It probably will come as no surprise to regular readers of this blog that I enjoy reading the books by Maud Hart Lovelace that feature her childhood self, Betsy Ray.
Lovelace wrote about her childhood in Mankato, Minn., thinly disguised as a community called Deep Valley, and her friendships with two other girls that became lifelong friends. The first book, Betsy-Tacy, shows readers how Betsy met Tacy, the five-year-old across the street from her house, and their epic friendship. The pair could see each other from their bedroom windows, and send messages.
I recently brought my storytelling students to the former homes of Lovelace and Tacy’s true-life counterpart, Frances Kenney. Both homes have been lovingly restored by the Betsy-Tacy Society. While I’ve visited them several times, with this private tour, I finally had a chance to peek out Tacy’s window to see Betsy’s house across the street.
I admit I geeked out a little. I’ve been focusing on experiences and how they can inspire us to be creative, to seek stories, and to tell them. In this instance, I had an opportunity to stand in Tacy’s shoes, peek out her window, and see her best friend’s window across the street. I definitely felt inspired, and I took the picture that represents this post. I found that experience to be immediately applicable to the overall lesson of the class; my glee in the moment could be reflected in the grins of my students.
The Betsy-Tacy houses will open for the season with a party honoring Betsy’s birthday: April 14. While the upstairs portion of the Tacy house is not normally open to the public, the lower floor houses family artifacts and a gift shop, and it’s a gathering place for those looking to tour Betsy’s house across the street. Other sites mentioned in the Betsy-Tacy books can be found all over Mankato, and a handy QR code on Tacy’s front porch will unlock a tour. you can follow on your phone.
One thought on “On Looking Out Tacy’s Window”
This sounds like fun! Maybe next time we’re in Mankato it would be fun to go there.
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