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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Old Red, White and Blue

This morning I thought I would write an uplifting post today about voting and encourage everyone to get out the vote.  I thought I would start with this quilt top.  My great-grandmother, Augusta Anderson Broberg made this top, I am  sometime between 1870 and 1910.  It is my only red, white, and blue quilt, although they were quite popular at this time period.

Augusta Anderson Broberg immigrated to Augusta, Michigan (something which always amused me) with her husband, John August Broberg.  Her husband died in 1894, when my grandfather was a year old.  She had a passel of children....and worked hard to give them good opportunities.  Although she died of a massive heart attack when she was 51, she had worked hard enough that my grandfather was able to attend what was then Western Michigan Normal School (now Western Michigan University, my undergraduate alma mater), something which was fairly uncommon.  My great aunt, Amanda Broberg Janes (Jaynes) gave the top to me when she noticed I was about 1974.  The top is hand pieced, but set with the red alternating blocks by machine, and not too well. Almost all of the blue pieces are this blue figured print, while the light pieces are a variety of printed shirtings.

Almost all the blues...except for about 5 polka-dotted prints on the outside row.  Someday, I hope to take it apart and re-set it so that the points meet and that all the red blocks are the same size...

I was thinking about women's suffrage   I was pleased that my daughter voted in her first presidential election.  She voted early and proudly called me to tell me.  I have always voted, and as a toddler she went with me into the voting booth.

Then, my brother called me.  He asked me if I had watched Obama: 2016.  I told him I hadn't (he had sent me a link about it earlier and after doing some research I decided I didn't want to see it as I didn't feel that it was a balanced and factual view--besides, I don't go to the movies much anyway....I haven't been since seeing The Help and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).  He the asked me if I had voted.  I said yes, and he said "too bad."  Then he went into a tirade about how I shouldn't have voted that way and that "all those liberals who THINK they know something but don't (that is, me) should have their heads examined and that they don't know anything and should research things more deeply.  and on.  and on.  and on.  It wasn't until he had to stop and do something with his spraying unit that he hung up.

I said nothing.  What could I do? Every time I tried to point out something, he just hit me with more.  My viewpoint wasn't worth listening to.  Certainly nothing I was going to say was going to change his mind.  On Sat., my sister was very pointed about how it was wrong for Obama to infringe upon Catholic's religious beliefs.  I wonder what those who were killed during the inquisition would think about that comment.  I live in a very strongly Republican area of where the few Obama signs in our neighborhood, and others, were torn down...ours just once (hey, only 4 houses out of 12 had them), but in other neighborhoods, repeatedly.

The negativity in the advertising is horrific.  The division dire.  Compromise doesn't seem to be in anyone's vocabulary anymore.  A family friend posted on Facebook today about a conversation she overheard in a restaurant yesterday.  One woman asked another if she was going to vote.  The response:  "Nah--it's not an important enough election.  Our votes don't matter anyhow."  Apathy.  The feeling that no one is really listening...and that we don't count.  Scary.

Then on top of this...the shenanigans which have taken place in my county (Miami, OH).  First, some people were accidentally sent two ballots when they requested absentee ballots.  Then, it was discovered that the vending company failed to send out 35 to people who had requested them.  But the biggest problem was reported yesterday:  it was discovered that 177 absentee ballots requested by residents had never been processed by the vendor, Dayton Legal Blank.  To top it off, my neighbor stopped in and said that while she was in the polling place, a young man had to vent to her....his mother, who was home bound because of her attachment to medical equipment, was one of those who didn't have one of the requested ballots...He was told to go to the polling place.  The polling place said at first that they would send someone to her home to take care of it....but then they decided they couldn't do that.  So, the poor woman who followed the rules and requested an absentee ballot is not going to be able to cast her vote.

This is the travesty.  The vote will probably not be decided for days....because of things such as this, and of course the problems the poor people in New Jersey and New York face.  It seems awful that not only do have they lost their homes, belongings and are cold and some still without power, that they too are struggling to find a way to vote.

It is ironic, that Augusta Anderson Broberg had limited powers to vote (municipal elections from the time she reached majority until she was married (her husband then "owned" her legal rights) when she lived in Sweden.  She came to the United States, and worked hard, and succeeded  owning land and doing well despite having lost her husband at a young age.  She died before women in the United States won the right to vote.  I think that perhaps she would be proud of her great-great granddaughter taking such pride in exercising her right and responsibility to vote..after researching the issues and coming to her own decisions without the bullying of her neighbors and family.  I can only hope that we are able to move forward and live in harmony regardless who is elected.

1 comment:

Momthra said...

Thank you for your post. I've had some of the same issues with family members. The only good response is to not engage in arguments that will lead nowhere and to keep loving them. Thank you for voting true to your (carefully researched) views. And thank you for posting the pictures of the quilt top.