Tuesday Twigs: Creative Muses

Everyone should be listening to their muse and expressing outwardly their creative juices.  Too often we do not.

Clio, muse of History
Clio, muse of history, my inspiration; image in public domain

I thought today to climb around in my family tree looking for ways that my ancestors expressed the creative.  Let’s sing, dance, and be merry!

In the 1950s, my 2nd cousin once removed, Verjean Mardelle Rancore (such a creative name, right?) sang at 4-H meetings, was in the 4-H sewing club, and was cast in her high school play, “Aaron Slick from Pumpkin Creek”.  In 1956, she was cast as Aunt March in the all-girl production of “Little Women” at Falls City (Oregon) High School.  [1]

She won the ‘Homemaker of Tomorrow” contest at her high school in 1956 (love that name, huh?) and was eligible for a scholarship and a trip across the United States. [2]  Verjean was valedictorian of her 1956 graduating class and attended Pacific University at Forest Grove, Oregon, where she studied optometry. [3] [4]

She married Charles Simpson in 1960 and disappeared from the newspapers.  Then this from the 11 May 1963 Oregon Statesman:

verjean Rancore

But then look what I found from the Pacific University online site!!

“Boxer Love Story: Jean (Rancore) Simpson ’60 and Chuck Simpson ’60, O.D. ’61

by Jean (Rancore) Simpson ’60
Friday, February 14, 2014

Chuck and I attended Pacific from 1956-1960. We worked at the movie theaters in Forest Grove to put ourselves through College. Chuck was an optometry student and I graduated as a secondary teacher. Meeting at the theater and working together for 3 years, we became good friends. I had a few different boyfriends at that time and never thought of Chuck in that way. We made a bet my senior year on a Pacific football game. I lost and had to buy us coffee; that was our first date.

He asked me to a dorm party for Christmas, and by the time Christmas break was over, he had asked me to marry him. I said yes but we didn’t announce our engagement (because in those days, you announced it in a special way at a sorority meeting, etc.). My roommate had gotten engaged over vacation, and I didn’t want to steal her thunder. I got my ring from Chuck on the second of February; he couldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day as he had planned. We announced our engagement and planned an August wedding.  As the end of school approached, we decided separate summer homes and a big wedding was a waste of money, so we made plans for May 7.  We were married in Old College Hall on May 7, 1960 and spent a weekend honeymoon at the Oregon coast. We graduated with a BS a couple weeks later.  Another year at Pacific got Chuck his OD and boards passed. Then we left for the Army in Penn. where our 1st child was born.

We eventually settled in Baker City, OR (on the dry side) with 2 daughters and a very happy life. Chuck died in 2003, long before he should have. We had been married 43 years. I still remember our days at Pacific and wish he were here.”

So I guess this turned into more of a quick biography than a melange of creative glitter – thank you for your indulgence.  I guess this could be a theme as I am always looking for those special details about people.  Creativity manifests in so many different ways and the outlets certainly change according to the times.  How will your creativity be remembered by the future historians?



1 –  The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] Wed 25 Jun 1952 pg 15: Newspapers.com

2 – The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] Wed 31 May 1950,pg 2: Newspapers.com

3 – The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] 7 May 1956, Sun, pg 11: Newspapers.com

4 – The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] 13 Sep 1956, Thurs pg 9: Newspapers.com

5 – http://www.pacificu.edu/about-us/news-events/boxer-love-story-jean-rancore-simpson-60-and-chuck-simpson-60-od-61



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