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Update on Eugene Purdy

Note: Eugene Purdy shot and killed my grandfather E.S. Hutchison in Tulsa Oklahoma on 13 January 1925. Purdy went to trial but was found “not guilty due to temporary insanity”.

Hello Pamela, 

I just read your book and want to share information about Charles Eugene Purdy with you. Eugene Purdy was my grandmother’s older brother.  I’m sorry your grandfather and family suffered the loss inflicted upon them by Eugene. But more importantly, I want you to know that my grandmother told me that the crime ruined his life and he was very remorseful about it. Her exact words were “it ruined his life”. I will share with you what I know. Gene raised the two boys that he and Helen had together. We were told that Helen left the boys with Gene. She was gone. As you may know Charlie Purdy – Gene’s son with Helen, got hit by a car and died in Tulsa. My mom told me that Helen came back for the funeral and they never heard from her again. The other son was Robert Purdy.  Gene and son Robert left Oklahoma and moved to Los Angeles for a short time. Then they moved up to San Fransisco. There Gene would live out the rest of his days- quietly working as an accountant. He remarried and died in 1963. He became a Christian Scientist- the coincidence that he was surprised me when I read your book. His son Robert joined the Navy for WW2. The family pretty much lost touch. The whole murder was painful for the family.  So I guess it was natural for the relations to slip away. Gene was buried in the veteran’s cemetery in Northern California.

Per my Mom-Gene’s niece, he was a quiet and soft spoken person. You may know he was an accountant and worked for an oil company in Tulsa. His father, also Charles Purdy, had been the town banker in Billings, Missouri and he was a traveling judge for the Springfield area. (Another coincidence with your family) He died before his son Eugene committed the crime. Gene came from a good and happy family. So the whole situation was a big shock. My grandmother told me that she had to testify at the trial- she was 20 years old. It was a ordeal. She also told me that Gene’s employer really helped him and pulled for him in the trail. Apparently this employer was very well to do  and very well connected. We all know that if this happened today Gene would have gone to prison.  I have photos of Gene and one of Helen. I will share them if you like. Again, please know that Eugene Purdy was sorry for what he did. My grandmother was there and she knew him well as her brother. She is the person that told me of his lifetime regret. 

Sincerely, 

Laura, a relative of Eugene Purdy

What Day?

Was it today

or yesterday

Driving along

Happy for no reason

Everything clean and clear

No evil anywhere

No fear

On my way

So what

if my son

is not home

or does not answer

the phone

or the door

Happiness continues

Did you see that magpie

in the olive grove?

Clear vision

as if a pane

of frosted glass

in place

not to reveal

but to disguise

has been removed

Dispelled

by an unseen hand

for an unknown reason

Calm recognition

of a different

state of mind

Is this wisdom?

Pleasant though

not quite joyful

Like the day

Cloudy with spotted sun

Not yet raining

although it might

Calmly happy

for no reason

No reason at all

No reason at all

Yerrabi Track, Namadgi National Park, Australian Capital Territory

Driving the road

Unpaved

Potholed

Stopping at a space

Previously known

Stepping onto the track

Recovery of memories

Erased

Starting over

Drizzling day

Break through sun failure

Doubling down

On rain gear

No set goal

No set time

No measurements

Burned out log

Forest remnants

Damped down

No smells

No bird calls

Unseen frogs croaking

Limited colours

Walking on

Looking up

Ghost stumps

Burned black

New growth

Shooting from trunks

Shooting from soil

Defying destruction

Bushy grey green

Redefining a once forest

Walking on

Drizzled on

On and on

Up and up

Looking down

Tiny purple flowers

Thumbnail size

Could be orchids

Thoughts leap to partner

Limited by Parkinson’s

Returned to car

Unable to complete

The track

Reach the ridge

Joy of wild orchids

Thinking of him

Alone not lonely

Ridge arrival

Unforeseen

All directions

Hills upon hills

Callum Brae Nature Reserve

Callum Brae Nature Reserve (Narrabundah Lane, Symonston, in Canberra’s Inner South) is a very special place.

Callum Brae protects Yellow Box and Blakely  Red Gum trees which are on the Extremely Endangered list as well as grassy woodland.  Many species of birds, some of which are rarely sighted such as the swift parrot and the gang gang cockatoo have been seen in Callum Brae. Callum Brae is a well known location for birdwatching.  We visit and enjoy Callum Brae Nature Reserve regularly.

Callum Brae Nature Reserve is under severe threat by a proposed large crematorium and cemetery infrastructure on the boundary of Callum Brae Nature Reserve.  This commercial development proposal is inappropriate, unnecessary and damaging to the environment.

Callum Brae Nature Reserve will be overwhelmed by the proposed huge Crematorium development on its border.

Make a submission TODAY against this development application amendment.

Deadline for comments 31 May 2022   

Make a submission website:  http://bitly.ws/qwoy

Scroll down toJERRABOMBERRA – SYMONSTON

Or go to www.planning.act.gov.au 

Choose Development Applications open for Public Comment.

Search SYMONSTON Development Application: 202138789

Address: 99 MUGGA LANE

Thank you.

The Trees

Dedicated to the trees of Callum Brae Nature Reserve, Canberra, Australia which are under threat from a proposed crematorium complex

For me

It’s the trees

The gum trees

They welcomed me

To this land

When no one else did

Where are you from?

What’s that accent?

Go back to where you came from

But where is that
where did I come from

So many places and spaces

And peoples

And struggles

And protests

And learning

And sharing

Go back to where you came from

Embrace them all

And I do

When I stop

And stare at a gum tree

I know you

You know me

I embrace you

I look up to you

I admire you

Your colours your shapes

Each tree unique

Yet grounded in the same soil

Gum trees are elsewhere

Where I’ve lived

California

Seen as a threat

Live through the dry

Can catch fire

Gum trees in California

all look the same

Is it because they were torn

Out of their original home

in Kenya

Gum trees all look the same

But in Australia

Each one different

Orange

Pink

White

Grey

Brown

Black

Shaggy bark

Smooth bark

Scribbly bark

When in doubt

Where you are

Do you belong

Look at a gum tree

Admire their shape

Their tenacity

Their survival through fire

Walk up to the tree

Look up to the tree

Embrace the tree

Then you will know that

You are alive

You belong

You are the tree

One day I will be a tree

Or perhaps I always was

I try to write

To paint

To sketch

A gum tree

Or a forest

I have not yet captured

Their essence

On paper

Sydney Nolan

Captured the essence

Of gum tree forests

Yet he had to have

Ned Kelly

Hiding within

Behind the trees

What is the relationship

Of Ned Kelly to gum trees?

What about the wombat hole

And the dead soldier who fell in

What does this say about the settlers

The colonialists relationship to the land?

Was it Ned Kelly who opposed them?

Was it the land itself

that could not be

Completely conquered?

I see the gum trees daily

I think of them daily

I embrace them daily

This is what keeps me going

When denied by society

The trees are still there

Road Kill

or how to be undepressed

Drive the joyful way

Not the quickest

Notice the dead rabbit

 in the road

Picked at by

a large black raven

Quietly move towards it

in an electric vehicle

Honk the bird

out of the way

Notice

Twelve or more

pink crested galahs on a wire

usually seen on the ground

pecking away

while pushing Eliana’s pram

she’s watching

as am I

as we quietly creep closer

whoosh they fly away

Notice

Old friends

the eucalypts

arching

swaying

more creative

in their shapes

and colours

than my paintings

Drive the joyful way

Notice

Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation book review Book titles camping Canberra Charles Eugene Purdy Christian Science Dean Koontz E. S. Hutchison Eastern Oklahoma State Mental Hospital family and fiction father fiction Gary Snyder Helen Purdy Kansas Kansas City Kenneth Patchen Kenya Kosciusko National Park Life Expectancy Love Pirate MidWest Missouri Nairobi New South Wales nobody’s a long time novel novels as history Oakland Oklahoma Pinch River poetry public library reconciliation title Tracking the Human trees Tulsa Tulsa Daily World USA Vinita W. Lon Hutchison Whales

Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation book review Book titles camping Canberra Charles Eugene Purdy Christian Science Dean Koontz E. S. Hutchison Eastern Oklahoma State Mental Hospital family and fiction father fiction Gary Snyder Helen Purdy Kansas Kansas City Kenneth Patchen Kenya Kosciusko National Park Life Expectancy Love Pirate MidWest Missouri Nairobi New South Wales nobody’s a long time novel novels as history Oakland Oklahoma Pinch River poetry public library reconciliation title Tracking the Human trees Tulsa Tulsa Daily World USA Vinita W. Lon Hutchison Whales

Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation book review Book titles camping Canberra Charles Eugene Purdy Christian Science Dean Koontz E. S. Hutchison Eastern Oklahoma State Mental Hospital family and fiction father fiction Gary Snyder Helen Purdy Kansas Kansas City Kenneth Patchen Kenya Kosciusko National Park Life Expectancy Love Pirate MidWest Missouri Nairobi New South Wales nobody’s a long time novel novels as history Oakland Oklahoma Pinch River poetry public library reconciliation title Tracking the Human trees Tulsa Tulsa Daily World USA Vinita W. Lon Hutchison Whales

Too Many Layers

Too many poems

Cannot choose

Too many photos

Overwhelmed

Beauty

Camping

Coast

Australia

Too many layers

To my life

Is that what

getting old

means

So many layers

Lost the thread

How to find my way

Back

Remember

Or don’t

If it’s past

Give it up

Go ahead

Yet I hesitate

People left behind

Names on a list

Names on my phone

Some forgotten

Some ignored

For years

For months

Can I reconnect

Can I remember

Should I remember

Too many layers

So many countries

Here I am

Rocky shore

A rocky shore

A place to share

With whales, wallabies, lizards

Not mine alone

Put aside thoughts of control

No limits of rocky shore

Lines of whales

Twisted gum trees

Yellow flower vines

No limits to sharing

Freedom of small children

Gleeful exchange with wallabies

Walking by twos low tide

Colourful hats on beach

Joyful seen from above

Trees

Trees surpass people

Beautiful reliable diverse

Providing food and living space

To birds and animals

Providing shade and inspiration

To humans

Trees give long lasting comfort and acceptance

The colours, the shapes, the textures

Always inspiring

More beautiful

Than anything made by humans

More beautiful than any sculpture

Any building, any vehicle

Especially eucalypts

Their variety their shapes

their colours, their textures

overwhelming

surprising

delights

trees

Homage to Callum Brae Nature Reserve, Canberra, Australia

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