I am NOT a writer

Good morning,

Funny title for a person who calls herself a writer.   But, for lack of a better term, I call myself that.  And an artist too.

In fact, I DON'T like to write.   I love to read, but I hate to write.   Hate is a very strong word and I use it sparingly.  Yet, everything I read seems to cause me to create thoughts that like babies ache to be born.  And just like giving birth, cause me pain.

I now have a person who is willing to help me get my art and writing known.   He's a web geek, I'm not.   I'm what they call a Leadite.  I'll turn 70 this December.   I took typing in high school so I can type with all my fingers.  But that doesn't help me to feel comfortable walking The Web.  I feel like a person who just can't learn how to drive a car no matter how hard that person tries.

I LOVE ORDER.  Posting my thoughts for all to read in less then perfect form is not my style.   Yet, I must accept I've got to do this.   Get myself known.   Get others of like mind to help.   What I've come know these past 70 years has generated some very different musings.

One thing Thomas wants me to do is post searchable writings.  I know you are out there.   People willing to walk this with me.  So let's take a quick flight over my life.

Born in Detroit the middle of WWII.  My Pop, a chemist for US Rubber.  My Mom grew up on a chicken farm south of Holland, Michigan.

After the War we moved back to Holland.  I'm an only child.  So is my Mom.  My Pop had 3 brothers.  But I had only cousins.   None in the area.  It was just my Mom, Pop and Grandma.  Very small family.

I spent a lot of time climbing trees, playing with cats, dogs, fish, chickens, rabbits, turtles, snakes.  If nit moved, I loved it.  Except for one.  Which I'll tell you about later.

Was hopscotch champion for the city when I was 11.  Learned to fly at 16.  A T-Craft.  I got my private license 2 years later.   Read the National Geographic all the time.   I wanted to play with all those kids from all over the world.  Met my future husband at Park Township Airport.  He looked like a Japanese exchange student I knew but turned out to be a Tlingit Indian from Yakutat, Alaska instead.

May of 63 we eloped to Alaska to live.   Fished commercially for salmon.  Ran KLAM radio for Cordova, Alaska on Prince William Sound where The Exxon Valdez would hit Bligh Reef only hours after the birth of my granddaughter.  How strange that was.  Her mother was born in Cordova 25 years before The Spill.

My husband (Jim Thomas) got involved with the Land Claims which helped him to get know.  He was asked by the chairman of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) to be the Public Relations director in Washington D.C. We moved with 8 suitcases and two young children in tow.   A year later we formed Jim Thomas Associates to do PR work for different Native Nations.   The Yakima Nation was our main client.   We were asked to work for the Return of Mt. Adams that was erroneously taken from them in 1855.   Only an executive order by a president could return it.  With the help of Jack Anderson, Marlon Brando, and so many others nI can't remember now 40 years later.  I had the joy 2 years ago of walking into the American Indian Museum in D.C. and seeing the Yakama Exhibit.  The centerpiece was a photo of Bob Jim (the Yakima Nation chairman we worked with) sitting with President Richard Nixon signing Mt. Adams back to them.   You can't begin to know what that was like for me!   All that work we did that finally righted this terrible wrong.

In 1972 we attended the Godfather Premiere for Marlon Brando in his protest against how poorly Hollywood had represented Indians.  Something that hasn't stopped.  To have a Johnny Depp, a white person play Tonto for me in 2013 is absurd.  I know he liked Marlon Brando.   I wonder how Marlon would feel about him replacing Jay Silverheels a REAL INDIAN who played Tonto in the TV series I watched faithfully for that very reason.

In 75 we moved back to the West Coast.   Lots more to this short flight.  I'm trying to make this as quick as possible.  One little aside here before I close.   We were an interracial couple way before it was acceptable.    Yet, we never experienced racism.  Especially in Alaska.   The Tlingits all treated me with deep respect and kindness in spite of me being White.  The first place I experienced racism was here in Holland where I grew up and where my Asian looking husband had attended high school and Hope College.  I personally didn't, but my children did.   Which for a mother is far more painful.

So my goal in the writing and art I do is to educate.  You see, I realize there is only ONE HUMAN RACE made up of many hues.


I welcome comments.   All for now.

Annie Olson, August 16,2013









Posted by Annie Olson on August 16, 2013.