Sunday, October 10, 2010

Elizabeth Tuttle Interview Stories

How the Title Came About

Years ago Fred Gay interviewed Gifford and Elizabeth Tuttle while using a cassette player.  As we have all learned through experience, magnetic tape media does not last forever like we hoped it would.

Darlene Arnold at the Lucas County Genealogical Society has been transcribing the tapes belonging to the Lucas County Historical Society and putting them on digital media in order to preserve these important interviews.  There are many.

 In the upcoming weeks I will be placing excerpts from the Tuttle's interview on this blog.  I hope you enjoy reading them.

The first one explains how Elizabeth Tuttle chose the title to her famous book.

 How I came to get the title to my book "To Get A Prairie Chicken".  I have been a staunch believer that the hand of God is in the prayers of men.  I have seen it so many times and I have to believe it even if I didn't want to believe it.

When I was a child I was never any good at naming a pet on the farm, we had little dogs, little calves and little colts.  The rest of the family had to name them.  I didn't even name my doll.  I just called her "Dolly".

When we got the green light from the publisher, it almost paralyzed me because I had no title for the book.  I agonized over that for a few days and one day I was in the kitchen prparing our dinner and all at once, like an arrow had hit me, it came - To Get a Prairie Chicken - and I knew I had it.

Those words are really in the book because of the Badger family.  When they came into this area and even after they got settled close by, probably down south of Chariton, there were several wagons traveling together and they all went there own ways going where they had family or relatives.  But the wagon that came north had a family in it and one of the members of that family was named Alec and he was a young man.  He got out of the wagon and walked behind some distance.  They kept saying, "Alec, why don't you come and ride."  "No," he said.  "I want to get a Prairie Chicken".  And when I was writing that, it never dawned on me that would be the title.  I never thought of it until a power above myself said it to me and that is how the title came to be.

We talked about what we wanted to do with the money from this book and the first thing is I want the proceeds from the book to be used for handrails at the museum.  They are really needed.

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