Monday, December 23, 2013
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio - Terry Ryan
As I struggle to keep my household together with only three children, I find myself drawn to books about families with large numbers of children - if only in the hopes of gaining some advice about how to make it all work. Evelyn Ryan, the heroine of this story, is the mother of ten children. And while she is married, her husband is an alcoholic who squanders his meager income. So, Evelyn turns to jingle writing - entering any and every contest she can get her hands on - coming up with clever phrases and rhymes just to earn a few extra dollars to keep her family afloat. This is one of those truth-is-stranger-than-fiction stories to me- that one woman could win so many of these contests is pretty amazing, but that this sporadic unpredictable income is the best means she seems to have for keeping her family from the streets is incredibly odd. This was an incredible story of how people facing difficult odds can dig deep to really come up with creative ways to keep a roof over their head and food in the refrigerator. Fascinating on many levels - and the contest entries, while I didn't always understand them, were really quite entertaining.