Eunice Boeve


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Abraham Lincoln meeting Grace Bedell Posted 4/12/17

Dancing in the Rain posted 1-31-17

Hate/Prejudice Posted 1/3/17

The Angel Behind "It's a Wonderful Life" posted 11/30/16

"A Poll" - Which Would You Rather Be? Posted Nov 9, 2016

Fiorello LaGuardia posted Oct 4, 2016

The Hostage's Daughter (The Church of the Locked Door, part II) posted 9-4-16

The Church of the Locked Door posted 8-6-16

Coach Lou Little posted 7-3-16

Temple Grandin: The woman who helped make the world a kinder, gentler place posted 6-6-16

The Better Angels of Our Nature posted 4-28-2016

William Allen White Posted 3/3/16

There Was a Beaver Once posted 2/5/16

Swaddling clothes.... Posted 12/28/15

The Santa Claus of the Plains Posted 12-2-15

Our American Language posted 11-3-15

Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog posted 9-3-15

The Evil That Men Do posted 8/2/15

The Centering Corporation posted 6/2/15

A Holocaust Mother posted 4/30/15 Hilter's "Brave" Nazi soldiers Rounding up Women and Children posted 4/30/15

American Sniper, the movie, and Ben posted 2/28/15

Illustration for the Newspaper in Education Story, In the Shadow of Evil. Artist: Julie Peterson-Shea .... blog posted 2/1/15

Our Mothers, Edith Boeve and Hazel Goyen posted 1-1-15

An Old Christmas Card posted 11/21/2014

A block from Jimmy's Life Quilt posted 9/3/14

Emily Morgan photo courtesy of the Kansas State Historical Society posted 8/9/14

Dr, Edith Eva Eger posted 7/11/14

Daisies are viewed by some as flowers, by others as weeds, depending on where you live. In Kansas, daisies can be tamed, in Montana, they are totally invasive, taking over fields and grazing lands. Posted 5/20/14

The top for this quilt was pieced by my grandmother and great aunts in Wyoming about 1915. My sister, Mabel, quilted it in Montana in 2003 (for me) and I have had it in my home in Kansas ever since. Someday it will go to my daughter, Kelly. Posted 4/22/14

Rosie the Riveter (She epitomized the women entering the work force in WWII) posted 3/17/14

The Fugates of Troublesome Creek posted 1/10/14

Orca Whales -- posted 11/13/13

Carmen Peone, Young Adult Author -- posted 10/5/13

Stealing Watermelons posted 8-15-13

Pet Crows - posted 7/25/13

The Next Big Thing - Books by Lee Rostadt and Janet Squires posted June 20, 2013

Robert Louis Stevenson "Some Fascinating Stories Concerning Life's End" posted 5/4/13

Olliff-Boeve Memorial Chapel posted April 7, 2013

Phillipsburg, Ks Photo by Shelia Roberts. posted Feb 28, 2013

Abraham Lincoln ---- posted 2/13/13

Emanciaption Proclamation posted 1-1-13

Santa in the window posted 12/7/12

Seth in "A Home For Us" artist Julie Peterson-Shea posted Nov. 7, 2012

"Betty Crocker" Ladies posted 10/8/12

My blue-eyed mother, Hazel E. Cline at 16 Posted 9-3-12

An Interview with Andrea Downing posted 7-31-12

In Cold Blood, a Kansas Murder Posted 7/1/12

Two Versions of an old Nursery Rhyme posted 6/4/12

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart -- Posted 5/2/12

Boeve's Super Service Posted 4/3/12

Meg Justus, author of Repeating History Also see quick links on my Home page for Meg's website Posted 3/1/12

Boys of Baby Lager Camp playing chess, Photo by Ralph Morse, Life Magazine, posted 2/3/12

Hypnosis, once thought to be a sham, can be a vaulable tool to improve our lives. Posted Jan 2, 2012

Title: Atheists and Christmas ....... The painting of Jesus by Akiane Kramark age 8 posted Nov 30, 2011

Title: Autograph Books........Ron (my hus) then called Ronnie 8th grade 1945-46 - posted Nov 7, 2011

Title: Hobo Nickels........ carved by "Bo" George Washington Hughes - posted Oct. 2, 2011

The Buffalo Nickel

Title: Chief Standing Bear Posted 9/6/11

Title: Animal Meteorologists ........ Muffin age 6 posted 8/12/11

Title: The Sleep That is not a Sleep... Rip Van Winkle posted 7-4-11

Title: The Surviving/ Grieving Child - posted May 26, 2011

A Native American Tale posted April, 2011

Title: Embalming Bottles House - posted Mar. 29, 2011

Title: Memoirs and the "Now"in our lives - posted 2/21/11

Title: Even a Sparrow - My son, Ronnie, and the sparrow circa 1975 (note the dirt on Ronnie's chin) posted 1/27/11

Title: Women's suffrage Susanna M. Salter, age 27 Courtesy of the Kansas State Historical Society, posted 12/28/10

Title: Home on the Range - Brewster Higley's Cabin courtesy of the Kansas Sampler Foundation posted 10/7/10

Title: My sister's Dog - "Sadie" Posted 7/22/2010

Title: Comanche posted 6/28/10

Title: Moses Stocking - Mari Sandoz, 1896-1966 Library of Congress photo, posted 5/14/10

Title: Providence Spring, posted April 18, 2010

Title: Mary Fields - photo courtesy Wedsworth Library, Cascade, MT posted Mar. 17, 2010

Title: The Orphan Trains Photo courtesy of the National Orphan Train Complex, Concordia, KS - posted Feb. 21, 2010

Title: A Nez Perce Heroine -Lewis and Clark: Posted Jan. 2010

Title: Our Immigrant Ancestors - The SS Zaandam: Posted Dec. 29, 2009

Title: The Lowly Pencil - Some pencil pushers: Bro Larry (circled) & class 1946-47, Libby, Mt : posted Dec 7, 2009

Title: The Old Time Cowboy - Me with my Cowboy Daddy Posted Nov. 14, 2009

Title: Did you know? - A Hubble photo of the stars in the universe posted Oct 14, 2009

Title: The Year Without a Summer - Mary Shelley painting by Rothwell 1800-1868 Posted Sept 30, 2009

Title: Early Day Hunting Stories - posted Aug 28, 2009 - Buffaloed by Fairlee Winfield

Title: The Legend of Bad Medicine ( Mountain in the background) July 29, 2009 post

Title: Ally and the Wolves - My granddaughter, Ally, and me with a wolf pup Ally and the Wolves, July 10 , 2009 post

Title: Old Glory The Number Thirteen - July 2 post

Title: Geo Caching - Daughters Kandy and Kathy and son-in-law, Tom, on a geo cache hunt Posted June 23 post

Title: The Free Enterprise Radon Health Mine - Location Boulder, MT May 29, 2009 post

Title: My Birthplace, Libby, Montana April 28,2009 post

Title: Kathleen Sebelius - Ron and I with Kansas Governor Sebelius, now Health and Human Services Secretary May 12, 2009 post

Title: My friend, Angela - A descendant of slaves who settled Niccodemus, Kansas April 10, 2009 post (photo by Carol Yoho)

Title: A Trip to Kentucky - (Kandy's cat) March 2009 post

Title: Margaret Borland, Texas Rancher - (Borland's Tombstone, Victoria, TX) posted March 2009

Blog Archives are located below row of pictures on the left. Date of each blog is listed below the picture that corresponds with the story.

An Interview With Andrea Downing

July 31, 2012

Tags: Colorado, Loveland, Wild Rose Press, The Cheyenne Club, Maggie Osborne, Sara Tuvel Bernstein

I interviewed my friend, Andrea Downing, for this August blog. She is a fellow writer who lives in New York, but her heart lives far away in the hills and plains and mountains of the west where men and women earn their keep by ranching, farming, and other pursuits common to the American west. For several weeks every summer, she and daughter Cristal, visit some part of the west and there she temporarily quenches her thirst for all things western. But let’s get on with the interview.

1. You set your novel, Loveland, in Colorado. Any reason you chose Colorado and Loveland in particular?

First of all, thank you so much for having me, Eunie. I’m really terribly pleased to be here.
Everyone always wants to know, why Loveland. It does make the perfect title for a western historical romance but that’s not why I chose it! In fact, it wasn’t my original choice for a title at all. I chose Colorado first as a setting because my great loves out west are Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. However, in the 1880s, when the book is set, Colorado was far more developed than the other 2 and, dare I say it, law-abiding. The British who came to settle were mostly in the Powder River area of Wyoming and south to Colorado, around Estes Park so northern CO in that area made sense. It would have good access to Cheyenne, where the famous Cheyenne Club was located and that plays a part in the book, plus Loveland has a fascinating history being purpose-built in a wheatfield as a station on the railroad between Denver and Cheyenne.

2. As I’ve mentioned, you and your daughter take trips "Out West" each year where you soak up the atmosphere and get to ride horses. When did you first set foot in Loveland, Colorado?

I think I drove through Loveland about 22 years ago on the way to Rocky Mt. National Park. But my first real visit was in 2010 while doing research for the book. I’m afraid it was only a spot on a map when I wrote the first draft!

3. As a long-time resident of England and now living in New York, what is it about the west that appeals to you?

Wide open spaces! Big sky! Commanding mountains! I tell people either I was born to the wrong family or I’m a reincarnation of a true blue westerner. Even when I was little I had a total fascination with the west, watched about every western on TV and so on. And the people are wonderful. I think there’s a sense of what is truly significant in life, of living where earth and water and the daily rituals of living are far more important than whether one is wearing the right labels or driving the right car. I also find the sense of history, the sense of something quintessentially American, fascinating—there’s a knowledge that this part of the country was carved out of a wilderness and, right or wrongly, fought for.

4. What kind of research did you do for this story?

As you yourself well know, no historical book can be written without a heckuva lot of research. I did a lot of reading of memoirs of the period, and stories written around that time plus, of course, the aforementioned trip to Loveland. They have a wonderful little museum up there, too, which proved very helpful.

5. Do you have the story line mapped in some sort of outline before you start the actual writing and do you write directly into the computer or write it on paper first?

I’m an absolute pantser--an author who writes by the seat of her pants-- and I’m afraid the only mapping I did was in my head. I knew what the story was, I went over it numerous times in my mind and it was just a matter of getting it down. Some scenes were written out of sequence although I knew where they would go, and others were sort of sketched on paper before they were written, but for this book it was pretty much sit down at the computer and write. I have terrible handwriting so if I scribbled a scene where I couldn’t get to a computer, it was a nightmare deciphering it later. One night I got up from bed seven times to jot down bits of scenes on the computer to make sure I wouldn’t ‘lose’ them.

6.. Did you use someone in your life as a model for your fictional characters, either intentional or unintentional?

Not that I’m aware of. I think Jesse is sort of my ideal man so I created him from scratch. He is very strong—although he does have something of a temper—but he is also very patient with Alex. He chooses his battles with her very, very carefully, and he understands her completely. But, no, I haven’t consciously at least based any of the characters on people I know. And if I did base them on someone subconsciously, I’m still not aware of it!

7. How did you come up with your characters' names?

Alexandra’ is my daughter’s middle name; it has always had the feel, to me, of a strong, focused woman, which is what my character is. It also, of course, has British aristocratic associations. ‘Jesse,’ on the other hand, is soundly American during that period and has strong western associations, as has ‘Cal.’ Again, ‘Oliver’ sounds very British; in fact, I tried to change Oliver but nothing else seemed to suit him. I think everyone else just sort of named themselves!

8. Did you know your characters' backgrounds and motivations before you started the book or did you learn as you went along on their life journeys?

What a great question, Eunie. I absolutely knew who these people were and what motivated them. Like most of the cowpunchers of that period, Jesse would have left a home devastated by the Civil War. His home had been in Texas so it was natural for him to join a trail ride going north to Colorado, even at 14. But at such a young age he was forced to ride drag and try to become one of ‘the men,’ a fact which influenced his basically gentle nature. Luckily for him, he made friends with the more easy-going Cal who came from a similar background, although he was slightly older and from Tennessee. As for Alex, she originally comes to the ranch when she is 8 and, for the purposes of the story, she has to be in awe of the life there. So, despite her pampered background, she has already had upsets in her young life of which she is sorely aware. This combination of loving the ranch and the people there, and the sadness and problems she has faced at home, will motivate her throughout her life. Well, you’ve started me off on something here and I can go on to tell you what happens to them all after the end of the book but I think I better save that for a possible sequel!

9. Describe your main character's ambitions and dreams.

Jesse makes it quite clear that he likes working in the outdoors, yet he’s academically smart. We know that the local school marm told him he could have gone on to the new university down at Boulder but he chose not to, and we know he is saving money from his shares in the ranch. So he’s most likely thinking about getting a small spread of his own—but I don’t want to give anything more away here. As for Alex, she wants and pursues her career as an artist, and with her family connections success is almost guaranteed. But more than that, she has always wanted her freedom from her father, her independence. Maybe she can have it on her own, or maybe Jesse is the man to be in her life but let her have that free rein.

10. I understand you had trouble naming your story and the editor suggested Loveland
Not exactly, the book was originally called ‘Continental Divide’ which I thought was a perfect title with a clear double meaning—the setting is pretty much on the continental divide and, of course, the protagonists are from 2 continents. But the editor felt this was not a good title for a romance and came up with several suggestions, none of which I liked, quite honestly. I had once though of ‘Loveland’ for a title so I went back to the editor with that and she accepted it.

11. Have you written other stories, articles, poems, etc.

Oh, yes, I’ve been writing on and off my entire life. I co-edited an Anglo-American poetry magazine for a while and had a few poems published in small presses, and also had a couple of travel articles published in newspapers. In addition to that I wrote two novels and a film script I never showed to anyone. One novel, at 600 pages, is sitting in my closet somewhere…Too fat to shred!

12. When did you discover you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. I think I wrote my first story in one of those speckled black and white school books when I was about 8. But I’m very shy about letting people see my work so it took me until now to realize I wanted to be a writer more than I cared what people said, that I finally had nothing to lose.

13. What are you working on now?

My WIP is contemporary commercial fiction with strong elements of romance in it. It’s sort of Texas Hill Country meets the Hamptons, but perhaps that makes me sound flippant. It really deals with parent/child relations as well as man/woman relations, and is about the lies we tell ourselves just to get by each day and how we face our inner fears. There’s a mother and a daughter and a (separate) father and a son as the four main protagonists so I fear it may be a hard sell, but we’ll see.

14.. What are some of your favorite books?

You know, being asked my favorite books is really difficult to answer. I just love reading, I love losing myself in other worlds. Of the romance authors I guess I like Maggie Osborne who’s a terrific western historical romance writer. But I do read an awful lot of so-called literary fiction and A Prayer for Owen Meany is one favorite as is Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. As for westerns, it would be unfair of me to mention any one author—I just lap up all of them.

Thanks so much Andrea for consenting to this interview. I think interviews are great for beginning writers for they can take courage from those who have struggled on before them with some measure of success. I also think well established writers will nod their heads as some of our words are sure to resonate with them, and together, novices and veterans and those in between, in this rather isolated world of writing, will feel a bit like we are all comrades in this wonderful world of words.

Thank you for having me here, Eunie
Andrea Downing’s book Loveland is a print and e-book and can be purchased from and the publisher Wild Rose Press. You can visit Andi’s website at where you can find a link to her publisher. See my quick links on the Home and/or Work page for a quick link to Andi's blog. Andrea will be signing her book Loveland at the museum in Loveland, CO Sept 14 and possibly at the Loveland Barnes and Noble store on the 15th. (This signing not yet confirmed at this time.)

I just finished reading the Seamstress A Memoir of Survival by Sara Tuvel Bernstein with Louise Loots Thornton and Marlene Bernstein Samuels. The story of a young woman who survived the horrors of the Holocaust, it is yet another testimony to what the human heart and soul can endure.

The love of books is a love that requires neither justification, apology, nor defense. Langford
Happy reading ! Eunice Boeve

In Cold Blood

July 1, 2012

Tags: Truman Capote, Perry Smith, Richard Hickock, The Clutter Family, Phillipsburg, Kansas

Those who live in cities have no doubt but what criminals stalk their streets, but we who live in small towns across the USA often leave our doors unlocked and give no thought to the occasional stranger we meet on the street in the course of our daily lives. I once lived next door to a handsome young man who I later learned was wanted for rape. Although I encountered him outside one snowy evening and witnessed his absolute rage over the snow plow having buried his vehicle, a rage so frightening that I beat it for the safety of my front door, I’ve remained blasé about locking doors and not trusting strangers. For I know the potential for harm by a stranger is nearly infinitesimal in a town as small as ours, which boasts a population just shy of 3,000.
Perhaps that is what the Clutter family thought in 1959 when Perry Smith and Richard Hickock invaded their home in the tiny community of Holcomb, Kansas and murdered them in cold blood.
In Cold Blood, the name Truman Capote gave to the book he wrote about those murderous two, subsequently caught and executed at the Kansas State Penitentiary in 1965.
Ten years earlier, one of those men, Perry Smith, and another man, also named Smith, came, as Perry Smith said, “to this little Phillipsburg place and stopped to look at a map.” While they were here, they decided to rob the local sale barn before moving on. They were caught and our local law enforcement tossed them into what Perry Smith later described as “a real cute jail.” In the wee hours, they slipped out a small ventilator window and left Phillipsburg via a stolen automobile. The two Smiths separated and Perry Smith made it to New York City before being apprehended and extradited back to Phillipsburg. He was tried, sentenced to five to ten years, and sent to the Kansas State Penitentiary. After a little more than three years, he was released on the condition he not possess firearms of any kind and would “associate with a better class of people.” One month later, he met Richard Hickock and soon after helped murder the Clutter family.
Who knows what evil lurks now and then even in the smallest of our towns where strangers stand out, although rarely mistrusted, and we mostly live out our lives behind unlocked doors? We might recoil in horror if we knew. Still I doubt that few Perry Smiths or the likes of my neighbor rapist, ever pass this way.