A Woman of the Century, Frances Minerva Nunnery (1898-1997): by Cecil Dawkins, Max Evans

By Cecil Dawkins, Max Evans

Anyone who nonetheless believes ladies are frail, powerless, and incapable of facing equipment may still learn the tale of Frances Nunnery, a decided, inventive entrepreneur whose profession and character defy each stereotype approximately ladies. We first meet her as a self-sufficient little woman engaged on a Virginia tobacco farm, a teenager who, whilst she bought a "lickin," by no means cried yet "stood there as an issue of delight" and took her drugs. At 13 she went to paintings on the Heinz plant in Pittsburgh, and at twenty-one she used to be shipped off to Colorado to be married to a guy she did not be aware of. In 1921 she escaped to New Mexico in a version T Ford, settling in Albuquerque, the place she labored as a chauffeur, bus motive force, boarding residence keeper, and evening membership singer, between different occupations. She by no means stopped operating, residing everywhere New Mexico, ranching, operating as a deputy sheriff, and promoting actual property.

Cecil Dawkins has made Frances Nunnery's taped reminiscences right into a vigorous tale that sounds as if Nunnery have been telling stories to an previous good friend at her kitchen desk. there's something usually western in Frances's ingenuity and resolution, yet you do not need to have an interest within the West to take pleasure in her memoir.

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Additional info for A Woman of the Century, Frances Minerva Nunnery (1898-1997): Her Story in Her Own Memorable Voice as Told to Cecil Dawkins

Sample text

Their ceilings were still black from the smoke of cooking fires, and pictures had been scratched in some of them of stick men and snakes and peculiar forms I couldn’t name. In the back of one of the caves I came upon something scared me. It was all dried up, just skin and bones, a dead baby strapped up in some old feathers. It had long hair, and teeth. About 20–25 inches long. Maybe a two-year-old child. I took it out of there and brought it straight back to Santa Fe and gave it to the museum. The body was all there.

I’d never been around Spanish people before, never heard the language. At first I was afraid of them, but finally I realized that all they wanted was for me to ride them around the plaza in the car, and for half a day that’s what I did. First one group and then another, I rode people around and around Taos plaza in the Ford. I guess it was one of the first cars ever seen in the streets of Taos. Low on money, later I went into the Columbian Hotel to see if I could get a restaurant job. But when I saw a rough-looking bunch of cowboys in the lobby playing poker, I decided this wasn’t the kind of place my mother would want me to be.

One day when Clifford and I were digging into one of those old Colonial walls, we found a possum and dug it out. It was real fat. We took it home with us and fixed a wire cage out of a chicken coop that would do till we could build it a house. Turned out she had a bunch of babies in her pocket. When they popped out they didn’t have any hair on them. Just little naked things. We thought we really had something. We were feeding her and taking care of her and her children till along came my brother-in-law.

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