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Catherine CAT Krause

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A story for BettyJo
By Catherine CAT Krause
Saturday, January 26, 2013

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The story of a bold young woman, who acted on impulse to find love at first sight can last a lifetime.

It might have been an ordinary day for everyone else, but not for a dark haired beauty living in town. Her name was Elizabet Mason, just barely 16 years old and already full of knowledge and wonderment. Her astute manners had been trained into her by her own mother as was the French custom Her mother had come to the US from France when she was but a girl, herself...just 17 year of age. Raising her daughter, Elizabet, was her delight and amidst the hard work of running a household she also taught her to cook delightful pastries and they shared a perfection for sewing.

Elizabet’s mother knew she would make an excellent wife someday as she had what folks called: “a way with people” She was born with a gentile nature and soft voice but a fierce independence drove Elizabet to find her own way. Her natural caring led her to the Denver Hospital, where she assisted in the delivery of babies. She should have been a doctor but education was for the “privileged” and so she learned ...first hand. Elizabet was doing what she loved to do: helping others. She had purchased a large medical book, which she would refer to as needed. Her natural understanding was one of her best qualities and people were drawn to her.

Elizabet’s hair had not been cut very often in her lifetime so it was that she could sit on it. She washed and brushed and braided the beautiful dark hair as young girls do. Her figure was slight and the heavy dresses almost “wore her” rather than the other way around. She had a good sturdy pair of shoes, which she wore everyday...but this day she thought she might go to town and shop around as young women often times did on their day off...after morning chores of course. Elizabet helped with the dishes after a lovely meal prepared by her wonderful mother. They chatted and giggled quietly in the kitchen and made plans for the 4th of July preparations. Discussing the food they soon realized there were goods needed from the General store so they decided to go to town together to pick up the items. It was an easy walk and the day was clear.

There was an Army camp just outside of Denver. On occasions when there would be a parade the Cavalry would be preparing the horses and uniforms for a grand entrance and show of Patriotism. This 4th of July Parade was approximately in the year of 1914. There were shoes and buttons to be shined, horses to be bathed and brushed and assignments of: who would ride which horse. The week before the parade there would be marching in formation and instructions for strict order. In attempts to make the parade a grand event everything must be perfect. Young men would feel upstaged by another if they did not do their best and so they did. Everything was executed in military unison as their training had taught them. The Cavalry were well respected by civilians who appreciated what freedoms they had fought to obtain.

And so it was that Elizabet Mason stood in the crowd to watch the parade. The Cavalry was in line to appear last so the men and horses were to patiently stand at attention. The array of colored horses was in direct contrast to the men all dressed alike. As the men rode by the crowd waving and smiling no one knew that the moment of Kismet was about to arrive between two young strangers. Belden Hiram Bush sat tall in his saddle on the beautiful Palamino horse that he had been awarded the privilege to ride. His eyes most likely scanned the crowd as one huge sea of admiring folks as they laughed, saluted and hollered out greetings and blessings. It was a joyous occassion, but like other parades the general purpose was to impress and to celebrate in an orderly fashion.

It was a most amazing moment when the eyes of a blond, blue eyed soldier and a young brown eyed girl (with the most amazing dark hair) met. It was not an extremely long gaze. It was not a double take looking back again gaze. It was a magical moment which visit only the few . If God truly meant that He gave us eyes to see and ears to hear then this moment was of His doing....when He was knitting together two most special people...then, and only then can His will come forth like the fruit of a well cared for tree...planted near the water.

Elizabet Mason could not explain why she noticed the Palomino horse or the handsome soldier riding valiantly upon it. She and her mother went home together and she did not mention it ..but her head was spinning. Butterflies in one’s stomach was not exactly the type of thing a young woman shared with her mother until she understood it herself. In her youth she dreamily entertained an idea to write the Cavalry inquiring about the soldier on the Palomino horse. She may have stated the blond hair or blue eyes, but most likely not and her shyness in such a bold move surprised her. When she took out her writing and formed a letter meant for the unknown soldier.. she barely knew what she meant to say. She may have simply asked if she could write to him. She had addressed it to the camp outside of Denver hoping it would find the man on the blond Palomino horse. He returned a letter to her explaining that he was moving out: to the Phillipinnes, for an uprising there....but he would be receptive to communications with her. Over a two year period they wrote letters describing their families, their likes and dislikes and found they had a great deal to share. They became close...and spoke of love and marriage and vowed within the written lines to wait for one another until he was released. They made plans to meet and soon after.. wed.

Beldeen Bush was nicknamed : JOE BUSH for a great baseball player of the time. He decided to take out a homestead of 365 acres in Creston Butte, Colorado and the newlyweds began their life there. The ranch was a bounty of mountainous peaks, milk cows and cattle....fruits and vegetables. There was always enough food, but little money as the Great Depression loomed everywhere denying ordinary folks the fruit of their own labors. The young Bushes began their family of 5 children. He was a rancher and she, a rancher’s wife. Everyone had to work very hard, but no one thought any different as most folks were in the same circumstances.

The children attended a one room schoolhouse in overalls. They rode their horses and for them, freedom abounded on the great homestead. All throughout their married life Elizabet and Beldeen were as happy and loving as when they began. They were always loving to one another, to the children and to others who had less than they did. They exampled their kindness by loading the wagon once a week with vegetables and meat to be given to those who were suffering from the Great Depression.

As the children grew so did the reputation of Elizabet as she returned to her great knowledge of medicine. She had kept the large book of maladies and remedies for reference. There were many Austrian women in the area who preferred Elizabet over the town doctor, who was really a mining doctor and not as practiced in the area of birthing the babies. The women had come to the US without their own mothers so Elizabet was a great comfort to them. The word of mouth spread until Elizabet was called on as much as she could handle. She rarely said no, but tended her children, the ranch and all the duties of her life....while continuing to aid the medical needs of the Austrian women in the area.

Eventually Beldeen and Elizabet had to sell the ranch and move to town as the high altitude was making it difficult for him to breathe. Their happiness continued in their lives together until Elizabet was diagnosed with cancer. Their children were grown and gone by then. Her 2nd child came to help her and watched her suffer the horrible illness, staying with her until her death. The stately soldier who had bound his heart to hers only lived for 2 months after her death and his children believed he died of a broken heart.

written by:
Catherine N Krause
Jan. 12, 2013
This is a fictional story based on facts given to me by BettyJo (Bush) Elliott, who was born in 1920. I have estimated ages and dates based on the year she was born. I have written this story for her enjoyment, solely. My imaginings are strictly fictional.

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