Elsie and Ken

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Elsie met Ken Stark when he was five years old after he, his brother Phil, and their mother moved to the rural neighborhood.  The two boys were only a few years older than Carolyn. 


His paintings for Growing Seasons were his first book illustrations.  Others that have followed are Oh, Brother!, Orphan Train and Seeing the Elephant.






















                                                                               





Elsie and Ken sitting on her front porch.


Elsie Lee Splear was born on an Illinois farm in 1906, the third of four girls. After she retired, at the urging of her daughter, Carolyn Splear Pratt, Elsie wrote her reflections in three notebooks to explain how life had been for the young farm family of which she had been a part. Growing Seasons is the story as she told it to Carolyn.

Casein paint used for illustrations.

The notebooks on her country home kitchen table where Elsie wrote her story and drew diagrams of the farmsteads.

Elsie’s front porch with a fall display after an overnight rain and wind storm.

Ken Stark

 

“When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder's in the shock...”

James Whitcomb Riley. 1853–1916


Carolyn Splear Pratt at location where her mother was born a hundred years earlier.

©C .Pratt

© C. Pratt

© C .Pratt

Carolyn Splear Pratt as a volunteer in the Taylor Schoolhouse for the annual Rhubarb Festival.

© C .Pratt