I even wished upon a falling star but still wasn’t numbered among five winners of a writing contest I entered. But unlike my first competition in junior high, the news didn’t make feel like a total loser.
Failure to win the “My Mother is the World’s Best” in-50-to-100-words-or-less contest back in the day convinced me I was a poor writer and a pathetic daughter. This time around, however, I not only learned from preparing my entry, I also benefited from reading the winning efforts.
I’ll do better next time.
And I still think I have the world’s best mother!
I still remember the story behind the story of this essay, but I just couldn't tell it in 97 words!
Hmmm. I think I thought bringing God into the content would increase my chances even though I could only eek out 85 words.
“The Virginian?” you ask.
This 1902 novel by Owen Wister, “almost single-handedly established the cowboy archetype” (Recorded Books Classic Library).
While today’s readers may be disappointed that scenes of hanging and shooting don’t occur until three-quarters in, some might appreciate the story’s deep philosophical character study. BUT what female can resist the romantic hero? Why the cowpuncher’s three-year courtship of high-spirited Molly Wood of Vermont is more tender than even Jane Austen could have imagined.
Interestingly, Wister’s description of the handsome hero did not make me envision Gary Cooper or James Drury, but rather my great-grandfather, a once-living ringer for the fictional character.
Great Grandmother Elizabeth's brand of beauty may not have been considered adequate for the screen role of Miss Molly Wood, but in reality, she was a perfect match for the school teacher.
Yes, Great-Grandpa Henry's photo fits Wister's description of the nameless cowpuncher perfectly.