By Michele Nations
In December, the Friends of the Boyce Ditto Library (FOL) invited members of various groups who had supported the organization, such as the library advisory board, the library staff and the Brazos Foundation, to a dinner held in the library. Mary Alyce Buckner, chair of the special events and program committee, chose a Victorian-era theme, which reflected the period of Queen Victoria’s reign in England from June 1837 until her death in January of 1901. Research was conducted by members of the committee, and the invitations were designed and sent out. Joyce Chesher, FOL vice-president, planned a four-course menu that reflected the foods that were eaten during this time period. The first course consisted of meat, the second of fish, the third of cheese, and the final course of desserts. Few, if any, vegetables were served.
Drusilla Howell, FOL treasurer, and Gerald Warfield, library advisory board member, provided the program with illustrations of the literature during the Victorian period. The American Civil War (1861-1865) fell in the midst of this period, and Drusilla’s poetry reflected the turmoil of the times as she introduced the group to a collection of poems from the Texas Civil War Museum. One poem, entitled “We Have Been Friends Together,” told of a long-time friendship that had been injured by a harsh word from the wife of Colonel Norton, who was instrumental in getting the granite for the state capital building. She also read two poems referred to as “Two Voices,” one from a man who had served in the Confederacy (“A Southern Volunteer”) and the response from a man who had fought for the Union (“His Northern Brother”), each declaring that they would both fight for their now united country as the threat of the Spanish-American War drew them back together again but on different terms.