Sunday, November 4, 2012

By way of an introduction...

I "met" Ella Young while researching a paper for my Master's at UCLA in 1990. My paper was about Monterey County's first librarian, an intrepid Irish woman named Anne Hadden.  Anne set up branches throughout the very large and very rural county. Her domain included the rugged and remote coast of Big Sur - for which she spent much of her time in the saddle.  Ella Young, when she arrived on the East Coast from Ireland read about Anne and her treacherous trips down the coast to deliver books to the settlers there. Ella, an avid horsewoman, was enthralled   so she contacted Anne and when Ella arrived in California to begin her lecturing, she and Anne hooked up. They soon discovered they had far more than their Irish blood and horseback riding in common. Both women were keenly interested in Theosophy and became great friends. Ella and Anne journeyed to Mount Shasta together and performed a ritual in honor of the great power that was held by this mountain (photo of Shasta by Peter Hughes).

What a magical coincidence it was that Ella Young had left a large collection of her papers to UCLA's special collection library - and amongst them all was one letter from Anne to Ella. When I read that letter my heart gave a wee leap - for I knew that in Ella and Anne I had found, as Ella would say, my comrades. Some years later, working in Carmel, I rediscovered Ella thanks to another comrade -Mara Freeman  My journey, with Ella as my guide, continues.

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