Sunday, October 25, 2009

More from the Sunday News...

I have more ideas for stories and novels than time to write about them, so why I keep clipping newspaper articles and gluing them in my "idea notebooks", I don't know! But these too begged to be kept, so I did.

The first was on a girls' reformatory/training school in Beloit, Kansas, which was recently shut down. It began in the mid-1800's and was taken over by the state in 1890. Depending on who was in charge, the place was either a haven or a hell for the girls unfortunate enough to find themselves incarcerated there.

The superintendent in the 30's fell in with the new study of eugenics (also embraced by the Nazis) and had 62 girls involuntarily sterilized.

Later, when the institution became a training site for the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, girls received opportunity to talk about the situations that landed them there--frequently (sexual) abuse--and received therapy to help them move on.

The second, shorter article deals with the proposed renovation/re-opening of a 1928 hotel in downtown Rogers, Arkansas. Advertised as the first fireproof hotel in Arkansas, it hosted such notables as Errol Flynn, Jack Dempsey, and Amelia Earhart. Closed since 2006, it still contains antique furniture and boasts a huge kitchen and a ballroom.

This grand old lady deserves a second chance, I'd think. And this old lady writer might take a trip up there just to snap a few photos for future reference.


nlindabrit said...

Oddly enough, I was watching a most interesting documentary on TV yesterday about the Age of Glamour (20s and 30s). It was principally about art and design, art deco etc, but there was a section about Eugenics and the sterilisation campaigns. Chilling stuff!

Oh, yes, the hotel sounds like a great place for story ideas.

K9friend said...

Better to have a notebook brimming with ideas than none at all!

Those stories sound like terrific inspiration!