Mae Clair: A Lifetime’s Journey

I recently discovered Google Alerts. If you haven’t tried it yet, it’s a pretty cool system that allows you to type in a string or reference phrase. Any time those words appear in web content you receive an email alert. Because I’m anxious to learn when WEATHERING ROCK is going to appear on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and a few other sites, I set up alerts for the book title plus Mae Clair.

Yesterday I received a death notice for Ola Mae Clair. At first I had that sad creepy sensation that always overcomes me when I learn of someone’s passing. Then I started thinking about Ola’s life. She was 93 when she died. Can you imagine the sweeping changes she saw in her lifetime?

In 1919 when Ola was born, Woodrow Wilson was president, prohibition was one year away and the jazz age was just beginning. Ten years later, the Great Depression turned life on end and sent the country into a plummeting downward spiral.  By 1941, she would have had to face the horror of Pearl Harbor and the long dark hours of WWII.

By 1950, life had settled into recovery and production. In 1968, the Summer of Love, a 49 year old Ola might have looked askance at the events taking place in Haight Ashbury, California, and been grieved by the turmoil of the Civil Rights movement; the tragedy of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination.

She would have seen the introduction of the floppy disk in the 1970s, the premiere of M*A*S*H, Patty Hearst’s kidnapping , disco, pet rocks and platform shoes. By 1989, a 70 year old Ola would have witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, the passing of Lucille Ball, the birth of moonwalking and parachute pants—a far cry from the homespun clothing of 1919.

The 1990s brought the horrific standoff in Waco, Texas, the birth of the World Wide Web going public, Oprah Winfrey’s book club and Tickle-Me-Elmo dolls. In 1999 we hit the staggering turn of a century. Remember Y2K? My husband and I started a new tradition—lobster tail for New Year’s Eve dinner. It’s something we’ve kept up every year since.  I wonder what Ola did. She would have been 80 years old.

The last decade brought the tragedy of 9/11, ipods, Geocaching and speed dating. I wonder what Ola would have thought of the latter. All in all, I like to think she had an amazing life and a happy one. Certainly it was a long one. It makes me realize I have so much learning and growing yet to do…including this new venture of writing!

Be at peace, Ola. You have a new journey ahead of you and I’m sure you won’t walk it alone.

17 thoughts on “Mae Clair: A Lifetime’s Journey

    • Thanks. I’m always amazed by our elderly when I stop to think about all they’ve witnessed and endured through the course of their lives. She lived for almost 100 years. That deserved some type of acknowledgement.

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  1. Wow, Mae! So beautifully reflective…both on Ola and our country! I kind of needed that bittersweet reminder that our history is so much more than what is going on right now. Thank you for sharing. Truly heartfelt.

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    • Thanks, Kitt. I thought that too (about our country) when I started putting 93 years of someone’s life in perspective. There was so much more I wanted to call attention to but just picked some random highlights. All in all, still a staggering look back. Thanks for the kind words 🙂

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  2. Wow Mae… you can turn the simplest of post into a work of art! I loved this post. Very touching. I think the family would have been honored to read this.

    Also, your daily blog posting makes me envious!

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    • Thanks so much, Loni. When I got that Google Alert it’s like my muse immediately kicked in and said ‘you can’t let this go.’ You certainly gave me a high compliment with you remarks and I so appreciate them. This post was special to me 🙂

      Not sure what it is with the blogging. Gah, I hope I don’t burn myself out, but right now my muse is a little Energizer bunny whispering constant ideas in my ear, LOL!

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  3. You are such a sweetheart, Mae! You did Ola proud and brought back quite a few memories for myself at the same time!

    I do use Google Alerts as well. I’ve set up some alerts on my titles, name, and genres. I like to keep up to date in the genres I’m writing too!

    Great post!

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    • Thanks, LJ. Yep, I stumbled over some memories myself when putting this together. Weird when you get older, how it has a bittersweet tang to it, very nostalgic.

      Love Google Alerts! My editor told me about them and I was immediately all over it, LOL! Thanks for commenting 🙂

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    • Thanks, Sheri. I really loved writing this post and choosing the photos. Although Ola wouldn’t have been the age of the young couple I chose in 1968, I loved contrasting romance in its youth and romance through eternity (the older couple). It’s a journey that never ends.

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  4. Pingback: It’s Award Time – Thank You Mae Clair | Sheri de Grom

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