Check Out Our Advertisers!
     None  Accounting/Bookkeeping
     None  Animal Care
     None  Antiques & Collectibles
     None  Apparel
     None  Attorney - Lawyer
     None  Auction
     None  Auto
     None  Aviation
     None  Banks and Credit Unions
     None  Beauty Salon
     None  Carpet Cleaning
     None  Chamber of Commerce
     None  Child Care
     None  Chiropractic Care
     None  Churches
     None  Computer Services
     None  Dry Cleaning
     None  Duct Cleaning
     None  Electric utility
     None  Equine Services
     None  Excavating
     None  Eye Care
     None  Feed Stores
     None  Field Mowing
     None  Financial Services
     None  Flooring
     None  Food Products
     None  Foundation Repair
     None  Funeral Home
     None  Garage Doors
     None  Handyman Services
     None  Health Care Facilities and Services
     None  Heating and Cooling
     None  House Cleaning
     None  Insurance
     None  Internet Service
     None  Jeweler
     None  Knitting and Sewing
     None  Lawn Care
     None  Liquor Stores
     None  Mortgage
     None  Painting - Interior/Exterior
     None  Paving/Asphalt
     None  Pet Grooming
     None  Pet Sitter
     None  Plumbing
     None  Pole Barns
     None  Portable Buildings
     None  Propane
     None  Real Estate Services
     None  Restaurants
     None  Schools
     None  Senior Citizens Services
     None  Septic Services
     None  Sheds, Outbuildings
     None  Shipping Services
     None  Specialty/Gifts
     None  Tires
     None  Trash Service
     None  Veterinarian
     None  Welding
     None  Windows and Doors
     None  Windshield Repair

Autumn teaches us a valuable lesson. During summer, all the green trees are beautiful. But there is no time of the year when the trees are more beautiful than when they are different colors. Diversity adds beauty to our world.
– Donald H. Hicks, "Look into the stillnes"  
Contact Us | Advertise | Classified Ad | News Stands | Subscribe  

  Volume No. 17 Issue No. 9 September 2020  

None Book Review   None Community Calendar   None Community Photos   None Did You Know?  
None Editorial   None FFPD News   None From the Publisher   None Marks Meanderings  
None Monkey Business   None News From D 49   None People on the Plains   None Pet Adoption Corner  
None Pet Care   None Phun Photos   None Prairie Life   None Wildlife Matters  
Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In

Bill Radford

  A red plaid skirt
  By Bill Radford

   It's a fun children's story –- and an amazing real-life story.
   Falcon resident Becky Van Vleet is the author of "Talitha, The Traveling Skirt," published last year by Elk Lake Publishing and illustrated by Courtney Smith. It's a tale inspired by a unique family tradition.
   That tradition began in Indiana, where Van Vleet grew up, and was born out of a friendship between Van Fleet's mother, Alberta, and her friend, Omadeen. They became close as teens and continued as friends after both got married and moved to Indianapolis with their new husbands. Alberta had a baby girl; and, as a present, Omadeen made her a little red plaid skirt given to her when she was turning 2 years old; Alberta, delighted with the gift, had a professional photo taken of her daughter wearing the skirt.
   Alberta would go on to have three more daughters –- Van Vleet was No. 3 out of the four girls — and each would have their photo taken at age 2, wearing the red plaid skirt.
   "All four pictures from the first generation were finished in soft brownish tones, called sepia, and were taken at the Holland Studio in Indianapolis," Van Vleet recounted in a blog. "My parents proudly displayed these four photographs on top of our piano for a number of years.  … Daddy was proud as punch of his four little girls — Nancy, Jincy, Becky and Libby. We became the first generation to wear the little traveling skirt."
   Then Van Vleet and her sisters began raising their own families. And the tradition continued with that generation of girls, including Van Vleet’s four daughters, all being photographed wearing the skirt. (Alberta got to see two of her granddaughters wearing the skirt before she died; Van Vleet’s father, Walter, lived long enough to see photos of all the granddaughters in the skirt.)
   Now, of course, the tradition continues with a third generation.
   "So for more than 70 years and three generations, all the daughters, the granddaughters and the great-granddaughters have had professional pictures in this little skirt," Van Vleet said. And as the families have grown and spread farther apart, the skirt has had to travel farther, being shipped throughout Indiana and to Colorado, Florida, Tennessee and Illinois.
   For now, it's with Van Vleet. "I have another granddaughter who will turn 2 in July, so she'll be the next one to get her picture taken," she said. (If you're wondering, there are boys born in the extended family, too; Becky's eight grandchildren include two grandsons.)
   Van Vleet and her husband –- they were college sweethearts –- have lived in Falcon for about 15 years. A retired teacher and principal, Van Vleet has long enjoyed writing and began working on the story of the skirt as something "like a memoir, just something to preserve for the family." But the story was so unique that she was inspired to do something more with it –- a children's book. For the book, she decided to personify the skirt and make it the main character; she named it Talitha, which means "little girl" and comes from the book of Mark in the New Testament.
   She submitted a proposal for the book that was snatched up by Massachusetts-based Elk Lake, a Christian publisher. The publisher suggested a choice of three illustrators; Van Vleet contacted all three and ended up picking Smith, who it turned out lives in Colorado, in Franktown. "She invited me up for lunch, and we got to talk about the vision for the book," Van Vleet said.
   Seeing copies of the book for the first time was a dream come true, Becky said. But perhaps the most exciting part was sending a copy to her mother's old friend, Omadeen, who is still living in Indianapolis.
   "I've got her picture holding that book,” she said. That was just really special. She never dreamed this little gift would turn out to be part of a children's book or that it would travel through three generations.”
   Van Vleet has another book, with the same publisher and illustrator, coming out in August; this one, "Harvey, the Traveling Harmonica," is also inspired by a family story. And she has plans for two more books after that.
   "I'm a baby boomer," she said. "And I really believe it's important for the baby boom generation to share our stories –- especially any stories we have of our parents, the greatest generation, that we can share firsthand."
   (You can find "Talitha, The Traveling Skirt" at Barnes & Noble stores in Colorado Springs and online at and For more of Becky Van Vleet's writings, visit her website at https://
Falcon resident Becky Van Vleet has had one children's book, "Talitha, The Traveling Skirt," published and has another one on the way. Photo submitted
Facebook print this page      

  © 2004-2020 The New Falcon Herald. All rights reserved. About Us | Contact Us | Advertise | News Stands | Privacy Policy