Thursday, July 21, 2016

The O'Brien's--Susan B. Anthony

The next stop on my way was to meet these delightful friends of my son, Ron...

Shawn O'Brien and his mother Phyllis.

Phyllis has an absolutely lovely home and garden... 


...and was very happy to show it off.

Once again I am truly impressed with the vibrant colors of plants and flowers that I saw throughout this northern part of the US and Canada.  The shorter growing season seems to boost the color level of everything. 

The next door neighbor, Marca,  is a good friend of the O'Brien's (especially Shawn) and she allowed me to park in her driveway the entire time I was there.

Parking in the driveway was no small feat and forced me to use all my 'backing-up' skills.

Marca shared  a print with me that she displays on her wall at home.  She said it was suddenly illustrated in her driveway:
"I spent a long time trying to find my center, until I looked closely one night and found it had wheels and moved easily in the slightest breeze, so now I spend less time sitting and more time sailing."  

Phyllis was so kind as to take me on a tour of her town of Penfield and the larger city of Rochester.

The one place I most wanted to go was to the Susan B. Anthony house, which was the headquarters of the Suffrage Movement.

    It was also where Ms Anthony lived for the forty most active years of her life. This house was the site of her famous arrest-- for voting in the 1872 election--and the bedroom was where she died in 1906. 


Her life was devoted to obtaining the vote for women...

"It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizens, nor we, the male citizens, but we, the whole people, who formed this Union."  From a speech in 1873

Susan B Anthony played a pivotal role in the suffrage and anti-slavery movements.  In 1873 she was arrested for voting in Rochester, New York and convicted in a widely publicized trial.  She was fined but refused to pay it--the judge finally dropped the charges.
She was harshly ridiculed throughout her life and was accused  mainly of trying to destroy the institution of marriage. (From Wikipedia)

Once again we learned that photography was forbidden.  These inside pictures were taken before we were informed of the prohibition.  That is so annoying to me.  If the flash is not used then I am not sure what harm is done and you would think the tiny bit of additional publicity would be to their advantage.  I think I hear a voice....
"...educate all women to do precisely as I have done--rebel..."  Susan B. Anthony From the trial in 1873

Additionally, our docent was a cranky, old retired nurse who frowned on any questions and pushed us along as though we were an annoyance to her afternoon....just exactly the stereotype that feminists have to fight against.  After one question she turned to me and said,  "Just be quiet, I'll get to that information in a minute.  Aren't you listening?"  UGH!

"Failure is Impossible!"

Susan B. Anthony died before women gained the right to vote but her words and actions formed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.  Interestingly, previously ratified in 1870, the 15th Amendment made it illegal for the federal or state government to deny any U.S. citizen the right to vote.  

"Men, their rights and nothing more; Women, their rights and nothing less."

My Grandmother was 19 years old when the Amendment was ratified. My mother was born the following year.

There is a lovely neighborhood park just a block from her house.  In the center are these life-sized figures of Susan B. Anthony and her friend, Frederick Douglas.

"Independence is Happiness." From a speech she delivered in 1875



  1. You would have made Susan B. Anthony proud! Do people forget she was herself a rebel? Grumpy old ladies have no business in the people business, in my opinion. All the flowers sure are bright and beautiful.

  2. Thanks, Anne. I agree about Grumpy old ladies. I wondered why someone would volunteer to do a job that made them so clearly unhappy.

  3. i have got to read more about this lady. so interesting.. never got to see her home.
    Don`t forget florida in the winter ,i am still here.
    will call june sherman

  4. I love to hear from you, June. Please call me anytime.