Mr. Charles Chick – Postmaster 1913

26 Nov

Being chosen as a finalist in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards was memorable. I purchased one of the winning books for Curt as a Christmas present. “Code Talker” tells the story of a Navajo Indian who helped in WWII with using the Navajo language as a code. I was sorry that the elderly writer was not present for the awards.  I felt honored to be a finalist when I saw the quality of the books that won.

We also added a new Arizona outlet for the book. The Rim Country Museum now sells “Elsie.” I believe we now have 26 locations that stock it.

Participating in the Thanksgiving Book Festival at Singing Winds in Benson, Arizona, a day later was a unique event. Win Bundy has turned her home into as unique a bookshop as I have ever experienced. It is located down a dirt road and a large bell announces you would like to view her books. People drive long distances to attend her book events. It was a lovely day. I was asked to read a portion of “Elsie” and I chose Elsie’s letter written to her sister Alice telling about her Grand Canyon adventure. Hard to imagine that nearly 100 years ago people wrote letters that would take longer than 15 minutes to read out loud. I edited some portions to keep the reading to 15 minutes. Perhaps the most exciting part of that day was meeting one of the gals attending who told me that her grandfather, Mr. Chick, was the Cornville Postmaster in 1913. I was thrilled to tell her that Mr. Chick was included in Elsie’s book. In fact, she scanned a picture to me of that PO from 1913. I will include that here. My thanks to Kathy Klump for the vintage photos – she is the daughter of Barbara Frances Chick Bliss. The photos are of the 1916 rodeo held at Mr. Chick’s place on the 4th of July. She wrote, “I understand he was very patriotic and decorated the post office with bunting and so forth and held a rodeo each year.”

I am so pleased that 80 readers have now added reviews on Amazon. Sincere thanks to those who have added your comments there. That certainly helps sales. Most have been very positive.   I am offering “Elsie” as a free Kindle book Nov. 28 & 29th. It seems that sales always experience a boost after I give away books. So if you know of others that like memoirs please let them know. I much prefer the print copy to the Kindle but free is always nice.

As I am working on “Elsie’s Mountain Years” I am thinking it needs to be written as a book that could be used for teaching students what life was like on an isolated mountain apple ranch nearly 100 years ago. They survived almost entirely on what the mountain provided for them. Her description of the mountain “characters” sound like a novel, but I want it to be a non-fiction memoir.

I am thankful this Thanksgiving season for readers that have become friends. I enjoy hearing from you.


4 Responses to “Mr. Charles Chick – Postmaster 1913”

  1. Rita Covalt November 26, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Barb, it is always a delight to read your posts about Elsie! I am thrilled with you at how God is giving you opportunities to share Elsie’s story and the way it was “back then.” Looking forward to the next book!

  2. Leon Girdner November 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    I remember the Cornville PO. The picture shown is the same building I’m sure. Mrs. Chick was the post mistress. Box 77 was the Girdner address. At one time there was also a small store stocking a few grocery items. That part was discontinued but she did have a gas pump just outside the door. I remember my Dad buying gasoline there.

  3. Jan Tubiolo November 26, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    Barb, I’m so pleased to hear about another piece of Cornville as Elsie lived it. It brings the whole area alive to us. We’re going to Sedona for a week in early December, with side trips to Jerome and Cottonwood; I plan to take “Elsie” with me to see if there are any remnants of the sites along Oak Creek that we can locate and/or identify. Cornville has grown so much with housing developments (until the real estate downturn a few years ago stopped some of the expansion), that it may be difficult to recognize where things were. Will be fun to explore a bit.
    Best, Jan

  4. Candy Adams Terry March 4, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    Barb, I am delighted to find your book, Elsie! It was Kathy Klump who told me about it, and guess what! I remember Mrs. Chick well! She was older when I knew her in the last several years of her work as postmistress, and her face in the picture fits right into my memory of her.

    I grew up in Cornville in the 50s and 60s (only leaving for college in 1967 after graduating from high school), and I do love the memories of those days in that area! I, too, wish to share those memories with readers, as well as a love for saving wonderful memories, in general. Strangely enough (as I think of the 23 years that you mentioned somewhere as being the time that you took to write Elsie), I believe that I first shared a short handwritten version of one of my memories 23 years ago! Hmmmm.

    I wish I could leave a website today, but I will have to do that later when my stories are available for readers. I am looking forward to that day!

    Thank you so much for a wonderful, skillful telling of Elsie’s story! It will do any reader’s heart good! I agree with you that Elsie’s own words were the best way to develop her character. You added just enough explanation to help readers understand certain parts of the overall picture better, and you added just enough outside info (like newspaper clippings) to add variety and to back up certain parts of her story. Your story was a wonderful combination of memoir, history of several kinds, love story, and self-help/motivation.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Elsie, and I will be recommending it to lots of folks, beginning with old friends from Cornville.

    I’d love to stay in touch and learn more about exact locations of various places in Elsie’s day! Would that be possible? (I still live in Arizona, so visiting Cornville is certainly NOT out of the question!) I know where the old one-room schoolhouse (from which an interior partition could be pulled out to divide it into two rooms) sat when I spent the first half of my first grade year in it (before it was abandoned). I don’t know if it was the first schoolhouse in Cornville, though. I know … a whole lot (it seems to me), and I think that my family even became a part of the history of the area, probably because contributions of individuals are more easily noticed in less populated areas. I’d love to see how my memories and those of my brother fit in with earlier history that eventually moved forward to include us.

    Thank you, again, for a wonderful story with a lot of wonderful messages! I’ll hope to be in touch.

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