A big resort in the mountains of West Virginia, called The Greenbrier, figured often in my great-grandmother Sallie’s tales of her girlhood in Richmond.
Wilderness can be healing. So, too, can the company of horses… they give a woman perched bareback sustenance, reassurance, even love.
Somewhere along the way, women took over this sport, although there are still men at the highest levels.
My mother wisely warned me many times against “kicking against the pricks,” by which she meant the inevitable barriers we face in life, not the male appendage. She would have been horrified by that association.
The Blue Box does not share the soft glow that softens the details of so many family histories; its light approaches a glare.
As I prepare for publication next month, I face the daunting task of listing all the material I’ve used in The Blue Box, many letters, speeches, bills of sale, wills and genealogies that were stored in the blue box itself.
I realized today…that I never heard anyone in my family or outside of it mention my material grandmother, Sallie Montague Lefroy. This seems particularly strange since it seems I was named for her—seems because no one ever mentioned that either, but since we are both called Sallie Montague, it seems likely that I was named for her—and I am the only one of five siblings given a name from my mother’s family rather than my father’s.