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Sweeter Than Elderberry Wine
They were Brewers


‘Zona had no way of knowing how to work through the struggle in which she was embroiled. It was a history old as the beginning of time. She and John were now in the same deep conflicts to cause divisions in so many marriages. He was, no doubt, drawn to her family because of their free thinking ways but then after their marriage his wife was caught up in the religion of the early settlers in Bartlesville. Her youth and striving to implement her values for her family pushed her to take up a popular faith which was counter to her traditional one. This new one served her, gave her friendship and support so she did cling to it for a number of years even if it was totally against the pilgrim like beliefs of what she had been taught, especially by her Grandfather, Nathaniel.

Zona’s mother, Elizabeth Ann Brewer Collins, was certainly raised with the Kentucky spirit in more ways than one. Recorded activities of that family showed them tied to that industry of brewing from who knows where or what roots. The spelling of Elizabeth Ann’s mother’s name was Amerika in the old family Bible which is a German spelling. The name Brewer meant just that. They were Brewers. However, their convictions allowed them to go forth with their trade because they held to a fidelity for abstinence which was, in fact, the only way they could work in the industry. All these things, in a way, agreed with what she was trying to follow as a religion at the moment.

“John, I know you are a good person and you do a lot of fine things for people. You care if they are warm or clothed or any other thing that they might need. Why won’t you sit for a time with me and let me read the Bible to you?” Zona sincerely was trying for unity but John was having none of it. He made no attempt to placate her with listening to her read. He just gave her a sideways glance and was off about his business.

“The Lord helps those who help themselves,” he muttered. He slapped the strips of leather he was working into tack on his leg and then was out the door while Zona was still talking.

“Now John, I don’t think I’ve ever read that in the Bible, I truly don’t believe I have.” Zona may have as well been whistling in the wind because John wasn’t interested. He was gone and out of the house without another word.


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