Elizabeth “Liz” Wild, one of Rob Gourley’s cousins, is part of his Inventified Family that we are highlighting during Rob’s 70th year. In 1988, she wrote a children’s book, entitled “Along Came a Black Bird”. She gave Rob a copy of the book and added to the title page inside a drawing of a crow and an inscription of “To Rob – Who will, I hope, remember some of the ‘stories’ described in this tale … Love, Liz”.
The book has the perspective of the middle of three daughters when a teenage boy came to live in rural Maine with them due to his mother’s hospitalization. Rob lived with Liz’s family under the same circumstances for about a year during the 1950’s. It must have been disruptive to pre-teen gals, to have a rambunctious young boy, Rob, who was high energy and looking for the next adventure with Liz’s younger sister, Jane, when he came to stay with their family.
I read this book out loud to Rob and we shared a lot of laughter about the antics. Rob had his side of the story (or alibi). Rob recalls being questioned about missing jewelry, silverware and even brightly colored pop-it beads. Dr. Mason (Liz’s father) had a pet crow. Rob said he was vindicated one day when Dr. Mason found the crow’s stash in a shed behind the house. Rob also told me after he went back to live with his father, Dr. Mason later had a monkey as another pet. No car parked in their yard was safe … the monkey was also a thief and would pull off the windshield wipers.
Liz is a mother and grandmother and we look forward to seeing her at the family reunion in Connecticut next month.
I wanted to share part of the book’s description of the main character, Louise Berry, the middle daughter in a doctor’s family in rural Maine, and the teenage boy, Beau … “It is an unlikely association from the start, when the proper Louise first glimpses Beau shoplifting from a local store. Then Beau’s mother is hospitalized and Louise’s family takes him in, and the two acquaintances move from a tenuous liking to a deeply felt bond that remains with Louise long after Beau and his family have moved away. This is a sensitive, well-written novel with a strong sense of place and convincing characters who change and grow. During the course of the summer, Louise learns important truths about loyalty and trust and begins to open herself up to new worlds and perspectives. Most important, she experiences the rare, mysterious power of friendship: something that is, paradoxically, both delicate and resilient”.
It is a great book on building relationships with both humor and tolerance for all ages.
We received this message from Author Liz after this she read this article … “Wow! A blast from the past (thirty-years)! Thanks for dredging this up. ‘Robbie’ Gourley added a lot to our lives at the Jordan River Farm, that’s for sure. See you in August!” XXX Liz
For more about Rob Gourley Jr.’s Inventified Family, please visit this link.
Sharing AHA! Discoveries
Have you ever thought of writing a book, perhaps inspired by experiences of your childhood? Do you have either an Ahh-mazing “AHA!” Discovery or a story to share?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. This can be any idea or endeavor that may help others in their own revelation or better quality of life. Alternatively, want to nominate someone with special skills of creativity and innovation? Let us know!