I didn't know Evelyn back in 1933 during the height of the depression, but I know she witnessed the Second World War unfold on the radio like most Americans. By the time she was twelve, the whole thing was over, so I doubt she would have paid it much mind if her brothers hadn't enlisted. Days were taken up with chores mostly, but she found time to play like most kids. Her family was poor, but if you asked Evelyn how much money they had, she'd tell you they were rich. She'd probably even tell you to mind your own business if you asked too many questions.
The smell of tobacco often penetrated the air in our small community. Sometimes you'd hear a car or two out on the road, but mostly things were placid aside from the sounds of lively animals. Folks conversed with each other and knew when someone was unwell or having a challenging time. People offered to help, but no one ever asked for it. It was a time when all anyone had was one another. No one ever went hungry because that wasn't allowed in Salem.
Like any little girl her age, she loved playing with her dolls and inviting friends over for make-believe tea. Evelyn wasn't afraid to get dirty while outrunning the boys through the woods and swinging from grapevines into a creek. She didn't care for The Shadow or Flash Gordon, but she did adore Little Orphan Annie. It's when the radio brought every American together at the same time in their living rooms, and it was special. On occasion, she'd have popcorn using the leftover grease on top of the stove.
Evelyn was aware of Glenn Miller and Frank Sinatra, but those weren't her favorites. This little girl was dazzled by Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, and Eddy Arnold. Those country girl roots were apparent whenever she'd tune in to the Opry on Saturday night and thumb through ragged magazines with pictures of the performers who left her star-struck. It was a sensational escape from many of the hardships of growing up around Bend Road.
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Most of her clothes were homemade, hand-me-downs, or both. She didn't mind because she didn't know any different. Everyone else did the same thing anyway. Cora, her mother, cut her hair and taught her how to cook and tend to the chickens. No one had it easy, but Evelyn refused to let it crush her spirit. Her struggles only managed to make her stronger by feeding her motivation.
Evelyn is full of hope, with countless seasons waiting for her arrival. She daydreams of places to investigate, hearts to break, and the man she will love someday. She fantasizes about a pretty dress and putting on makeup before the dance. Curiosity bubbles inside of her chest while her imagination creates whole worlds inside of her innocent mind. Behind her sweet sapphire eyes rests a warrior ready to challenge life's catastrophes and celebrate in its joy.