Dan and I have a new way to get out of the house while staying socially distant: kayaking.
Recently I’ve been inspired by a piece of local history. In 1910, an entrepreneur named Oliver Toussaint Jackson founded the all-Black homesteading community of Dearfield, Colorado. The Dust Bowl eventually killed Dearfield, but not before it saw years of prosperity.
O.T. Jackson spent most of his time away from Dearfield; he continued his lucrative work in Denver, making money as a messenger for the governor and enticing more people to join his dream in Dearfield.
So who kept Dearfield running while O.T. was away?
His wife Minerva, naturally.
If you’d like to learn more about Dearfield’s fascinating history, I recommend this (free!) documentary, Remnants of a Dream.
By the way, Dan’s raft is the No Name. Sarcastic, yes — but actually tied to Colorado history as well: the No Name was one of the four rowboats in John Wesley Powell’s expedition down the Colorado River. (Thank you, Jaclyn Backhaus. God I miss theater.)
So far, I have no plans to take my raft anywhere but flat, calm lakes. (We’ll see.) And yes, I have packed books of poetry in freezer bags to bring along with me. Currently I am enjoying Alison C. Rollins’ Library of Small Catastrophes.
As you can imagine, we have plenty of plans for Minerva and No Name. They may be tame, placid, poetry- and sunset-filled plans, but baby, that’s how we party.