I just saw on the news where Annette Funicello and Margaret Thatcher have passed away today. One might think what an unlikely pair to be linked, even in death? But not really. Annette of Mouseketeer fame was an icon of your youth if you are in the Baby Boomer Generation. Cute, bouncy and bubbly, she probably represented a paradigm of sorts, just what a lot of us wanted to be. Not me so much, yet the name was there in my past--a young woman for the early years of rock 'n roll before it became just rock, before Haight Ashbury and Kent State and an end to innocence for a generation. She was also a brave fighter for her disease and seemed to work quietly for that cause for the last couple of decades. For that I admire her. She was a lady, too, very different from some of today's divas, many of whom I think go too far in their flaunting and taunting and blatant disregard for the mores and morals that still guide a large portion of our citizens.
Margaret Thatcher, after perhaps Golda Meir, was an irresistible powerhouse of a woman who broke the glass ceiling and became a national and international leader. Iron Maggie might not have been universally loved but she was respected. She was tough and stood as solid as a massive bluestone from Stonehenge. I admired her. Although I had no urge to go into politics and do not to this day, I had to look up to her for her strength and courage and sometimes ruthless support and demands for what she felt to be right. Without her, there could probably be no Hillary Clinton, no Condaleeza Rice, no female presidents of nations as diverse as Argentina and South Korea. It is now not at all inconceivable that the USA could have a woman as our Chief Executive as soon as the next election. There are murmurs if not louder mentions of a Hillary-Michelle Obama ticket in 2016. Now that would be something! But before Margaret Thatcher, that could not even have been a distant dream.
So I feel the world is a better place that these two women were a part of it. They left their marks in vastly different ways but they leave a legacy that successors of later generations can climb on to reach still farther and higher and to strive for new goals and dreams and breakthroughs.
I was not a TV star or a politician but I was 'liberated' from my early years. There was really nothing I was told I could not do because I was a girl, a woman. I grew up a "tomboy" tagging after my father and working beside cowboys and outdoorsmen of many kinds. I learned to ride and train horses, to shoot a gun to kill rattlesnakes or marauding coyotes that threatened my livestock and deer to butcher and put in the freezer to feed the family. I learned how to change a tire on a truck, to do some simpler repairs on a vehicle if it needed maintenance or broke down far from any garage or mechanic. I could drive nails and cut boards to size with a saw, either a hand saw or a power saw. I could cut fire wood with a chain saw and split big logs with wedges and a sledge hammer into pieces that fit a stove or fireplace.
Before me, pioneer woman had done these things and more but in the Twentieth century they fell from use and applicability. Thus not a lot of men, much less women, did such things unless they were ranch-raised and living on the edges of modern society as I did. At the time, I often resented parts of my life but looking back, I realize I was blessed to experience much that very few were privileged to observe, much less take part in. And that background leads me to admire any woman who is a pathfinder, a trail breaker, and without a lot of fanfare just goes her own way and does what she feels needs to be done whether it is performing, running for office, or stepping into various traditionally male professions like law enforcement, fire fighting, the military and blue-collar trades. To me that is what 'feminism' really is all about.
Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!