Because of the accuracy of Edith's writing, this set of diaries should be considered a historical document. Her father, August Ziegenhorn, owned one of the most popular hardware stores in town. He eventually expanded his business to sell groceries, clothing, and other essentials. He was a veterinarian, druggist, merchant, and postmaster. Edith describes her daily chores, church activities, births, deaths, and general living conditions in the early 1900's in central Illinois. She also writes about traveling in both cars and buggies. This is a transitional period in America and she is young and not afraid to travel and experience life. Some of her entries are funny, some sad, but all reflect the life going on around her. As editor, and her grand nephew, I took special care in transcribing her words exactly as they were written. By doing so, I hope I have conveyed the character of Edith and a reflection of the fact that she was only fifteen when she started to write these entries. I consider these diaries a wealth of information about life in the early 1900's. Her words have a simplicity that expresses her honesty with her community and within herself.
I was born in 1946 and raised in central Illinois. During my youth, I was lucky to be able to visit my parent's families each summer in two very small towns and had, in my opinion, free range over what I did. It was a great and unique experience that allowed my imagination to grow wild.
I started to write and paint at a very early age and have been lucky to be able to continue my creativity my entire life. To do so has caused many difficulties at times, but I wouldn't trade a second of it. Being creative and being able to express myself in paintings, sculptures, and writing has made me a better person. I recommend creative freedom to everyone.
I have a BS degree in English, an MA in sculpture, and an MFA in ceramics.read more
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