Irene Jones Carlisle (1908-2006)
Sandy: Forgot to add: Mrs. Carlisle was from Arkansas, of course, so her knowledge of Texas geography may have been lacking..
Rabbit: My nephews, who moved to Texas while they were still in elementary school, learned this song as part of geography class.
Never ask someone where they are from. If they are Texan they will surely let you know and if they are not… don't embarrass them. ;)
“Irene Carlisle, 97, a resident of Fayetteville from 1929 until 1972 and a longtime teacher at Springdale High School, recently passed away peacefully in her adopted home of California. Originally from Texas, Irene moved to the Ozarks when she met and married Jack Carlisle of Farmington.
Irene embodied "The Greatest Generation." Although she accomplished so much of note, her lasting legacy is the strength she imparted to everyone who loved, respected and admired her. Irene, a lifelong learner who earned her bachelor of arts degree from Texas Christian University in 1929 and her master's degree from the University of Arkansas in 1952, was a frequently published poet whose career spanned 50 years. She spent World War II as a "Rosie the Riveter" ship welder in California while Jack served in the United States Navy. She wrote about those experiences in "The Welder," originally published in the Saturday Evening Post. In 2000, Irene's poem was featured at the dedication ceremony for the Rosie the Riveter National Memorial.
After World War II the family returned to Fayetteville, where Irene taught Latin and English to generations of Springdale High School students, studied and advanced Ozark folklore, and helped Jack with his column in the Northwest Arkansas Times ("RFD Seven"). After Jack's death, Irene moved to California to be close to her daughter, Jo Ellen; son-in-law, Robert Zembsch; and her four loving grandsons. Irene was a wonderful matriarch to all; recently she enjoyed spending time with her six great-grandchildren. Irene became a world traveler in her 70's and she relished her many adventures in Europe, Asia, Alaska and a wild animal safari in Africa.
Irene's lifelong passions included her family, community, a well-turned phrase, any animal that could be tamed (and some that weren't), learning and teaching, springtime in the Ozarks, challenging games, fine literature and jokes of any sort. She joins her beloved Jack, adored brothers Clarence and Brandt Jones, and beloved daughter Jo Ellen.
Irene returns home to be with Jack in Farmington Cemetery.”
Welder, Irene Carlisle
“Slowly upon the ways the gray ships rise,
The hammers ring on forepeak, hold and keel.
Under our gloved hands and hooded eyes
The blue arc stitches up the patterned steel.
Over the hulls, between the clanging cranes,
We climb and kneel and seam the ships together,
Women are always sewing for their men,
It tides the heart through many a bitter weather.
The chattering rivets button up the shell,
The waiting bay is laced with windy foam,
The molten stitches glow beneath my hand,
This is the ship on which he may come home.”
Methinks the girl got her money's worth out of one lifetime.