My First Blog
7/2016 Hi! I’m Stephany Spencer/AKA: Beulah/ Stephany Spencer-LeBaron.
Welcome to my little corner of the world-wide web — my “virtual” piece of internet real estate! Feel free to click about and find out what’s useful. If I may be of help, please contact me.
I’m a retired teacher on her endless summer enjoying a new avocation: Creative Dilettante—a professional Jackalynn-of-many-trades, I dabble as an author, artist, poet, performer, lyricist, singer-songwriter, musician, speaker, and ….
Recently I launched my first website and blog.
My URL is: https://StephanySpencer.com.
My email address is: StephSpencer10@gmail.com
Over time, I’ll share my book reviews and memoirs—redemptive stories of how I escaped the dangerous, Mormon fundamentalist cult I was born and raised in, and lived to write about. I’ll tell you why and how I made it out of there up to here.
I’ll be sharing a bit of poetry and songs I’ve written; as well as some videos of my performances, artwork, and more. Am looking forward to your input, honesty, and ideas. I promise I’ll read all your comments, responding as time allows. Because I mean for this blog to be a dialog, not a monolog.
Through my blogging, I’ll test the waters and heed your input. It will spur me on to finish my shoot-from-the-hip Memoir: A surreal saga of surviving stunting child abuse as a White slave while growing up poor and deprived in Mexico and America.
Seven years of my life (1960 to 1967) were spent in my uncles Joel and Ervil LeBaron’s extremist, Mormon Fundy cult headquartered in secluded Colonia LeBaron, Galeana, Chihuahua, Mexico.
In 1967, at the age of twenty-one, I escaped this self-righteous, backward, controlling cult with only my three-year-old kid, a suitcase, and $5.00 to our name. Plus an 8th-Grade diploma received in 1960, after six years of rather poor public education, mostly from Utah’s small-town, 1950s schools.
Part of that formal education took place in infamous Short Creek’s one-room schoolhouse. It housed grades one through five under the tutelage of Mrs. Verda Lartzen. (Short Creek bisected Utah and Arizona)
The rest is “her-story“/ “my-story” — with much credit going to USA’s government, people, and God/your understanding of God.
Though the going has been far from easy, I see the tracks where God carried me when I could no longer carry myself. The help showed up in ominous ways, such that I cannot question that a Higher Power exists — a Loving Energy overlooking my life.
All glory goes to God/Goodness that I’ve made it through these many years, since escaping the devastation and setbacks of my cult upbringing.
Within five months of escaping the LeBaron cult, for example, I miraculously started college — though all I had was six years of formal education; had not been in a classroom for eight years; and was limping along on culture shock and post-traumatic stress syndrome, BIG time.
College, for me, was a dream come true! Thanks to California’s Junior Colleges, Scholarships, Work-study, Grants, Loans, and the Public Welfare System, I was able to take the GED test; then matriculate at East Los Angeles Jr College in January of 1968.
Equally amazing: By my second semester, I was on the “Dean’s List” for top grades; though I had been out of school since age fourteen, barely possessed six years of public education; and had only a country-school eighth-grade diploma.
Sadly, I never had High School’s 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Grades. Yet, within two years, with immense effort, I managed to earn an Associate of Arts degree in Music; and graduated from UCLA in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
Then attained a Teacher’s Credential and Post-graduate work from California State University, Northridge, in 1976, specializing in Liberal Arts and Bilingual Ed.
Presently I’m a member of the California Writers Club (https://cwc-sfv.org) where I was Programs Chair; and also served in the club’s Hospitality Dept.
(*See above CWC Website for pieces I’ve had published over the years in “The Valley Scribe,” California Writers Club’s newsletter.)
Ever a Creative,
The world is my oyster—
I a pearl forming within her;
Life is my canvas where
I paint with gusto,
As it hurls me along to
Ultimately, on through
The “pearly” gates!
I have learned:
“If you rest, you rust;”
We either live or we die.
Bob Dylan so aptly reminds us of this
In his lyrical line borrowed from
Singer-songwriter Woodie Guthrie:
“If you aren’t busy livin’,
You’re busy dyin’.”
So here’s to life!
I’m tryin’; yes, I am.
Though I ain’t thru cryin’,
“L’ Chaim,” and cheers!
(by Stephany Spencer-LeBaron)