High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, July 27, 2015

Guest Post: Words Are Power

Tom Anderson back with you today on a very special occasion. I am kicking off the 8th year of Shady Dell Music & Memories with a guest post.  I am proud to introduce my dear friend Jane Goltz, better known
in the blogging community as Janie Junebug, host of WOMEN: WE SHALL OVERCOME. Please give Janie a warm welcome, dear friends!

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

Thank you, Shady Del Knight, for allowing me to
write this guest post. Shady’s recent reports on
The Action Kids, young dancers on Dick Clark's
show Where The Action Is, taught me some TV
history. The show was on weekday afternoons
for two years during the sixties. You can read
the posts HERE, HERE, and HERE.

It was the third part of the story that moved me to
ask Shady if he would accept a guest post from me.
In case you don’t have time to read the third post,
allow me to recap: One of the most popular of
The Action Kids was Jerilyn Stapleton, a
diminutive darling. No one knew that
by the time Jerilyn was nineteen she had
been a victim of four types of violence/abuse,
as Shady wrote. Later, Jerilyn spoke out about
her experiences and became a leader in
organizations that try to stop violence
and promote the equality of women.

Here's Jerilyn during her
successful years as a dancer:

Then I read the comments and felt
moved by Kathryn Anderson’s words:

Two things struck me when I read this story—and listened to the additional stories and interviews Shady researched while doing
this piece –

This is a truly great story of how an individual can overcome any adversity. We should all take a lesson from Jerilyn. Stop your constant complaining. Stop focusing so much energy on your
“woe is me” tale and turn your attention to the trials and tribulations of the other people in this world. By helping them, you help yourself. Everywhere in the world, there are greater and lesser people than you. By helping those with less, you gain in stature and your personal problems become smaller. Somewhere along the line I have heard it said that the only true moral society is one that takes care of the members at the fringe.

Additionally, I applaud the efforts Jerilyn and others have made to create an environment in which women have equal stature and respect in our society. I was coming of age when the 60’s were in full swing. Like Jeri—I did not buy into the female as bimbo eye candy/ chief cook and bottle washer. Thankfully I had a father who encouraged me to take my proper place in the world based on my intelligence and my drive to succeed. Thank GOD we have come to the point in our world when females such as Hillary Clinton can emerge as leaders and the presidency has become an option within reach.

But the battle isn’t won. There are still skirmishes being fought all over the globe and there are many here in America who would love to take away our well won victory and turn back the clock to our time of repression. For the benefit of our daughters and our granddaughters, we can NEVER NEVER allow this to happen. We must be at the ready to strike down the “right to lifers” and the super-conservatives, the bible thumping religious righters wherever and whenever we find them.

My hat is off to you Jerilyn. You are a woman of substance and a
true role model for us all.

Kathryn, you might as well have been speaking
directly to me. I spent years believing I was trapped
in an abusive marriage. I thought couldn’t leave
because I had nowhere to go and couldn’t
support myself. But how did I get there?

Although I take responsibility for my failure to
finish college when I was young (I graduated from
high school in 1978 and didn’t get my BA until 1998),
I had help in entering a “traditional” marriage.
My mother told me I would never be able to
hold down a job. “If something goes wrong,”
she said, “you’ll fall apart.” My mother
told me that the only way I’d ever have
money would be if I married someone
who could earn it. Within a few days
of my marriage, when my ex-husband
expressed anger toward me in front of
my mother, she said, “You’d better
watch out, or that nice boy
will divorce you.”

Well, guess what! That nice boy shoved me around,
belittled me, didn’t keep his promise that I would
get to finish college as soon as he had, cheated
on me, gambled away money that we needed
for our children, and finally became so powerful
that he punched me—more than once. And I took it.

It might seem as if I blame my mother for my
troubles, but that’s not really my point. It’s that
my mother grew up in a different time, the time
of repression to which the far right wants us to
return. My mother didn’t move forward with
the times. She turned back the clock in my
head. I might as well have married in
1950 instead of 1979.

The feminist movement was in full swing,
and there I was, cleaning the house and
promoting my ex-husband’s career.
I believed I had no choices. I had
no right to my Self.

I didn’t reach out for help until I told someone
about my problematic marriage, and the person
attacked me physically and verbally for complaining.

Fortunately, that incident helped lead to my divorce.
I was so depressed that at times I felt I couldn’t
even walk. I crept around the house, a baby
whose life was in someone else’s control.
Although I received treatment for
depression and anxiety, it was
the words of my doctor that
started the change in my life. *

“My husband is divorcing me,” I cried.
“He says he’ll support me for one year.
I won’t have anywhere to go after that.”
“No, Janie,” the doctor replied. “You will get
lawyer and your husband will be required
to provide for your support because you
gave up your career in order to support
him. He will support you far longer
than one year.”

And here I am, with almost five years
of flying solo under my belt.

I've made some great friends along the way,
and even "adopted" some younger women
so I can be a mentor.

I met these women when I started my blog,
But it began as a “woe is me” blog. I felt
so sorry for myself. I went from my
parents' home to my husband's
home. I had never lived alone.

As the blog gained followers, I realized I could
use my words to affect the lives of others.
I wrote about my depression and getting
out of a bad marriage, and many
followers let me know that they
cared about me. Quite a few
shared that they suffered from
depression. We shared our stories.
We shared our coping mechanisms.
I learned I am definitely not the
only divorced woman in the U.S.

And that’s because WORDS ARE POWER.
Conservatives will not take away my freedom
of speech, nor my freedom to write.

Although I still have days when I report
in a post  that I feel down, those days
are much fewer and far between.

In a wilting economy, when I couldn’t find a
permanent job, my blog led me to start my
& EDITING. I am so proud when I open a
new book, and it says Edited by Janie Goltz.

With every year I’m away from my ex-husband,
I am a happier person. I am an independent person.
I am a woman who lives in her own house
with her best buddy.

I am woman, hear me roar.

* Please note that depression is real and being
 told to “snap out of it” is not a cure. Some people
are so severely depressed that they cannot face
the world. They need treatment. I continue to
see a psychiatrist because she helps me
continue to move into a happier future.