Yesterday I mentioned that I was very busy working on a project about my husband’s great-grandmother, Catherine Seeley FitzAllen. Here is a teaser, from the first paragraphs of the book:
“She had an inordinate desire to be prominent in society,” testified Catherine’s soon-to-be ex-husband, William Seeley, “and my limited salary was not sufficient to permit her to assume the role her ambition prompted.”
After nearly 30 years of marriage, William was done. In March 1889, he filed for a divorce from his wife, the former Catherine Kenney. He loved his daughters, Ida Mae and Katherine Pearl, and while he didn’t want to bring disgrace upon the family, William was beginning to fear for his life.
He was sitting at their dining room table, in their well-appointed home on Quality Hill, a prestigious neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri when Catherine appeared in the doorway with one arm under the other. “What’s the matter, Ma?”, William asked. “Carrying your arm in a sling?” Catherine said nothing but began purring over him. “What are you hugging me for?”, he asked. At that, Catherine pulled back William’s coat, shoved a pistol under his arm and snapped it. The gun didn’t go off. Catherine ran from the room, uttered a loud scream and locked herself in her bedroom.
William left the house, found his daughter Ida sitting on the lawn and informed her that her mother had shot at him.
Ida was nearly 30. She was certainly of an age to be independent of her parents. But Katherine, nicknamed Kitty, was only 15. What would become of her if William broke up the family?
I have been researching Catherine for well over two years. Every time I think I’m finished another surprising piece of the story surfaces. I’m pretty sure I’m ready to call the current rewrite the “final version.” I hope so – I have so many other projects to finish!!
* A friend of mine suggested I call the story “Bad Grandma!” Certainly, a more catchy title – but not so sure relatives will appreciate it. 😏 Hopefully, a better title will emerge as I work through the final draft!