My writing life is inspired by the woman who most influenced me, my maternal great-grandmother, Violet “Marie” Schmidt, neé Gosney (1904-1987).
I am currently working on the research and writing for a critical biography of Marie. As I understand, she was born in Oklahoma Territory into the Gosney family. Following her family’s relocation, she was raised in Bend, Oregon with three brothers and no sisters. She had the married name of Conner for many years, beginning in the late 1920s. In about the early 1960s, as a widow, she then married Arthur Schmidt.
Marie was a contributing and upstanding citizen in any community she lived. Her adult life was well established in Lebanon, Oregon, and later in Salem, Oregon. One of the businesses she owned and operated was in the Four Corners subdivision of Salem, Polly’s Barn Antiques. Her shop was named for a pen name, “Polly Potter”, used years earlier, when writing a weekly column with the Lebanon Express.
He Is, He Is
Written in memory of my late father:
He Is, He Is
By Elle Mott
A man I never knew, void from my memory flashes,
When a woman called me to ask,
“Do you want me to send you his ashes?”
He was cast out of my life,
Because I was taken by my mother, his wife,
She, who called me, tells me we lived mountains aside,
And that he loved me dearly with no want to hide,
I wish I could have known him, if only he had known me,
Because with his passing life, all that is left is his ashes to be forever free,
My address, I tell her,
When a week later I get his personal effects, which sets my heart astir,
I gaze upon his trinkets, tie-tacks, and medallions,
Because I feel him when I touch the symbolic blue stones, golden amulets, and Texan stallions,
To steal away his bronze coin for me to find, in my pocket daily,
I wondered if he’d mind, for me to feel his love bravely,
He allows me, I believe, into his inner self as an open clue,
Because only now is his wisdom deep in me
as I come to love the man I never knew,
Now that his life is over, the stars will be grateful to have his ashy dust,
Because only then can a shooting star release another soul,
as my father’s soul is forever put to rest,
He is, he is.
Robert Frank Wells
My completed works are dedicated to my late father, Robert Frank Wells (1943-2015).
I came to know and love my father only after his death. Yet, there is more for me to know. As I understand, his legal home address from childhood up until well into his adulthood was listed as 402 Brown Street, Little Rock, Arkansas.
In 1966 he joined the U.S. Military and served in the Navy at San Francisco, California. During two shore leaves from the Navy, Bobby met and then married my mother, Kathi (nee Peckham). Shortly thereafter, I was born. He retired from the Navy in 1969. In his later life, he lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, unmarried and without any other children.