The Cross & the Pen: Patsy Clairmont's "I Grew Up Little"
- Saturday, July 17, 2004
Eva Marie: Okay, back to the book itself. You picked a person who was significant in your life and then wrote about him or her per chapter. How did you decide whom to write about?
Patsy: Oh, golly. I picked the ones who wouldn't sue me!! (Patsy laughs)
Eva Marie: Oh, how funny. Patsy, I think that when someone such as yourself becomes a role model, and one who is known for her humor at that, we forget that into every life a little rain must fall ... which would mean you've experienced some storms along the way, too. I say that to say this: I think that the most poignant of all was the chapter about your brother. Can you talk about him a bit more for our readers?
Patsy: He died when he was 38 and I was 29. It was the most devastating thing I had experienced. He was kind and fun, and he liked me. (Giggles) I still miss him.
Eva Marie: I saw his photo ... he was quite dashing, too!
Patsy: Yes, and he had six darling children who still miss him as well.
Eva Marie: Your brother's accident and death were nearly relived with your sister.
Patsy: Yes, that really left me weak in the knees.
Eva Marie: Your sister suddenly went into a coma ... and it was your voice that brought her back. I know sisters have a special bond, but what was it in your voice, do you think, that allowed your sister to hear you when she lay comatose?
Patsy: We have a deep connection and certainly it was God's plan and timing.
Eva Marie: Patsy, whose decision was it to have photographs before each chapter? I love them!
Patsy: I believe it was Mary's idea. I am a visual gal and I love pictures. They are so personal and add to a story.
Eva Marie: Speaking of photos ... who is the hunk in chapter 8? [I am referring to the photo of her husband taken in their early years.]
Patsy: That hunk is mine, mine, mine!!!! Yahoo!!
Eva Marie: Although he is quite the catch, you are beautifully, painfully honest about the rough years of your marriage. It's easy to see NOW that God had HUGE plans for the two of you, but did it seem that way AT ALL in the beginning?
Patsy: No way!
Eva Marie: What was life like back then?
Patsy: We struggled big time ... and for a long time.
Eva Marie: Again, I think it's so important that you shared this. People see a long-term, successful marriage and think it was always like this ... but you spent the first part of your marriage apart.
Patsy: People ask Les today "How has your marriage lasted for forty-two years?" He quips, "She travels!" He's very funny.
Eva Marie: Oh, he and my husband would get along great! My husband is the funniest man I know ...
Patsy: Awww ... I love funny people!
Eva Marie: So, let's talk about the photo of you heading up chapter nine ...
Patsy: It was hard to find one that might portray my prisoner years. Can you tell how skinny I was??? My weight was about 85 pounds, and then I made my way up to 92 pounds and stayed there for a long time — now my right thigh weighs that much.
Eva Marie: Patsy, I've seen you recently and it does not!
Patsy: Trust me ... ask Les ... no, never mind!
Eva Marie: You are too funny ...
Patsy: You, too!
Eva Marie: I loved the southern references when you wrote about your extended family and their roots. I'm a southern gal myself, you know!
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