Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002
I was just reading some of your Burton News Quotes.
They are so, so wonderful. Yes, they are amazingly funny, but there's also something kind of nostalgic, and even sad about them. Is it possible that 1972 was really thirty years ago? [It just occurred to me that I have felt something of this same pathos when I read diary entries of some forgotten seventeenth century puritan,describing the events of his plain little life that vanished a long time ago.]
I can only say that I heartily agree with you that Burton News is still important.
I think I told you that I did stop into Burton for church one Sunday morning. I was the youngest person in the building by several decades. I can't remember the names of the people that I met, though I'll guess they were the Simpson children in your cast of characters.
From: Susie M.
Subject: Opal Simpson
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2002
Are you old enough to recall Opal Simpson?
yep, i met her when i was a kid.
Rob fondly recalls her articles from about 20 years ago, published in the Springerville newspaper. His memory is that her husband died in the early 1980s and she moved in with one of her children, and that was the end of the columns.
hard to believe louie held on as long as he did, feeling as poorly as he seemed to so much of the time.
I used the SSDI (Social Security Death Index - genealogy is my hobby) and found her info: born 27 Dec 1913, died Jan 1991, in Show Low.
sorry to hear that she died. i was holding out hope that she might still be around.
I can't find any record in the SSDI for a Louie or a Louis Simpson dying in Arizona that could be her husband. The closest I came was a Charles Simpson, born 12 Apr 1913, died Aug 1984, White Mountain Lake. It is possible her was never issued a Social Security card, if he never held a "normal job."
if he never did, he would be someone to look up to
Her writing made me laugh until I had tears in my eyes. You summed it up beautifully ...
opal was a gem.
this must be Opal's husband Louie:
12 Dec 1901
30 Dec 1991
that does sound about right -- except if it is, can you believe that poor, ill louie made it to ninety years of age? you GO, louie!
Yes, it surely looks as if Louie found the secret to a long life.
o/` Louie Louie, oh Louie, we gotta go o/`
Date: Wed, 3 Jul 2002
From: David W.
I've been following your website for quite a while; I found out about it at Ishouldbeworking.com. The Simpsons articles are the funniest things I have seen in a very long time. Thanks for pointing me to them.
From: Lisa V.
Subject: The Opal Motherlode
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002
Your website never ceases to delight, and what a treat to see a collection of Opal Simpson's columns.
I first read her in the White Mountain Independent when I worked for Phoenix Metro Magazine in the
mid-1980s. Her chronicles of mud, Louie's incomparable bad health and the big doings in Burton were
fun to read. I interviewed her over the phone for a small piece in the magazine, and Opal was as down to
earth ( or mud in this case), as she came across in her column.
For example, when I asked her how she approached her column she said, "I just write it, with a pencil, and mail it
She told me the idea for the column (which was then called "Letter from Burton") began when she was
arranging to have a tombstone put on her parents' graves in the mid-1960s. She told her relatives about
her decision and they all wanted to see the marker for themselves. Opal recalled, "I said, 'Jimminy
Christmas, why not turn it into a reunion?'" So when more than 60 relatives from throughout the country
came to visit, she submitted a story to the newspaper about it, and the rest is journalistic history.
I saved a few of her columns from the 80s, which I could send you if I can find them in the detritus. I don't know
what I liked better: the column or the to-the-point headlines. ("Had some green beans, "Sure had some mud," etc.)
Thanks for sharing Opal with the world.
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002
i adore the simpsons. fine of you to immortalize it - at least for as long as the internet lasts.
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002
Subject: the simpson stuff
what the?? where'd you find this? and what IS it?
we used to live near them, and i just found out last week that some of those clippings had been saved. so, you know ... like i had a CHOICE
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2002
Oh, I just -love- this!
Where did you get these clippings? Did you find them somewhere, did someone in your family save them all?
they've been in the family for years, i just didn't know it. when i learned they still existed, i knew what i had to do.
You know how I get breaking news sent to my phone... the headlines are usually Kazballah, Rome, Washington -- I've saved two that begin "Show Low, Arizona".