Patricia Evans and Brooke Soard

Recorded October 19, 2019 Archived October 19, 2019 34:21 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby019290


Patricia Evans (63) tells her friend, Brooke Soard (43), about her grandmother, Lottie, and the musical legacy that she left.

Subject Log / Time Code

PE describes her grandmother, Lottie's, childhood in Texas.
PE talks about Lottie being sent to finishing school where she learned to sing and play piano.
PE describes Lottie moving to and becoming involved in her husband's town, Seymour, Texas.
PE talks about Lottie's affliction with tuberculosis and how the disease impacted her.
PE reflects on her family's musical talents.
PE talks about her career and using music with her and BS' patients.
PE illustrates Lottie's generosity.
BS talks about the importance of memory.
BS describes her family's musical talents and learning to drum.


  • Patricia Evans
  • Brooke Soard

Recording Location

Dallas Public Library: North Oak Cliff Branch


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00:05 Hi, I'm Brooke sword. I am 43 years old. Today's date is Saturday October 19th, 2019. We are in Dallas, Texas. My interview partner is Patricia Evans and I am her friend and partner-in-crime.

00:23 And my name is Patricia Evans. I'm 63. Today is Saturday, October 19th, 2019 and wear Dallas, Texas and my interview partner is Miss Brooks sword and she is my dear friend and partner-in-crime.

00:43 And I'm so excited Brooke and I so appreciate you coming so that we can talk about a lady that I just think is unsung hero. Her name was Charlotte Mariah deal and she lived a long time ago. She was my Grandmama and she went by Lottie. She was born in 1885 and she passed away too young at age 51 in 1937 and she came from West Texas and because of her extraordinary life her Legacy continues to influence not only me but many children that I work with and many family members. So this is Lottie and pointed to a picture of Miss Miss Lottie right here and you can tell she's a very tall lady very pretty looks very Edwardian in a full high neck white lace outfit with little bow on her hair. So thank you for letting us talk about that today. I think I see some resemblance.

01:43 Compliment so she came from Amarillo Texas her daddy. She was born in 1885 and her dad was Judge John veall of Amarillo and mr. Bill judge Phil had quite a colorful history himself. He evidently was not completely truth about his age cuz he didn't want to miss the Confederate sign up for the Civil War and I don't know how much he actually saw any action but he was a confederate soldier stays on in Texas becomes a lawyer marries a lovely a lady named Lucy Li Lucy Lee creature and they start their family. They get married in the late eighteen hundreds and they marry in 1884 and in 1885, they have my grandmother okay of what's really interesting is Lucy Li did not live long. She died quite young. She wasn't 30 died in her late twenties, and so my grandmother now grows up with

02:43 Early mom my grandma's only 5 years old and by all accounts her daddy remarried a woman that was not nearly as kind the quintessential stepmother and the late eighteen hundreds. And from there on her life was about her dad and her stepmom finding her the quote right person to marry and they pick out the socially appropriate people, but guess what happened? Oh my goodness. She went to a neighboring Town little Community call to see more taxes. They had apartment taxi more taxes with Seymour, Texas and they were at meeting friends for party and she met the man who stole her heart. Mr. Joe wheat and mr. Who it was kind of a mess. Mr. We'd actually went to play guitar on the Rio Grande and during the Spanish-American war and he was known for saying boys bury me where they shoot me and he was just a character whose course he survived that

03:43 And come back to see more and heat to becomes a lawyer and back. He becomes judge weight, right? So la ti falls in love with Joe that will her parents are appalled. Alright, and so

03:58 Before she even meet Joe queet her mom decided Age 5 her dad. He's remarried a woman that's not very kind and not very loving and they send her off to a finishing school. That's unheard off a Texas in the late 1800 right? How are where would that be didn't even know that there were finishing school. If it hadn't been for my mom tell me about this. I would have known if it was known as kid tea or the North Texas female college in Sherman, Texas and it later became Austin College and then all those archives wound up is SMU in Dallas. So evidently my grandmother was sent there when she was 16, I think about that. She's grown up in this very social home, but she's not the nurture lighter and she sent off at age 16 to a finishing school in Sherman, Texas. That's where she's taught her beautiful singing and her wonderful piano skills right as hell.

04:58 For 4 year, she becomes something of an expert at protecting 19th century romantic piano. Music Franz Liszt was one of my favorites and the man who was her professor was a man named Harold Von Nicholas and Nicholas was a terror by by all accounts me with Bridget the he was hard on his students in the story goes that a lot of who played this incredibly difficult piece of music and head baits mistakes, and he gets very upset. He reaches over and he tears the music up and says the young lady you go home. You'll be a housewife you could never perform, you know, and of course she performs at those beautiful life, right? So she graduated 1905

05:43 What time she meets Joe wheat about that time her if she cannot be persuaded to look at anyone else and so against her parents wishes. She marries is Maverick lawyer from Seymour, Texas and becomes mrs. Joe sweet.

06:03 So this is pretty amazing and she's coming in. And of course, it's really extraordinary. This becomes even more important to her the whole story here. She's not she lost her mom at 5 years of age. She's been sent off to boarding school at 16 and has not had a lot of nurture is taught in a boarding school voice and music she marries this gentleman and her parents probably toner.

06:28 I want nothing to do with her anymore. All right, so sure enough. She gets around to getting established in Seymour, Texas on Seymour Texas is now 1908. Think about it. Not quite the Dust Bowl. It's not quite the depression right but there's not much in Seymour touch her and nothing in the way of flatland flatland irrigation because all the customers are so bad. Right? And so when Lana gets off the train to meet her husband who's waiting for all the ladies and Seymour have gathered up getting around or trying to get the house that he's picked out north side of Seymour as nice as I can get it but there's dust everywhere and I can't unpack anything The Story Goes that on the first night together as a married couple of Seymour Texas, they attack and can of canned tomatoes in her cut glass Crystal.

07:18 We decided us about the reality of being mrs. And Seymour, Texas in 1908. She she starts a library club and it's called the. A club which refers to the Greek mythology of the pierian spring deep drink deep in the. Spring a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. So they create the pierian spring club, or they can have a very nice and very interesting right she is responsible for a lot of wildflowers in the local cemeteries. She starts to have children. She's teaching music now, she's they would they would do drives for the local library in the first really did it. 500 books. Wow donated to the local library Seymour, which really hadn't been in existence Sheriff woman. She's had such a little nurturing and she's become so Nerf.

08:18 Yourself? She's teaching voice. She's teaching music. She's creating a library book drive. She's working with aperion Club. She has her second, baby.

08:29 And the worst that could happen happens. She develops tuberculosis. Of course and 19. This would a 1910 now 1910s the cancer of the early Twentieth Century, right? There's no help for it right back in Texas. Keep good Far West Texas. There's a community San Angelo and back in those days. They had the tuberculosis sanatorium. She literally gets packed up. She has to go spend months living in the TB sanatorium in San Angelo, right? So now she's got in this life starts here these two babies and her husband visit her on the train with the babies. So apparently was a train that got them from San Angelo Seymour and he's bringing the babies come see her, you know, and the bottles of all four stories about Gentleman on these trains feeding these toddlers as are coming to see their mom in the in the TV stand from San Angelo to go home, and she

09:29 Home in the doctor say now miss Lottie. You can't have any more children. You're going to be sick the rest your life. You can't have anymore kids went. Well. That's a silly thing. I've heard. I got to go home and take care of my husband and take care of my kids even against medical by she wind up having two more children right now and she's a quintessential musician. And I mean that in all the ways that's good and bad. She can be a little absent-minded as well as being very idealistic. Right? So my grandfather was also very idealistic. And this is the day of the KKK and bad things and he would represent African-American individuals who would be at risk for physical harm from around that area and he would send those ones you sent to Lodi and said, please bring me your home give him something to eat. And if the sheriff's men come don't let him be retained by the shares then we're going to get them out of town.

10:29 We can get safe. And so sure enough it again Lottery is very tall and slender and very elegant the men come along and she meets him at the door with a shotgun. I don't think this woman ever held a shotgun in her life, but apparently she struck enough of an image that the men are like Miss Lottie and I don't be that way Mam and she said boys, I'm not in any way you can't have my friend here. So they they left her alone. And so she would pray if she was incredibly courageous in that way, but you also was absent minded The Story Goes that they were going to plan a picnic while picnic in the 19 teams will have taken supplanting. Right? So you're going to have to get either in a Buckboard or car. If you got one to get to wherever you want to go to have the picnic and apparently make all these plans to get all the way up there. They forgot the food in the kitchen. So this would be quintessential Maslany idealistic love.

11:29 Generous to a fault but very idealistic and it's so funny. This sounds so familiar and reminds me of someone. I don't know exactly who it is. I'll wait if I do it it would be you I pray so she whines of having my mom even if the doctors tell her she can have more babies and of course by the time that she has my mom who is also named Charlotte Lottie has Charlotte Lottie now completely lost her voice. There is no more singing there is even hear her. She only was first and my mom tells us where she never heard her mother's own voice and not a tragedy never hears. This woman's voice to talk such beautiful voice, but she said she'd go downstairs and practice you had to practice for school every morning and it her mother would hear her miss a verse or miss a line and she'd Whisperer.

12:29 Enough for mother to hear

12:33 And then she would have beautiful whistle and she would whistle the correct line to the boats are the brown Daughters Wine made my mom crazy cuz everyone else is asleep in bed, and she's now correcting music downstairs, but she didn't let

12:48 A chronically disabling illness left her semi-invalid keep her from participating fully. She just went around it went around it figured out another way here. I just I find incredible what she passes away far too soon. She the tuberculosis finally gets her she dies. She's only 51. It's 19.

13:12 37 and she she passes but with such a legacy my mom and somewhat repeat of her own mom now is without her mother and her this time in her mid-teens her father remarries Ramirez, a wonderful woman of who was a nurse nothing musical theatrical about her. She was at the very pragmatic nurse and my mom was always at the maze how things could get done efficiently because her stepmother was in Ruth Ruth was so compelled to look after my mom in a way that she's not had right. So my mom then goes to TW was called a t s e w back in the late thirties early forties and she gets a degree in voice and piano. Oh my goodness, and she teaches voice and piano all of her professional life. My mom who passed away at 96th and 2015.

14:12 Left her own legacy countless children who learned to play and learn to sing because of my mom's absolute commitment and show personality that she actually inherited from her. Mom not just from the direct teaching but by observing the model of someone who's committed to the to the nurturing of children with music, so all that to say my mom make sure of of all her children that we all got an instrument to play. I hog the piano I will own this I farted but my brother play trumpet my other sister play violin another sister played piano as well and we all formed a choir

15:00 We come from a very extended family all of their children either teach music either piano voice Summit University levels or in private settings professionally or just simply to their own children and none of this would have happened. None of this would have happened if Lottie had not been brave in 1901 to leave her home in Amarillo where she knew everyone to live in a boarding school for four years.

15:32 It wasn't always kind and she acquires the gift for music for piano for voice for all of it. And then she she's our own strong-minded woman. She has high ideals during World War 1 and Seymour Texas, you might imagine you weren't supposed to play Anything by German composers booty on that. We're going to play Brahms and Beethoven and Bach. Thank you very much. Just the commitment to Excellence and in this was coming from my grandmother who then pass it on to her children who then hopefully passed all of us and I saw this workout storycorps. I thought we have to tell Lottie story because she's truly literally an unsung hero, but in many ways she's generated countless.

16:27 Children and families who have come to incorporate music and love are there very unloved music.

16:36 Countess a little bit about you currently what you're doing in your own life with poet voices. Are you sweet? I'm certainly not the student. I'm sure my grandmother was but I study piano my life and now I teach piano privately. I also study guitar and piano and

17:02 I'm submitting types. I hope that I'm selected up to at least participate in the amateur Van Cliburn for 2020. But if not, it's all it's something my grandmother would have done and I can hear her say, of course, you're going to trial. Of course, you're going to apply for that to be brave. And even if you don't think you can make it you do it. Anyway, you do it anyway because the gift is in the music-making. It's the it's the Journey of making the music and she's just with me all the time.

17:33 And you're doing it for yourself not to impress anyone else not to entertain anyone else over your head therapy for yourself with my therapy. And when I play a Chopin or a list or Braum's I'm just surrounded by.

17:54 The Angels my family who got on who get it and I can imagine she signed up pack go back and redo that phrase. Was he with whistle. I'm sure the correct phrase I have missed and it's amazing to me as active as you are.

18:17 In your musical career that you have enough career that takes up a lot of time just a little bit.

18:28 Careers is that your professional career Brightwell? So I take care of children. I'm a pediatric specialist. I take care of children with autism learning disabilities because I cannot I know that my mother and her mother love children and I love children and there is no greater gift on this planet than the honor of taking care of a family who feels like maybe I can help in some way and I find this incredibly humbling.

19:01 I've seen the family. Take care of and I have seen families that you first started taking care of their child or children when they were very very young and now they have grown into adult and a lot of them have very severe impairments. They may be completely non-verbal. They may be physically aggressive cuz I don't have ways to communicate and you walk into the room with them and their family just feels at ease I feel at ease with you they feel comforted. They know that you're going to help them and you're you're along for the ride with them of them raising their with older children. They're doing the hard work on it and you come in and add such wealth and wisdom because of your background and how do children learn how do we acquire skills and between the two of us Brook I think we do lots of singing to our children.

20:01 Do you do we have to do it come in and sing to a child who might not have any words but to see them to respond that rock they smile yet again music is the ultimate language Universal not words. It's the music and again the great gift that my grandmother gave all of us. I'm just so grateful and then so when we do that hurt kitchen with his incredible families, his family are amazing, aren't they? Yes. Yes, and then you'll come in and you get silly with me and we saying oh boy. It's a good day. Oh boy three days and we and we can engage children away, but I'm always might be a little scary right to do singing took to feel the rhythm. And as we both have told moms and dads doesn't matter. If you don't think you can sing your child thinks you sound amazing amazing and so to sing to children.

21:01 Matter what the level of understanding listen to animals the same thing animals love to be sung to Children adult. It comes from the heart and it is such a universal the understood communication form. And I think it's amazing. There's more and more facilities in places that are embracing having a pet therapy a music therapist and we are fortunate that we have music therapy and pet therapy and we try to combine them together whenever someone will let us do that.

21:39 We we we try to combine that I have a couple videos two or three or maybe ten of you sitting on the ground with the guitar with one of our favorite therapy dogs that are coming to visit. Yep Murphy the sheepadoodle Murphy the sheepadoodle. I have to be sung to he does. He really does. He likes being told that he is a good dog. He loves it and he looked he he's very focused on the guitar and figuring out where is the music coming from an end to see a child sit down beside Murphy the sheepadoodle who is not a small extra large is a big sit down beside him and they put a paw on the child and then you play the music and yeah, everything's such a everything seems right right in the world at that at that moment and that nonverbal previously anxious child has relaxed and

22:39 There is almost instantaneous piece about that, yeah, I wouldn't have one more cool story about 4 we go. They are the stew hysterical soap again, she had high ideals and this is back in the depression that were known them into the early thirties and apparently and I think they use the term hobos the hobos of the guys riding the rails trying to get some place where they can get food and shelter they would leave signs on doorpost of doors to avoid order more kindly women. Apparently she turned herself some sort of the symbol that was that she was a kind woman and so people need to stop at our door any time to get a new that she was the same person and there's at least one story where man knocks on the door and she said just thrown on a robe and I don't think I've done anything to her hair and open the door and scared him so bad he ran off.

23:38 I don't know what that's like it. All right, let's just say I'm glad that this is recorded with audio and video. So the other part of that is what she she would always when they would have family at Thanksgiving of people knew they could, they would she put up everybody. They had this phone on pallets on the floor whatever they would put up at 10:15 people at a time overnight usually were friends from college with her children's friends older kids and they waited half a turkey the first aid the other half a turkey to second day and the college kids were used to come through Seymour and just stopping off at our house. There's one favor store where she came to the house and it was someone in her bathroom taking a shower. She didn't know it was you know, but she waited and got a cup of coffee and sure enough. They had the grace to dress, you know before you left, but it was a college friend who knew he could stop off at the weights and get a quick shower maybe cup of coffee again.

24:38 Spirit they have no money to spite her childhood upbringing of not having a lot of nurturing and ride and taken care of here. She is her husband has been paid at the produce right? You little got paid and vegetables, right? You got paid with a chicken, you know, you didn't get money so they didn't have a lot of money but they had an old upright. Sure was hers from her home piano and then whatever else I could do. So I just had to add that it's amazing that those that don't have very much seem to give so much more they will kill themselves and the shirt off their back to shower in their house their hair last for 2 year old to protect men from the Ku Klux Klan right to get them out of the into out of danger into safety when it was not the popular thing to do. Right, right. Oh and by the way, you miss that line of the Brahms write out crap.

25:40 Exactly. Did you ever hear any stories about how she was able to being so sick? I mean tuberculosis, you know, that was just something that she lived with and had to manage. How did she manage to keep the household afloat being so ill what's a great question because what wound up happening is that her husband Joe want to make sure that she'd had helped so she can still teach piano so that he hired local girls who lived off on farms who would not have had much exposure to any of this to come and help but what happened is she one of having more responsibilities and more people if they eat right, but of course, he writes all these young women come into their home to help clean, right? I don't know how well they actually clean right? Right, but they all got voice music lessons.

26:35 How do you spell incredible which quite honestly I'd much rather have voice and music lessons to learn how to be a clean clean the native-born showman at age 4 and my mother was a precocious little show showman, right and when she was a little girl that she would take it to the local masonic hall or whatever the Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW Hall and she put her on the table and my grandmother would play just a prayer for Daddy coming home from War years is 4 year old little boy trying to pray for Daddy and all these that's just weeping, you know, either cups and apparently it was it was a big deal and end. Of course. She did that with all the kids the oldest one boy.

27:28 Joe Smith Jr. Play trumpet and then Sarah played flute and then Charlotte with piano and then I believe Josephine awesome play some piano. So they would Trace small for the local churches and the Masonic Hall to have their little quote Orchestra. I know and I'm not so sure how much of a sound they made but but again despite not breathing. Well despite not having a boys. She's doing it. Anyway, it's almost as though she knew she wouldn't have long so she had to make the mother with him after she had how long do we have? We don't know but she absolutely had to go by and I feel the same sense of urgency you would just we just can't let time get wasted because we don't know how long any of us have got to make the most of whatever time that you have. That's amazing. She was I wish I'd met her I never got to meet her but I always feel like I know her but she had been gone long before a decade.

28:28 I actually just had that conversation with my son the nine-year-old who's who's in an old soul for sure. His dad says am a yes. He said it's F has his mama's enjoy his mom is a little bit just a little bit. He said nothing living no one lives forever. Do they and he'll just occasionally, you know being know her all her life groceries and I'm like that's a deep one and he said no one lives forever and I just said to him actually just had this conversation with him last night. I said, you know what no one does live forever. I said, we don't know how long dead people are going to live how long they're going to be in our lives I said, but their memories make them live on even after they are physically gone. I said, for example your Mimi. She never met any of her her grandparents.

29:28 + but she heard so many stories about them. And so she has so many memories of them that it is like she had met them and it back because she hadn't met them these memories create that that living person forever. I mean, here you are. What is your instrument? Yeah and fairly recently. I had my entire life enjoyed the drums and I never growing up I play the clarinet who played the piano my mom with a piano furniture and that she did she was a very cheap is a very gifted musician. She was able to pick up any instrument and basically play on it and still can I've got a hilarious video of her she was trying to help tune a friend of ours. They got their daughter when she was about five.

30:28 One of the little kids size violins and I said, oh has repaid your daughter started playing at she said no cuz I haven't gotten it to and yet I said if my mom could tune it out. So here's my mom who has really horrible rheumatoid arthritis and he's just kind of minerals Knuckles and everything in here. She is I take her this little kids size by when I said you think you can tune this and she's like course I can do that and she's very modest turn and Sherry and she is she Tunes it sure enough and I mean I'm watching her going to break off the violin any minute now because it's so small so fragile and then her hands itchy Tunes it and then she plays happy birthday on it didn't pick up the violin in years and years, but just so cramped ported the child and it was good magic. We just all tied up laughing because I didn't think that she can pick out the violin still training play with the drummer of knossos.

31:28 Sonnen you're all I do and it it transports me to a totally different place and for me Zone type of music, right even with I tone percussion is its own kind of in and it wasn't until you were actually the one that encouraged me. I don't think very many people even people that know me really well even know that I had any interest in learning how to play the drums at all other than unlike my, you know, dashboard of my car driving home, you know working and the commute and you were the one who when I said, we you know, it's funny that you mention at the school of music that you are taking classes and now teaching at you know, I have always thought about taking drawing lessons and you were the one that for my birthday last year set. I'm going to get you a complimentary life and that's going to be my birthday gift to you for you to have a drum lesson and I I was nervous about it. I was like old be doing this. What am I doing? I can't do this. I'm not like

32:28 The name for hell sakes you got those people that are amazing and they started playing their instrument when they were very young and I was like no. No, I'm I'm going to do this and that's all it took was one lesson and the next thing I know I'm like, okay. So where can I buy a drum set? How can I finance that so that I'm able to do that? I'm on you know, Amazon order a drum playing like my grandmother and that you have this drive and you love things that are excellent and you love the music and you just had the spirit. You know, she would love you and I just I'm just so appreciative of you being here. I salute here and celebrate lottie/mother. I appeal weed absolute all it's it's an honor. It's an honor and I feel like I know her and I feel like I know your mom because I know you and so much of both of those amazingly strong generous. Can you imagine

33:28 Oat and doing and of course my mom's a whole nother story every just a very Dynamic gifted strong woman. You know, she herself had how many children when she husband 7 hours youngest and she raised them on her own teaching Public School in Lubbock, Texas and teaching music education. Are you when you're a dad past five months five much you and your twin sister and we all got music education. We had to go to school, but we had to have had to have at least an instrument. So

34:07 Unbelievable. I just I'm just very blessed and you just a sister from mother from yesterday.