Saturday, July 24th was a perfect day in Markerville, Alberta. About 25 people gathered outside the historic Markerville Creamery for the launch of Annette Gray’s marvelous new book – Journey of the Heart – the True Life Story of Mamie Aguirre.
Pint-sized heroine, Mamie, was born in 1844 to rich Southern folks who kept black slaves. She was "born to the manor," so to speak and raised in true "Scarlet O’Hara" fashion. The fabulous satin gowns with yards of lace and puffy petticoats, this was Mamie. It is a gripping story from beginning to end, one that is fraught with tragedy, yet contains the kind of romance, courage and inspiration not often found in non-fiction. Annette’s wonderful account brings Mamie’s inspiring journey to life.
Annette shared with us a Power Point presentation about Mamie – told us about her 7-year journey writing this exceptional book – thanked some special people who helped with the project before introducing us to Mamie’s great granddaughter, Rowene Medina Aguirre. Rowene told us of how Mamie had always been a source of inspiration for herself and her family and just how proud she was that her great grandmother’s story could finally be told and in such a wonderful way. Shirley Dye of the Red Deer Archives spoke to the group next about the importance of preserving our personal history – keeping a journal – writing names and dates on the backs of photos. “In one hundred years, someone may wish to research your life – make it easy for them.” The launch concluded with the presentation of books to special guests and a book signing. Guests were treated to delicious snacks and refreshments. Many of us then toured the Markerville Creamery and indulged our taste buds with a delicious ice cream cone. A wonderful day and a truly exceptional book. To learn more, visit Annette’s website at http://www.graytwestbooks.com
Annette Gray is a Canadian born writer of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry with numerous published short stories and newspaper articles to her credit as well as two other books, Butterflies in the Dark and Twisted Heart. She is the coordinator/editor of an Alberta history book, The Days after Yesterday, and a contributor to the Women of Aspenland Project, a museum project documenting women’s history. Now residing near Markerville, Alberta, Annette has lived and traveled extensively in the Western States, enjoying the region’s rich history.
The Markerville Creamery, a farmers' co-operative, was the community's economic mainstay from the time it was formed in 1899 until 1972. Butter made from the local cows' cream was of very high quality, making Markerville Creamery a leader in Alberta's dairy industry. In 1986 it was restored to its 1934 appearance and became a museum. Today, tour guides in costume will take you through the creamery.