; it is not a matter of Externals. 3. Just for Today, I will Adjust myself to what Is, and not try to Adjust everything to my own desires. I will take my family, my business, and my luck as they come, and fit myself to them.
46: 4. Just for Today, I will take care of my Body. I will exercise it, care for it, and nourish it, and not abuse it or neglect it; so that it will be a perfect machine for my will. 5.Just for Today, I will try to strengthen my mind. I sill study. I will learn something useful, I will not be a mental loafer all day. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. 6.Just for Today, I will exercise my Soul. In three ways to-wit: a. I will do somebody a good turn and not get found out. If anybody knows of it, it will not count. b. I will do at least two things I don’t want to do, as William James suggests, just for exercise. c. I will not show anyone that my feelings are hurt. They may be hurt, but today I will not show it.
47: 7. Just for Today, I will be agreeable. I will look as well as I can, dress as becomingly as possible, talk low, act courteously, be liberal with flattery, criticize not one bit nor find fault with anything, and not try to regulate nor improve anybody. 8. Just for Today, I will have a Program. I will write down just what I expect to do every hour. I may not follow it exactly, but I’ll have it. It will save me from the two pests, Hurry and Indecision. 9. Just for Today, I will have a quiet half hour, all by myself, and relax. During this half hour, some time, I will think of God, so as to get a little more perspective to my life. 10. Just for Today, I will be Unafraid. Especially I will not be afraid to be Happy, to enjoy what is Beautiful, to love and to believe that those I love love me.
48: Do you fear the force of the wind, The slash of the rain? Go face them and fight them, Be savage again. Go hungry and cold like the wolf, Go wade like the crane: The palms of your hands will thicken, The skin of your cheek will tan, You’ll grow ragged and weary and swarthy, But you’ll walk like a man! -Hamlin Garli
49: Pessimistic Poems of a Pushcart Peddler by Martin Panzer A big crowd was watching a window cleaner. I never seen a meaner Bunch of faces - But his braces Didn't break and he finished the job And disappointed the whole mob. | Still, as of old, Man by himself is priced, For thirty pieces Judas sold Himself – not Christ. -Hester Cholmundeley
50: Winds By Ladd Frisby Morse A wind like a little girl runs Along the street And whisks round the corner on Swift, slim feet. A wind like a schoolboy, hearty And strong, Whistles and shouts as it rushes Along. A wind like a kitten frisks here And there. Catching at things in the sunlit Air.
51: Stirring the tree-tops, brushing The sky, A wind like a bird’s wing flutters By. Kissing the clover, teasing the Wheat, Is a wind like an elf-child, shy and Sweet. But the wind that gladdens the Heart of me Strides like a giant across the sea.
52: And when at last the Great Scorer comes to write against your name, He writes, not if you won or lost, but how you played the game.
53: Part Three: The Nightgown With Stars (By Doris Mayflower Wolcott Ullman)
54: The Nightgown With Stars It’s odd that the memory which comes first into my mind at the thought of my mother is this one, which happened long ago and lasted for only a fragile few minutes: I was twelve, and John, my brother, only seven. It was summertime, and California woke each morning in a warm hazy glow. That morning John came to wake me by pushing his still baby-like fists into my face, and led me on tiptoe to the door of the kitchen. He reached up to put his fingers over my mouth, and we leaned around the door to see my mother. There, in the center of that sunny green and white room, with the porridge pot shining like a tambourine in her hand, with the orange juice half squeezed and the oranges spilling gold all over the white sink, with the morning breeze blowing the green-striped curtains gleefully, was my mother.
55: She was singing to herself – an old Irish song – and dancing around and around in an ecstasy of pure delight, in her new nightgown! It was a sheer red material, with tiny white stars thrown luxuriously helter-skelter over the voluminous skirt, and as she whirled around she seemed to rise, gay and familiar and golden-brown, from the center of a red cloud of stars. In that moment, I suppose, I discovered the secret of my mother’s charm: her joy in the morning sunshine, in the song, in the very fact of being alive, her smile, her almost tearful eye, her singing heart. So often, now, when I feel the joy of living rise in my own throat, in my mind flashes the picture of that summer morning with my mother’s bare feet dancing on sunbeams, with the bright green curtains swaying as the breeze danced sympathetically through the open windows, with the metal faucets and the stove shining as footlights – and, oh!, the swirl of that starry red nightgown!
56: Part Four: Ballard Beach It seems fitting to end Dollie's book with something that she wrote herself. This is a memory from her own childhood. She wrote it in 1950.
57: Doris Marjorie Gage Ballard Beach, Washington 1903
58: FUNCTIONAL MODERN, 1906 By Doris Gage Wolcott I was born fifty years ago, in the teeming, sprawling gold-rush town of Seattle, Washington. My Dad was an Easterner, with a long cultural tradition behind him. He came West in the gay nineties, to find and marry my mother, a Western girl from a pioneering family. For my brothers and sisters and me, life began in this fascinating new world, where cut-glass chandelliers and gaudy totem poles, Victorian architecture and log cabins, Chinese and Indians, -- in fact, people of all races and cultures -- existed comfortably side by side, in amazing contrast and mutual and happy tolerance. My father designed and built racing yachts. Yachting was the high sport of the day, as was natural in this beautiful seaport town, ringed with islands and inland waterways. One spring, when I was about five or six years old, he was building a
59: small boatshop at Ballard Beach, one of the long, tide-swept bay beaches leading into Seattle. This area was almost totally undeveloped at that time, with pine trees, fern, and wild blackberry bushes sloping gently down to meet the shore. On Sunday visits, he brought us all to picnic here and we all learned to love the place. More and more we turned with reluctance toward home when evening came. There was one special level spot, just on the edge of the pines, where we used to spread our picnic lunch. Finally, one memorable Sunday, my Dad handed my Mother a quick sketch he had been making on a piece of wrapping paper while she cleared up. We heard him say “What do you think of this, Teddy? We all .love this place. Why must we always go back? Let's build a house for the summer right here on this spot?” Our hearts rose in high hopes. We turned to my Mother. "Well, Stuart, of course, if you can find time to build it..."
60: And that was the beginning of this tale. Build it he did! In two weeks time, with eighty dollars worth of lumber and two large tents, the quick pencil sketch he had made that day turned from dream to reality. The house, even in its new-pine state, looked as if it had grown there. Long and low, with sliding stock windows across the entire front, flanked by the two partly sided white tent extensions on either end, it settled against the green pine backdrop with dignity and ease. A plain wooden porch ran all across the front, with steps going down toward the beach and the infinity of freedom. Simplicity was the keynote throughout. The tent extensions were our bedrooms, of course. In one extension, two double beds were set on low wooden frames, one for my two brothers and the other for my sister and me.. In the other, another double bed and a small one for my baby sister completed our comfortable sleeping arrangements.
61: Our big main room, with its beautiful view of the blue Pacific, held a long pine table and matching benches, some low couches that doubled as beds for weekend guests, and shelves and cupboards built after the neat fashion of a ship’s cabin. All met the eye pleasantly. My mother used simple rag rugs and bright colored cushions to give it warmth and a feeling of home when night fell. A wide double doorway to the rear opened onto a roofed extension of the main floor, and here our simple cooking was done. There was an old fashioned wood range with a big roomy oven. It was removed from its iron legs and set on a brick standard, with a kitchen table beside it, equipped with bins and drawers. Here my mother cooked gaily, with three sides of her kitchen open to the breeze. A desert cooler, hung in a nearby pine tree, took care of food storage.
62: Plumbing was simple, but efficient. A long bench on the porch held two wash basins, a bucket of water and a big dipper. Toothbrushes and towels hung in orderly rows on the wall above. For the rest, a little path led to a small building back in the pines with the conventional half-moon cut in the narrow door. A big galvanized tub was brought out nightly before the warm stove, and filled with water heated in a large square oil can. This was for the nightly washing-up of the small fry. We watched the beautiful red sunset every evening through our window wall, while my Dad read our bedtime story. Then to bed, clean, well-fed, and content, to sleep the healthy, dreamless sleep of children. Here, then, were the simple ingredients of children's Heaven, for one blessed summer. Khaki jeans, bare feet, big dishes of oatmeal to start off the day. Frequent visits to our Dad's boat shop, with it's lovely smell and long curling pine
63: shavings for playthings. Hours on the sandy, agate-filled beach. Deliciously scary bailing out in a leaky rowboat, with home close and low just above us, the big windows looking benevolently down on all. We ate stuffed Alaskan salmon, as only my Mother could cook it, and wonderful bowls of steaming clam chowder made from clams we ourselves had dug. There were pans of hot corn bread, warm, buttered gingerbread, and the never-to-be-forgotten tang of wild blackberry pie. Whispered secrets and muffled giggles in the pine and salt-air fragrant tent bedroom, its sides rolled up so we could see the stars.....the eery sound of a distant bell-buoy drifting in over the salt water.....then, suddenly, it was bright day again, and the beginning of another wonderful adventure! Is it any wonder, now that we are grown up, that when one of us speaks of ‘the house’ the others know with a deep mutual understanding that we mean ‘the house at Ballard Beach.’
64: All perfect things must end, we learned. Eventually the boat my father was building was finished, winter came, and school time was upon all well-brought-up children. We moved back to Phinney Ridge, and civilization--into the customary and somewhat ornate dwelling of the time. Proper front halls, flowered Oriental rugs, a piano, a substantial golden-oak dining room, and certainly linens on the table at every meal. There was even a Chinese cook in the kitchen. We slept properly in neat upstairs bedrooms on birdseye maple bedsteads. We went off daily to school, and walked sedately on Sunday morning to Sunday school, all in our Sunday best. And the white child's fate was upon us: once again we wore shoes.!
65: But the dream stayed with us. The lovely memory. And so, today, when I see the ‘brand new’ modern trend in architecture, with big windows opening directly onto wide terraces, with outdoor barbecues for the family, even with blue backyard swimming pools for the children here in Southern California where I live now, my heart grows warm with joy for the children. And my memory goes back in glad salute to a wonderful Dad, whose clear eye and feeling for the possibilities of simple things created a joyous summer for five growing children in that long ago time of 1906.