Monday, March 06, 2006

Memories of Dee

Editor's Note: I thought I would share a personal recollection of Dee Seton Barber. I hope some other poeople will share their's as well.

I thought I would share my story of meeting Dee Seton Barber. I have been very interested in all things Seton for well over 30 years.I have also always been attracted to New Mexico, having travelled there many times as a boy and as an adult. On many trips to Santa Fe, I wondered about just where Seton Castle and Seton Village were, but I never actually tried to find them. I was married in 1992 and took my wife to Santa Fe and Taos on ourhoneymoon. She indulged me by letting me spend some time trolling through the used book stores of Santa Fe. (Alas there are not nearly as many today as there were then.) Two different dealers encouraged us that day to visit Seton Village and one gave the directions. We drove out for a look. We drove around the village trying to figure out where we were. We got a peek at the Kiva and the Hogan. We stopped at a curious house that I now know was converted from a boxcar for use originally by the College of Indian Wisdom. The occupant of that house, an artist as I recall, told us how to get to the Castle. Somehow, I was expecting it to be obvious where to go, but fro where we were, it really wasn’t. I was more than a little hesitant, not being too used to knocking on doors uninvited. None the less, my wife Kathryn encouraged me and we walked up to the house and were greeted by Dale Barber. He told me that Dee Seton Barber was away for a minute but invited us in to wait. We spent several hours that day with Dee hearing her stories and dreams. She gave us a tour of the Castle, the memory of which has stayed crystal clear to me to this day. We were greeted very warmly and Dee opened herself and her home to us that day. I recall Dee’s stories of all the people who had come to Seton Castle over the years and the remarkable stories that came from Eastern Europe of surviving Woodcraft groups that had stayed active underground during the era of Communist domination and I recall the stories behind various artifacts in the house. I remember her very large library, some of which she had inherited and much of which she had collected in her own right. I also remember how open she was and how important it was for her to share the Seton legacy. For example, she told us of a neighbor asking to borrow a book by Theodore Roosevelt. She pulled the book from the shelf and showed the inscription to Ernest Thompson Seton from Theodore Roosevelt. Neveretheless, the encouraged the neighbor to borrow the book. Dee Seton Barber will be remembered by people from all over the world with whom she maintained an active correspondence.

1 comment:

Marian Hudec,slovakia(former Czechslovakia) said...

Thank you for your story...wish to meet her in this time.. but memorys are always alive. Just I can say that I was one of boy Woodcraft groups in Eastern Europe that survived active underground during the era of Communist domination. I had beatyful childhood even that era didn't touch my fantasy,ideas,motions as I dreamed,perhaph 80's were end of that era,that's way we didn't feel any censure..