Why Nellie Bly matters

You might have noticed references to Nellie Bly if you looked at Google today. An interesting person, she was. Went undercover as a reporter in the 1880s, exposing all manner of legally-sanctioned very-bad-things many women were subject to in the day, including jobs, health care (especially mental health), courtship services and much more. But it was her interview with Susan B Anthony that strike an obvious chord with me-

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling,” Miss Anthony said, leaning forward and laying a slender hand on my arm. “I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives woman a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. It makes her feel as if she were independent. The moment she takes her seat she knows she can’t get into harm unless she gets off her bicycle, and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.”

I’d heard this quote before, but never the context from which it came. The Wiki makes for interesting reading on the amazing life of Nellie Bly.

Print Friendly

In Close Encounters, Richard Dreyfuss had his mashed potato mountain. I have Sunflowers.

IMG_0543_DxO1200This means something. That’s what Richard Dreyfuss said each time he created a sculpture of a mountain, out of mud, out of mashed potatoes, or saw something that became a vision of Wyoming’s iconic Devil’s Tower. For me, it’s Sunflowers. I can’t see Sunflowers and not think of France, specifically the Tour de France. It’s an obsession, no question. How else can you explain traveling to France each July, 13 of the past 14 years?

For several years I’d see Sunflowers growing out of a yard near the top of Jefferson, as I rode towards the start of the Tuesday/Thursday-morning ride. It was sad, a couple years ago, when a remodel displaced them. But a couple months ago Sunflowers have appeared again, not at the top of Jefferson, but in a small garden near the corner of Jefferson & Farm Hill. I pass them every day on my way to work.

As Richard Dreyfuss said, “This means something!” Indeed it does. The ‘Tour is coming.

Print Friendly