‘Oldest Living Confederate Widow: Her Confession’ on stage Sept. 29Published 11:06am Friday, August 31, 2012
“She had excellent health care as long as she would stay put,” Jane said. “Temp was a great free spirit, loaded with imagination. She never saw a stranger. She was able to maintain life on her own for a few years at a time. Then she would be back in the hospital. In her late forties, she had a major collapse. We simply did not know what to do, where to turn. A psychologist friend in Asheville told us about CooperRiis.”
When she and Temp arrived at Mill Spring, Jane remembers most of those at CooperRiis facing mental health challenges being younger and physically better able to participate in running the farm and community, with years ahead of them to seize the hope and recovery offered.
But Jane Holding nonetheless credits CooperRiis with restoring Temp’s chance at a positive and creative life.
“The nurture and challenge there, the chance for real relationship with others, gave room for Temp to recover the force of her personality and spirit. Despite her infirmity and loss of some independence, she enjoyed her life and she created loving relationships with many others during her time at CooperRiis and LaurelHurst.”
Temp was 57 when she died, but Jane said she was “always 16.”
“Our brothers and I will always think of Temp as the life of our party. I am the bookish one,” Jane Holding said. “I am school-marmish. Temp was the star. I am channeling parts of her and our mother in getting up on a stage and acting in this play.”
Tickets for the Saturday, Sept. 29 performance of Jane Holding’s “Oldest Living Confederate Widow: Her Confession” are available from the Tryon Fine Arts Center, 828-859-8322 or www.tryonarts.org.
Premium tickets include an after-event reception with Jane Holding and author Allan Gurganus, with southern fare provided by Tupelo Honey Café.
- article written by Jeff Byrd