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Musing of Two Older Women June 12, 2008

    Greta and I continue the mission of encouraging recording family history in any way that suits your fancy.  Several residents have shared their family history vision.  We talked with Maxine Pazen recently; she shares her style below.


WALSENBURG- Maxine Pazen takes heed of dreams; observes; listens; researches extensively; writes.  Family history is preserved.  Pazen, a local writer whose family has lived in Southern Colorado for six generations, believes in the story-telling tradition.  Maxine and her siblings are currently researching the possibility of a seventh generation.

    Their mother Louise sang songs and told stories throughout their lives.   Now Maxine transforms these family stories to the written word– frequently using dialogue and adding a bit of color– always retaining the spirit of the speaker and the message of the heart.

    Her life includes assisting Grandma Theodorita Peralta with her “good medicine” practices, experience as a nun, nurse (psychiatric, OB-GYN, geriatric), wife, mother, grandmother, caregiver, active member of St. Mary’s parish, and writer.  Directness, depth, and an active sense of merriment spark her writings.

    These are some of her writings: “I Had a Dream: Nun or Nurse” (autobiographical sketch); “Seven, Seven, Seven, a Trip up the COG Railway” (Colorado Springs adventure with a child); “Why Do You Scar Me? “ (poetry in honor of the Wahatoya Mountains) –  She relishes “penning” her delightful mother’s stories.

    Her poem “Ode  To Abuelito Antonio de Jesus Vallejos” has been solicited for the book series Pioneers of the Territory of Southern Colorado.  Maxine begins, “When I was just a tyke, there wasn’t money to ride a bike.”  Before finalizing the poem, Maxine ascertained that bikes were part of that era.  Then she continued describing Louise as an admiring listener and fanciful dancer while her violin-playing grandfather stroked the bow.  All four of Maxine’s great-grandparents (Garcia, Peralta, Vigil, and Vallejos) are “territorial” which means they lived in Southern Colorado before this area attained statehood. Several great-great grandparents are also “territorial. Greta (my assistant) and I are eagerly anticipating confirmation that great-great-great-grandparents lived in this area.

    With such a rich cultural and family background, enhanced by a multi-faceted personal life and keen perceptive mind, Maxine’s writing material is unlimited.  Congratulations, Maxine, you have started on a writing career that will honor your heritage and your family.

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