March 31, 2018 ~ Tis spring. I remember meeting her during springtime. Doris brought a spring time brightness to my life, right when I needed a mentor: someone I could admire. I didn't know many women who were this savvy about life and didn't mind sharing what she knew. I was lucky to know her in person, the person in this photo is who I met. She sought me out to build her web site and my life has been made much better by meeting her. I didn't earn a lot from the job, but I learned volumes from her autobiography, lessons I would integrate into my thinking.
I am sure I never told her, but I loved her immensely, as an orphaned daughter loves the mother she always wanted and is lucky enough to find that in a friend. I loved her book for what I learned from it, for the history I learned through her eyes, her experiences. I am grateful that I met her. I don't remember exactly the circumstances, who gave her the referral for me to help her build her web site.
I loved the photos she had available to tell her story. Her book, The Iron Butterfly, didn't have any photos inside. Only the recent photo of her with the head tilt and the lovely pink sweater, graced the back cover. It's how she looked when I met her, it's the one pictured here. Black-white, color, both types... these images bring forth the personality of the woman who lived these events. Lively, sparkly-eyed, enjoying life to the finish. She had come to see what her experiences were in the full light of the world.
Doris corresponded a large group of people mostly by email when I met her. She had a faith that I didn't know a thing about but enjoyed learning what I did. Bahai. It's still mysterious to me. I don't know right now if she has died or not, but I do know that those who were in her life daily will have a hole to fill once she has gone. She didn't really let many people close. I felt humbled every time she invited me to her modest, super tidy home. Her momentos of the times written about in her book adorned her living room and small study.
I never saw her again after our last time to meet for tea at New Seasons Arbor Lodge. Doris touched my life in several ways. Her writing influenced my writing. She made me glad to have known her, albeit not all of her characters did I know. She was many characters rolled into one. These characters emerged at different times throughout her life and she was them all. You won't be wasting your time to read her book. Another aspect, and bonus: You'll learn some history, seen first hand, during several socially active times without any effort at all. An impressive technique of doing an autobiography and making it as light as most memoirs.
My Review on Amazon:
Gasp, smile, giggle, or laugh out loud. Absolutely pure enjoyment. Doris Colmes presents the reader with views into several places she lives and loves. It becomes obvious that Doris is definitely about love. A person can feel it in the passages, in the stories of her passions, her loves and her discoveries about life and herself. When she learns she is a stereotype, her life is already difficult, but then to try and juggle an affair while recovering her self image, Doris scoops up the reader and transports them with her on a journey that is only possible in the 20th Century. In the Middle Ages she would have been burned as a witch or a heretic. I loved every page.
This book, The Iron Butterfly: a trip through the twentieth century, was my "relax in bed book" that I took on a vacation to visit relatives. I looked forward to my nightly chapter. As a reader when I was young, I found I was fascinated with biographies and auto-biographies... it seems that these types of books genuinely give a person an eye witness account of the time they lived in... and, if the author is good, a reader is treated to a real feel for what it was like back then. With Doris you "live through" several social movements... You gain an insight into what it's like to be female during a time when it was real important to be cool. Learn what it was like to be one of the first women bridge tenders in Portland, Oregon.
Recommended for mature audiences.
Great example of how to share one's life stories.