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|Edith and Eve Roark|
One hundred years ago may as well have been one thousand years. Life as we know it today was no less than fantasy, science fiction to the inhabitants of the Oklahoma plains of that time. Eve was a wonderful storyteller and told the story of her father building a home for himself and new bride on the family homestead, "It wasn't much more than a two room shack but mamma said he was so proud of it."
|Twins were a novelty and the little |
town of Mountain Park showed photos
of Eve and Edith at the local theater.
The girls had not reached their second birthday when their father, Stanley Roark died suddenly of a ruptured appendix. Their mother, Pearl was a typical woman of her time and the plains; educated just enough to take care of the business of wife and homemaker. Left with twin girls, Pearl found herself in a similar situation as many women of that time, she not only wanted but needed to do more to survive. She had to know more, earn more, be more, than women of that time had a right to be or do.
Pearl succeeded in raising the girls and to hear Eve speak of it, life was idyllic until illness struck unexpectedly. The summer before beginning her senior year in high school, Eve contracted Meningitis. It was touch and go for some time and the town doctor told Eve's mother Pearl she most likely would not survive. The will to live was strong and Eve gradually became stronger but it would be nearly a full year before she would learn to speak and walk again. One year later, Eve successfully completed her senior year courses and graduated with a high school diploma.
She loved ranch life, her favorite uncle, Joe Roark and granny, Laura Warren. Remembering the lessons they taught about honoring family, friends, honesty in business, following your heart and the merits of giving 200% to earn 100%, Eve eventually moved to Los Angeles, California were she met and fell in love with Dale Drake. She thought he looked like Clark Gable and was enthralled with the aviator, barnstormer, race car driver and eventual co owner of Meyer Drake Engineering, makers of the famed Indy racing engine, the Offy.
|Eve tried her hand in hollywood movies|
but didn't care much for the life. When she met
Dale she said "I met Dale Drake and he saved me."
Beyond her secret life as unofficial CFO for Meyer Drake Engineering, raising her son John, my mother Betty Jean and her brother Rex, Eve became president of the Los Angeles Republican Womens Club, Los Angeles Speed Boat Association and chaired various events with these organizations.
This is Aunt Eve's favorite poem, shared with me many years ago. It sums up her philosophy on life very well.
"Grandmother, on a winter's day,
milked the cows and fed them hay,
Slopped the hogs, saddled the mule,
and got the children off to school.
Did the washing, mopped the floors,
washed the windows, did some chores;
Swept the parlor, made the beds,
baked a dozen loaves of bread.
Split some firewood, then lugged it in,
enough to fill the kitchen bin;
Cleaned the lamps, put in oil,
stewed some apples she thought would spoil.
Cooked a supper that was delicious,
afterward washed up the dishes.
Fed the cat, sprinkled the clothes,
mended a basketful of hose.
Then opened the organ and began to play,
When You Come To The End Of A Perfect Day."
The first video biography I ever did was for my own family. This is a clip featuring Eve from that video.