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Friday, February 1, 2019

A Texas Woman

Watching The World Go By

The Wedding Photograph of James Lafayette Lary and Sallie Britton
(Check out that mustache! It was all the rage at the time this photograph was taken. Kissing would've been weird.)

It's interesting to think of how many Westerns I've read over the years, set in the 1880's and 1890's, that I never give much thought to what the characters would've seen if they lived to a healthy old age. Then I think back to actual family members who lived during that time period. For instance, the woman I am named after, Sallie Britton Lary. She's that pretty lady on the right. Aren't old pictures wonderful? You can see where the photographer went in and traced a few details to make the photograph look "better." 

I often wonder if I could write a story based on this woman's life. She was born in 1873, in the golden age of cowboys and train robberies. She married when she was in her twenties - and how many novels take place in the 1890's? Absolutely perfect. 

During this woman's childhood, her family picked up and moved from one side of Texas to another. They traveled by wagon train, and Sallie's family was at the back and fell behind. Which turned out to be a good thing, as the front of the train was attacked by Native Americans. 

Sallie lived to be 93 years old. That means she lived in an era of Native American wars all the way through watching on television as the first man went to the moon. She saw cattle lands turn to cities, buggies into cars, and planes. The miracle of television never ceased to hold wonder for her. 

Next time you read a novel based in the late 1800's, consider those characters and how the changing world would've impacted them. From horses to convertibles, from gramophones to the silver screen, and two World Wars. 

I hope you don't mind me sharing a piece of family history. Truthfully, my stories can be inspired by what little I know of these people who came before me. 

________

Sally Britton is the author of several Regency romance novels. Her work can be found at Amazon.com. 

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