“On love’s dying” a poem by Gwen E. Campbell

Love languishes and dies

It leaves the mind

And then the eyes

But thanks my heart gives

For, he yet lives.


My love’s footsteps walked away

And will not return

To me another day

But his freedom my heart gives

For, he yet lives.


When loneliness becomes a way of life

I find that I

Can bare my strife

And a song my heart gives

For, he yet lives.

© Copyright 2015 By SoloPress 11



Quips & Quotes from “Always Going” by Gwen E Campbell

Gwen Campbell traveled rather extensively as a young girl from the years of 1937 to 1945. This story of her life and adventures covers many miles of the Southwest, Texas and Oklahoma even California.

In his youth, he was handsome. I’ve seen the pictures. He had the black hair and blue eyes that women find so captivating. He captivated and charmed Ida Leonora (his first wife) out of her youth, and into grief and despair and an early grave. She died in childbirth, delivering prematurely her ninth child. She died in travail and anguish with only her 14 year old daughter to help her in those last desperate hours. She was 36 years old. The newborn child was too premature, too tiny. It was too much to expect such a mite to live in 1915, but she did. They put her in a shoebox and put her in the oven, and she lived. How do you explain such a thing? She had strength, determination and tenacity.

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Quips and Quotes from “Always Going” by Gwen E Campbell

Gwen Campbell traveled rather extensively as a young girl from the years of 1937 to 1945. This story of her life and adventures covers many miles of the Southwest, Texas and Oklahoma even California.

One day when we went to town, I was left out in the car. I don’t know whose car it was because all we ever had was a pickup. Anyway, a black mother had left her baby out in a baby buggy in front of the store. I went over and looked in, and that was the cutest little thing I ever saw. I got it out of the buggy and was trying to get it into the car, but it was squalling bloody murder. Both mothers came running out of the store. The baby’s mother rescued it. She told me, “You don’t have to take my baby. Some day you can have your own.” So that set up Plan A. I would be a mother.

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Quips & Quotes from Gwen on “Always Going”

Chapter 1: About her mother

One picture I have is of her making pie, rolling out the dough and wiping the tears from her eyes with the back of her hand. She was 25 years old. She was too young to be twice married, with a child and a drinking husband.

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Are they really a hobby or the embryo of a business?

Notes from Alexis: I love her “process” for writing a book, and you will love her new hobbies.

Jan 22, 1992

Dearest Lex,

I woke up this morning and thought: I have to tell Lex to stop drinking wine. When I was 25, I had to give up all alcoholic beverages because they gave me such horrendous headaches. I have never liked beer or wine, but I did drink cocktails now and then, but it got to the point where I was having my hangover fifteen minutes after I had my drink.

The thing about wine is it is all chemicals. There may have been a time (back in Ceasar’s day) when wine was made from grapes, but no more. Now it is all chemicals, as I found out when I tried making my own. We watched a program that told all about it and boy; it was enough to scare the pants off you. My advice is to keep off the wine for a month and see if the headaches stop (but, of course, keep up your other programs). Headaches can, and often are caused by more than one thing and sometimes the mix just becomes too much.

I keep checking on S.F. and her new “Gallery” opening.  Dad heard this guy on the radio, who is the photographer that is going to open the gallery with her. I drove by to see it. All her files of index cards had been moved out, and there were a ladder and some buckets. Two weeks later, ditto. She gets all this great media attention, but then doesn’t know what to do with it, and nothing ever comes of her endeavors (notice I didn’t say efforts). Not that I think there has ever been a plan or purpose to anything she does.

I haven’t been able to work on “Shipwreck John” for a week, I will go in today and work on him. I have discovered I have an MO (modus operandi). First, I have to have a name. This is just a working name, and I am perfectly happy and prepared to change it later if it doesn’t fit, which I did with Henry.

Next, I have to do a cover, which I am also prepared to change. Nevertheless – ‘Hello’, there has to be a cover. Now there is a real ‘sure nuff’ book that merely needs to be written and put between the covers. This was true with all my books. It’s as if I have to have something concrete to hold in my hand before I can believe there is a book in the future. I read about writers who write every word in their head before they touch pen to paper or finger to key. Not me. I only have to have a name and cover, and I’m off and running.

So, therefore, there is a “Shipwreck John” but no Dorsett or McGuffin yet, (but getting close), because I haven’t taken the major step of the name and cover. Still too much research.

I now have a hobby. A hobby being something that never can be turned into a business, right? I collect. What I collect has doubled in the past week. I now collect two things. First, I started off with purse wallets, and as you know I have a nice collection. You only saw half of them because at the time I was a closet collector, but now they are out in the open in a box.

My second collection, which I have only just now recognized, is moisture absorbers. You get them in every bottle of pills, and they come in all sizes and shapes. But what to do with them? They lay around on counters and in drawers, and there is the thought underneath; ‘Maybe I should keep them’?

I see things clearly now. A museum of moisture absorbers! Someday in the future, it will attract tourists who will come from all over the universe. Well, that isn’t too far-fetched right, if people would go to see a giant stuffed mouse, why not moisture absorbers? Of course the purse wallets may also be in the same class, however, I keep thinking someday I may actually use one, so there is that to consider. Are they really a hobby or the embryo of a business? Worry and fret. Nothing in this life has been ever simple.

Well, I got all my stuff out of the drawers and into the shoebox to get ready for taxes and that’s step one. Step two is to list everything on a sheet of paper. Step three is working with the form. I am particularly eager to get some money back because Dad gets more disillusioned with his job every day. J. had nothing good to say about J. T. (the new boss and owner of  Honda-Chevrolet dealership) right from day one. But I reserved an opinion until I had met him, which I did at the Xmas party. He made me no convert. He is a slippery eel. He will look you right in the eye and with great sincerity say, I don’t lie. All the time the hair on your neck is standing up. Last night Dad said he was going to start actively looking for another job. It takes him a while to get moving, and he won’t make a move until he is sure, but then he never looks back. So we’ll see.

Well, granny is her usual self. I have had some revelations that I will tell you in person as they are l-o-n-g stories, but anyway, it has helped me cope with the situation.

My chest is feeling better, but I only have half-day strength, while having full-day jobs. About the only way I can manage is to just lie down. Fortunately, I can do that, but I want to get with the program, have things to do.

Well, sweetheart must close as ‘Shipwreck John’ is calling.



Nothing but gnashing of teeth, and wailing from me.

(Notes from Alexis: She is thrilled by CD’s and not so thrilled with a new scanner. Makes me laugh, thinking about CD’s being new, sort of like 8 tracks being Wonderful!)


Dearest Lex,

We were so sorry to hear about your misery. I know you don’t want to hear anything about being too thin and needing to gain some weight to hold your bones together, so I won’t mention it. I’ll tell you about our vexations, not that they compare with yours, but just to give you something to think about.

First of all Dad lost the electricity to his shop. He has dug up two spots he thought to be the problem, but still nothing. He is totally baffled and guesses he will have to dig up the entire line to find it. This makes him sulk, and he is hard to live with when he sulks. I don’t blame him for it, it is just too aggravating.

I am enclosing a page out of a catalog, since you have heard nothing but gnashing of teeth and wailing from me, ever since I bought the ink jet printer. I thought you might like to see that I was not alone. Someone else was as upset as I was and did something about it. I ordered two packs, but haven’t used them. Out of sheer perversity the cartridge I have in there has now outdone itself.

I told you I had ordered a scanner. It finally came, and the software didn’t work. I called their 800 number and they said they would send me a new disk.

It came yesterday and I started it up and it worked fine, only the scanner, she no scan. It was almost impossible to press the start button, so I packed it up and sent it back this morning. It was a disappointment and I almost gave up on the project. But you know me, as soon as I gave up, the wheels started turning, and I plotted an end run. Scanning is a much-needed project, and lovely to behold, but oh my gosh is it ever going to be work. Perhaps my 5-year project.

Of course, I am still plodding along with my other books. They just have to be worked at every day. I went in yesterday and worked for two hours, and just as I started to move my finger to the save key, the computer blinked, the electricity evidently had spiked. Of course, my surge control stopped it (and the juice to the computer) so I lost two hours work, but I did gain an instant headache, so that was something. Lately, we have been having a lot of flutters and spikes. Do you think we have angered the electrical gods? I took an Advil and a nap, and ate some cherry pie and felt better.

I can’t remember if I told you about Mom’s latest project. She made state bird and flower quilts (150 blocks) and got tired of them so I came up with a brilliant (even if I say so) idea of butterflies. I found a book with good pictures and she set to with great enthusiasm. She told me yesterday she has now made 35 blocks. I’m ahead of her, though, because when I cut out the blocks I cut 100, and didn’t tell her about the other 50.

I started putting the first bird & flower quilt together and it is lovely, but I had to stop 2/3 of the way along and put up the sewing machine to print books. Everything is stop and go, put up the machine and get out the copier. I dream of having rooms to wander into and work, without first having to dismantle them from some previous job.

Dad bought a new stereo and we have been listening to CD’s, tapes and records. I swear to you, all our tapes and records sound brand new, and some I don’t even recognize. I had never heard CD’s before, so it has been pure pleasure to hear them.

I have to apologize to you. I gave you some bad advice when you were a young girl. I told you to learn bookkeeping because you could always get a job as a bookkeeper. I should have told you to learn office equipment repair. I called around to find out how much to have my IBM Selectric III cleaned, just cleaned mind you. I was quoted $85- $125 because it would take an hour or an hour and a half. Just think, you could be a thousand-aire by now if you had just been given good advice.

My computer doctor tells me my hard disk (which I bought from him and the warranty has now expired) has low level problems, whatever that means, and could go at any time to the tune of $275 replacement. I live on the edge, all the time, afraid- I’ll lose it, but Dad says not to worry – use it until it goes. (Are we talking my mind or my hard disk?)

I spent my birthday money from Mom early on a catalytic converter. Somehow one doesn’t get the same glow from a catalytic converter as from a stereo, so to get revenge I play it all day (the stereo, not the converter). Dad only gets to listen to it at night.
We had 1-1/2 days of spring Saturday & Sunday, but now black clouds and wind are threatening rain. Which may not be all bad. At least it keeps Dad in the house instead of working himself to death.

We don’t plan too much of a garden. M’s father, (across the street) is putting in three, that’s right, three gardens, and since nobody over there would touch a vegetable if their lives depended on it, we’ve already got dibs. There is nothing that pleases L. as much as seeing how thrilled we are with his garden produce. We plan to eat like kings.

Well, sweetheart take care or yourself and get well. I’ve got to get back to work. My fans are clamoring for my new book. Write when you get the time and energy, and I’m glad to hear you have some clients. The others will come, too.




“Looney Tunes” of a friend, and he isn’t wrapped too tight either.

(Notes from Alexis: All about friends, family and saga’s of life! Sad but true.)

 March 1, 1991

Dearest Lex,

Well, finally, finally, I have a day where I can sit down and write. Up until now I have been going at a full gallop, or sick, and not going at all.

I placed my ad in the ‘Genealogical Helper’ for December 15th and with it was just a lovely review of my “Tuttle” books, that I had already published. What I hadn’t realized, until I got the first order, was that everybody would misread both ads. In the advertising game, an ad that goes in a magazine has to be to them three months in advance. In September, I only had “Vol I” done, so that is what I sent, figuring I would send the others along as I got them finished.

I have reread the review and my ad, and it all seems ‘perfectly clear’ to me, that there are four volumes. However, people still seem to think there is only one, so I have had to hold their checks and write them asking for the name of their ancestor, so I can send the right volume.

The upside is that three people have ordered more than one volume. For some reason, Vol IV has been a slow seller, but I’ve had to reprint the other three volumes and will have to reprint Vol IV next week, I think. It’s fun to have the orders and the letters, but it caught me unaware, and I’m glad it has slowed down somewhat.

All along I have been toting and fetching for Dad, Grandma, and the dawg, as well as doing research on the “McGuffins” and working on “Henry Tuthill.” Which means, more letters, and lots of work.

But enough about me. How are you doing? Hope you are well and happy, and sipping tea in the tea house (greenhouse). We were able to have lunch in the sunroom Saturday, which was lovely.

So here is the latest soap opera: the trials and tribulations of J. You may recall that JS., who was living in the garage, and babysitting for J. & Je’s kids, got mad at her son Z. and beat him up.

OK, so J. made him leave and JS’s stepmother, came over and loaded up most of his stuff and put it in a mini-warehouse. About two weeks ago J. found a summons taped to the door of the house. It seemed that JS. was taking J. to court, saying he had taken his stuff.

So family and relatives all went up to the courthouse at the appointed time, but it wasn’t a judge, but a mediator. He was trying to get them to settle the thing without going to court, but JS. wouldn’t listen to it, so they set a date for the next week.

Now comes court day, and you need some background information. JS. suffered a stroke some years back, and one side (forget which) is nearly paralyzed. He doesn’t have good use of his hand or foot on that side, and doesn’t speak clearly. Add to this a long grungy beard and mustache and you get the picture. Plus, he tends to rave and rant unintelligibly, and wave his good hand about. We know that a lot of it is just frustration at not being able to make himself understood, but to others, he appears a wild man. Of course, he isn’t wrapped too tight either. The stroke did affect his brain, there is no doubt of that. He takes medication for the stroke, drinks, and takes dope, so all in all, he not only appears weird, he is weird.

J. thought they were going to small claims court, but it turned out to be circuit court. The judge said since they were there, they might just as well get it over with, and he would hear the case. JS got up and ranted and raved and flailed about, until finally the judge asked J. to explain it all. So he did. He said the cops had told him to get JS’s stuff moved out of there pronto after he beat up Z. He also told him to get a restraining order, which J. did. He told the judge about moving the stuff to the mini-warehouse.

Then he told how J. had taken JS. up to the house, and made him take all the odds and ends out, then he read off the list of things taken. JS. said he didn’t remember going up there and getting anything, but you better believe J. made a better witness than poor JS.

Well, the judge said he would ponder on it and send them a letter giving his decision. When J. got the letter, he called me – he had won. The judge said that it amounted to abandonment, and since J. was not JS’s landlord, he was entitled to keep anything left behind.

End of story? Of course not. There is never an end of looney tunes like JS. J. called Dad today, and said JS. had told his dad, that he was going to sue the judge, which gave us all some comic relief.

Well, guess I’ll stop for now, and write a couple of more letters for today’s mail. Oh, by the way, Dad said to tell you how pleased he was with the mystery series audio tapes. He is rationing them out, so he doesn’t hear them all at once. What a neat gift. You always come up with good ones.