Course: Writing Biographies and Histories: Recording Stories of People and Places (2019)
Faculty: Robert Stockman, Thelma Batchelor, Roger Dahl, Richard Hollinger, Jenny Lockwood
Editor’s Note: Povy Bigbee is one of a growing number of students who have taken the Wilmette Institute’s course on Writing Biographies and Histories and have later succeeded in publishing their work. In October, Povy wrote to give us an update on her progress with her family memoir, “Aristotle in the Branding Corral.”
I write to thank Robert Stockman and those who put together the course Writing Biographies and Histories: Recording Stories of People and Places, which I took last summer. My book is coming together nicely. I am drawing on many histories and family stories of how our family managed to travel from the East Coast to New Mexico, from the 1700s through the 1980s. I have drawn together many strands of thought and ideas, and I have learned a great deal of history, especially regarding homesteading and ranching.
In my book, the Spanish Basque family of our ranch foreman is traced back to the 1600s. That family and their three children grew up with our family, including our three children, on the ranch, traveling to the same school, trading horses, and working cattle.
I do have an editor, a lovely Bahá’í from Las Cruces, and an archivist, who just happens to be our foreman’s granddaughter. The work is difficult, in part because, at 87, I am no longer as strong as I once was. I have every hope of finishing late this year or early in 2021, and likely will need advice on printing and publishing.
Our family includes an uncle who declared in 1910, my grandmother who declared in 1914, and an unbroken line of Bahá’ís ever since. Thanks for the early ideas and guidance!
Povy La Farge Bigbee