Saturday, July 15, 2006

7/15/06- In Loving Memory

It has been a very trying week with the memorial for Grace Brown happening this past Tuesday at Big Moose Lake in the Adirondacks. About 200 people witnessed the memorial wreath being placed in the lake that day, including descendants of Grace herself. Unfortunately, I was not one of them. Due to work commitments, I could not attend and I was very devastated about that. As I mentioned in my last blog, I made arrangements to have a dozen red roses sent up to the lake, along with a brief message to Grace.

In addition to posting my last entry, I spent that unhappy Tuesday thinking about Grace. I am not related to her in any way, but I certainly felt terrible about not being there. I found nearly every thought that I had that day to be about her. I could hardly get to sleep and I was so choked up. I have only been involved with Grace's story for a year as of this past Wednesday and I haven't really known about Grace that long, but I felt like I have lost someone very close to me.

In a way, I have but at the same time, I feel as though I gained one as well. It is as if Grace has become a permanent part of me.

Since then, I have been trying to take it easy as I go through the mourning process, which is why I haven't posted anything since that day. I have posted a brief memorial blog on my Yahoo 360 site, but other than that, I have been trying to take it easy as I go through this period.

I also watched news reports in connection with that day and I learned that Grace's relative did not know about his relation to her until the day he had to read Theodore Dreiser's novel, "An American Tragedy" in college. At first he told his father that the book was all right, but it wasn't until his father told him that the book was about his grandmother's sister (Grace) that he became interested in the book.

When he came to Big Moose that day, he brought with him several of Grace's personal effects, including her school-age diary, her baby cradle, and a lock of her hair.

Hopefully, Grace received my flowers and my message to her and hopefully the day will come when I will finally be able to go up to Big Moose and I will finally be able to pay my respects to the famous young writer from Chenango County who has captured not only the hearts of dozens of people all over the world but mine as well.

And now that the memorial is over, I can finally get back to the story of Chester Gillette's last days, but that will have to wait until sometime next week.


Mary in Houston said...

----- Original Message -----
From: Philip Schweitzer
To: Mary
Sent: Monday, July 08, 2002 12:36 PM
Subject: Re: Chester and Grace

Hi, Mary,
Yes, I remember you very well. Here is what I know concerning the
story. It was actually my Grandmother's sister, MY Great Aunt, Mildred
Seymour Greene, who worked with Chester and Grace. My grandfather lived in
Cortland and was getting ready to marry my grandmother and bring her there
to live. Her sister, Mildred, single at that time, and through school was
looking around for employment. They lived in the country near Marcellus
and transportation and work possibilities for females in that area was
somewhat limited. So, I am guessing my grandfather, kind man that he was,
arranged an interview for her at the Gillette Skirt Factory. She was hired
and must have boarded out there around the same neighborhood as Chester
lived. When my grandparents married and rented a house, she came to live
with them. She was certainly aware of her Grandmother Gillette, of the same
family, so it is possible this helped her to get a job. I remember reading
that the owner liked to hire people who were connected to him. Anyway, she
worked closely with Grace and Chester and grew quite fond of him, though
not of her. I know she went to parties with him, whether separately or in
a group, I don't know. She was very pretty, and had inherited the French
part of the family's looks, with black hair and huge expressive eyes you
never forgot. My grandmother inherited the English Seymour looks with
blonde hair, blue eyes, and very white skin. They looked nothing alike. Aunt
Mildred was quite blown away when he was taken to jail and very upset. She
was one of his few ardent supporters and always believed he was innocent.
She used to say that Grace was very forward and pushy for the time and was
always chasing him. She felt Chester grew weary of being chased all the
time. Of course, at the end, to be fair, she had reason to gain his
attention. Anyway, Aunt Mildred lived to be nearly 97 years old and her
family said that one of the last things she ever talked about was Chester
and her fervent belief that he was wrongfully executed. We have visited all
the major spots of the story, where they lived and worked in Cortland,
Grace's home and where she's buried and also Chester's burial spot. My
husband and I once spent a night, all alone, in the supposedly haunted
Glenmore Hotel at Big Moose Lake. It was back here where Grace's body was
brought. The owners told us all kinds of ghost stories and we were excited.
We had a bedroom overlooking the water, but , sad to say, we fell asleep
and slept like logs and never saw or heard a thing! Oh, well! Hope this
helps. Could you please just let me know if you get this. I am having some
problems sending e-mail lately for some reason.
All the best,
Sheila Farrington Schweitzer

evangelia amirhom said...

How did Chester dare to kill this poor girl.?
He could ve just abandon her .