Wonder Woman, aka, Shinazy
I come from a long line of Wonder Women, so of course I have this picture of myself.
The first Wonder Woman in my family was my great, great, grandmother, Julie Robinet. As a single-young gal, she sailed to San Francisco from France. She spoke no English; she knew no one. She only knew there was opportunity in the post gold-rush-boom town and she was going to seize it. A few years later, she was able to purchase acreage just outside the city limits.
Her daughters were born on that property. As young adults, they built – hammered and nailed — a two-story Craftsman style home. They were two French lady-farmers living among Portuguese ranchers. One of the daughters, my great-grandmother Julia Chaine, was a single parent, raising two daughters because she had banished their rowdy Irish father. She instilled in her girls the same Wonder Woman spirit she gained from her mom.
Pauline (Gigs) Shinazy, the eldest daughter, my grandmother, was a Renaissance Wonder Woman. She knew she was invincible and could conquer anything she encountered. She was an accomplished painter until my father accidentally burned down her studio. So, instead of crying she became a Studio Potter, making all the family’s dishes and vases until her hands worn out. She made my poodle skirts from drapery material – thank you, Scarlet O’Hara. Gigs made jewelry, faceted gems, grew prize-winning dahlias, canned fruit, camped in the desert, rode horses. She explored various religions as they entered the mainstream. When she converted to Judaism, she went to Israel during the Six-Day War and broke her arm taking pictures of Russian tanks that “…weren’t there!”
Like her mother told her, she told me, “You can do anything, be any one.” So, I decided that I, too, would be a Wonder Woman.
But, unlike the comics, sometimes Wonder Woman needs to reassess her conquering strategy.
Can I really continue to fight evil forces, improve my Amazonian martial arts skills, be a supportive partner, run a business, hold my breath in Space, volunteer, write for BOBB, train for my last marathon, stop bullets with my bracelets, climb Half Dome, learn to scuba…?
Yes, Wonder Women are endowed with extraordinary strength, speed, and stamina but …
Yesterday, this WW had to make a decision — something had to be postponed. It was a hard choice and I’m still a bit sad, but it was the right choice to make. And I know I’ll feel better, soon.
Ok, I’ll be satisfied to be wonder woman . . . for a while. Hey, I think it’s time for my Lasso of Truth lesson.
photo by rdeetz and illustration by Joshua Otero
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