Did you know that one of our neighbors in Roseville, California was a part of history?
If you watched any of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebration this last week, you probably saw some clips that included something important that couldn't have been done without this lady's contribution. That's the tease, but first I will take a self-indulgent moment.
Let me tell you a bit about my own connection to Queen Elizabeth, however tenuous. I am half English, and my father's family was granted a coat of arms by a predecessor of the present monarch, and I have the original seal that was made into a man's ring that my father wore. But that's not what gives me my personal feelings.
Although it happened on a weekday, my mother let me stay home from school to watch Elizabeth's coronation on television. It was the first time any major event had been broadcast to the entire world, and we sat transfixed, watching that blurry black and white picture on a 12 inch screen.
Elizabeth was so beautiful and the pomp and circumstance was so spectacular that I fell in love with her. I've always felt a sort of kinship and pride in that lady, even though I'm American through and through.
I think it's just that old memory and the magic of it all, followed by the near perfection of how she has conducted herself and her reign.
Now yesterday I saw a television interview of a lady named Janette Stroup, who at age 15 helped weave two of the spectacular rugs on which the coronation ceremony took place all those years ago.
It turns out that Stroup now lives in Roseville, not far from my Fair Oaks home, and she says that at 15 she was simply trying to help to support her family, and that she didn't think of it as terribly special at the time - it was just a job.
Later, of course, she realized its significance, and although she still doesn't make a big deal about it (she says she thinks she got the job because she was tall - needed to work on the 30 foot long hand looms), her children and grandchildren are very impressed with the whole thing and feel she is pretty big stuff.
Considering her much more significant connection to the Queen than I could ever have, I'm sure she felt even more emotion than I did watching the replay of the coronation during the television coverage of the Jubilee.
And as the television reporter said, she is woven into history. So hip hip hooray for Janette Stroup, who played a key role in that coronation 60 years ago!
A portion of that tv interview of Janette Stroup by Dierdre Fitzpatrick on KCRA can be seen here. It is copyrighted so I can't embed it.
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Century 21 Noel David Realty
Fair Oaks, California
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