ots of you have noticed that some of the most wonderful quotes I put in my books and calendars are attributed to Gladys Taber. I’ve been asked many times who she is and how to find out more about her. I think I learned everything I needed to know about her when I read this:
ladys Taber was born in 1899 and spent her life writing about the every-day simple things in life for her wonderful Stillmeadow and Still Cove books. She loved everything I love, which is why I love her! Through her eyes, we experience the passing seasons from her 1690 Connecticut farmhouse; share in her passion for animals, gardening, cooking, and homemaking. Her books are filled with practical advice and her common sense view of the way things are. She also wrote the Diary of Domesticity column for the Lady’s Home Journal in the late 1930’s, and Butternut Wisdom for Family Circle through the 1960’s.
any people inherit their fondness for the writings of Gladys Taber from their mothers or grandmothers. Others “discover” her by accident. I found her waiting for me on a shelf of old books left behind by the previous owner of the first little house I bought on Martha’s Vineyard. The book was Best of Stillmeadow, where I read the words “April in New England is like first love.” and fell in first-love myself, with Gladys. I feel like I just missed her, she died on Cape Cod at 81 years old, the year before I moved to the island
began collecting her books; finding them almost lit up, like little torches in dark and dusty used bookstores. As soon as I found out about it, I joined the Friends of Gladys Taber Fan Club. For years I have received their wonderful snail mail newsletter that still thrills my heart every time I see it in my mailbox. It’s real mail, the kind you save and read with a cup of tea. Afterward, you feel the way you do when you open all the doors and windows on the first spring day after a long cold winter!
‘ve also corresponded with some of Glady’s other “Friends” and without really “knowing” them, it’s easy to feel an instant connection between kindred spirits because of our mutual admiration for Gladys Taber, which extends right out to each other.
n a beautiful June day in 1999 the beloved “Editor-in-Chief Emeritus” of the Friends of Gladys Taber Fan Club, Gilbertine “Gilly” Moore, stopped by my house on Martha’s Vineyard to say hello. We’d been pen pals for years, but this was our first in-person meeting. We visited in the backyard, under the rose arbor; she was like a link to the past for me. She gave me the black and white photos you see at the top of this page… she took them when she visited Gladys in 1955. Gilly and I wrote to each other until her death in 2008.
illy is gone, but her spirit and heart continue to inspire The Friends of Gladys Taber Newsletter. They have what they call a “minimal” web site (due to everything being volunteer, having no funds particularly, just a lot of heart), but you can go there www.FriendsOfGladysTaber.org to request membership information — they would love more people to know about Gladys Taber. So if this seems like your cup of tea, it’s only $20 a year for four “sturdy” issues of about 40 pages each, sent out in March, June, September, and December; a mere pittance for the wonderful job they do of carrying on the true tradition of what Gladys Taber was about.
Still meadow, Gladys’s wonderful 1690 farmhouse in the Connecticut countryside.
If you want to know more about Gladys, here is her page at Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladys_Taber
In 2014 I was honored to visit Stillmeadow and speak to the Friends of Gladys Taber group . . . and here’s what I wrote afterwards that was printed in their Newsletter. To join Joe and I on our wonderful tour of Stillmeadow, click HERE
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