Author Janet Chester Bly & Do You Know What the Most American Thing in America Is? — 16 Comments

  1. She would have heard the words “can’t” and “never” over and over. Unfortunately some men and women still hear them today. It’s fortunate that she was a strong women and didn’t let those words deter her from what she believed was right for the future. “Can’t never did anything” and “never can always change into possibilities.”

  2. I’m not sure whether we’re referring to what Narcissa did, or what the book character did. Anytime a woman spoke up, she would have been told to return to her home, & take care of her children and husband.
    A comment from a man about having a “dry town” would have brought criticism, but from a woman would have brought scorn & probably hate. “How dare she tell upstanding businessmen what they can sell in their establishment? There aint noth’n wrong with a man wettin his whistle once in a while”.
    Suggesting setting aside good lumber land for something as frivolous as a park would have also been met with derision. “What good is a lot of land to walk around in look’n at dumb flowers? You can walk down the road and look at flower boxes on the houses if you want to.”
    I can only imagine the gumption it would have taken to suggest such things, much less take all the rude comments and not give up.

  3. Some would have agreed. The pastors and churches should have been supportive.

  4. Judy: You’re right. But Narcissa was all about women having their say and input into society. The programs she sponsored had much to do with that cause. Thanks for telling about the event with you sons. I do recall that occasion.

  5. You’re right. She did what she was inspired to do and had the full support of her husband too, I might add. Her husband, Marshall, developed the first golf course in the northwest. . .on the other side of the town from her Chautauqua project. So, they pretty much instigated the culture of the whole city.

  6. She knew what she was doing and invisioning but she probably also knew that she had to have a strong backbone as not only men women also were telling her to head back to the kitchen and get back to baking,,,,but i have to say that picture just says it all what a wonderful picture you can tell by the way that she is looking at him that she would of moved the entire state if she could for him WOW…

  7. There would be the people who were happy with things and would not want change. “Leave things as they are suppose to be woman! We don’t want to go and make it so strangers want to come into our town and disturb our way of living.”

    Janet – I will always remember Stephen from your week-end at Cedar Lake Bible Conference when our younger son broke his arm. Stephen signed a book and sent it with our older son to the hospital. A good memory during a stressful time.

  8. This post caused me to do a bit of research on Narcissa Kinney. What an incredibly strong woman! I don’t think it would have mattered what they said, behind her back or to her face, it looks like she would have continued to press on – strong in her faith and convictions. It’s a lesson for us all.

  9. Yep, there are always those who know best, even when they don’t. i imagine there would have been a lot of men (and women, too) who would have scoffed at her efforts, and tried their best to stop her.

  10. Enjoed reading the comments. there are always those that think they know better than we do, isn’t there?

  11. They probably talked about her behind her back – man do I know how that is. One must move forward for God even if they lose the support of their Pastor. We had to relocate in Sept. to a different church. So I know how it is.
    They laughed and pointed and did everything they could to discourage her.
    They told her it would not work.
    By the way I reviewed one of Stephen’s works. I was sad to learn about it. I had just discovered his books 2 years ago.

  12. I’m sure you’re right, Linette! Though most probably said it a bit more politely to her face, but maybe not!

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