“Sisters Before We Knew It.” A short story in Redemption: Stories from the Edge. Redwood Writers 2018 Anthology. Available on Amazon.
“Sisters Before We Knew It” is a short story about Elaine’s #metoo experience at work. She discovers the same man had sexually assaulted other woman in the company. She rallies a group of the secretarial staff to support her claim and report to personnel, ultimately ending the sexual harassment.
“El Diablo.” A poem in PHOENIX: Out of Silence…And Then. Redwood Writers 2018 Poetry Anthology. Available on Amazon.com
“El Diablo” chronicles Elaine’s near miss with a destructive dust devil twister on the highway in California’s Central Valley.
“History in Our Midst.” Story in SONOMA: Stories of a Region and its People. Redwood Writers 2017 Anthology. Available on Amazon.com
Elaine’s short story highlights the life of Sonoma County resident Barbara “Dusty” Roads and how she became known as the one who ignited the Second Wave of the Women’s Liberation Movement. As an American Airlines stewardess and airline industry union negotiator and legislative lobbyist to Congress, Dusty fought regulations prohibiting marriage and requiring the firing of stewardesses at age thirty-two. It was a 15-year struggle during which Dusty and her colleague, Jean Montague, became the first in the United States to file a sexual discrimination complaint with the EEOC after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Workplace discrimination in the airline industry would not begin to be resolved until Dusty and her union threatened a national strike in 1968.
Short Stories and Historical Fiction
Revolutionary Women is a compilation of short stories about women who, in the 1960s and 70s worked in traditionally male-oriented jobs—unintentional trailblazers for women’s rights. Elaine interviews these fascinating women and explories what it was like to be among the first women hired for a “man’s position” in the workplace. It was a time of tumultuous cultural and social change for both men and women and these stories reveal how women were both sabataged and accepted. Featured are San Francisco’s first female firefighters, a UPS freight truck driver, an Army soldier, a USPS mail carrier, a pest control exterminator, a county septic and water systems biologist, and a PG&E utility line worker.
Genre: Historical Fiction
In 1925, Polish immigrant Jenny Rigelski finds herself a widow at age 31. Her husband, a railroad company supervisor, dies in a freak train accident. Already a practicing apothecary and owner of a general store, she struggles to support her four children by selling groceries and creating herbal elixirs for her neighbors. As an apothecary, she receives legal alcohol to make her herbal remedies. Her husband’s friends suggest she formulate and sell bathtub gin as a supplement to her income. Their wives encourage Jenny as they know it will keep their men away from the speakeasies. She decides to disguise the gin as an herbal potion and then branches out to home-brewing.
The railroad workers,neighbors and friends stop by the store regularly to buy her mason jars of gin. They work hard to keep it a secret from outsiders. Police officers also lust after her concoctions and vow to keep her production a secret while offering her protection. Her bathtub gin business booms. As bootleg gangs get wind of her activities they start causing trouble. The railroad workers, her neighbors, her children and the police dream up an elaborate plan that goes to extreme lengths to hide her batches of gin. Together, they run off the intruders. Afterwards, Jenny continues to run her gin business without interruption until Prohibition ends and her children graduate from college. She eventually sells her herbal and medicinal formulas and apothecary business to Walgreens and retires to California.
This story is based on the author’s grandmother who made bathtub gin during Prohibition.