Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I love telling the story THE PATCHWORK COAT. It is the first story that I wrote about my family. My Aunt Louise had told me so many stories about her childhood that I wanted to share with the world. THE PATCHWORK COAT is a familiar tale about a poor Appalachian family, in this case, my own, who could not afford to purchase a coat for one of their children so the mother made one out of pieces of worn clothing. Dolly Parton wrote a similar tale and made it into a song called THE COAT OF MANY COLORS. There is, also, a book called THE RAG COAT by Lauren Mills. I was surprised at how many similarities that our family story and these others have in common. Our story is about my grandmothers struggle making ends meet after my grandfather was killed in a mining accident. She was left with 9 children to raise alone in the depression era. She made the coat for my Aunt Louise who was second from the oldest. The story is, also, about bullying and how mean words can injure a child more than fists. But it is a redemptive story. Peace is made and my Aunt Louise becomes a hero. In this story I combined the truth of the actual story with my imagination and the art of embellishment. When I retell the story it often makes me cry. I can see my little granny working morning to night, by scrubbing floors and taking in ironing's, to provide for her family. I wonder, did she ever have time for fun? Did she ever have a day "just to relax"? Was she ever discouraged? Was she ever lonely? Whatever the case, she raised those nine children all by herself. She, my friends, is what HERO is all about. KATIE KANE VINCEN COBB MILLER, my granny, my hero.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

This is one of my favorites, Mama!
xo, Kathy