History and Mystery

History and mysteries have long been of interest to Marlena. As a girl she devoured mystery books such as Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and her favorite, Mandie Books, a series about young girl in the late 19th century and early 20th century who solved mysteries that came her way.

An interest in history came with not only an interest in the historical facts, but also the stories and beliefs of times long gone. Story of particular interest were the tales of the mythological gods. Although she was more interested in exactly how many kids Zeus had and by just how many woman and why exactly Hercules and Xena creators thought is was okay to mix mythologies of different cultures on their shows such as use the Roman Cupid when clearly the Greek Aphrodite’s son was Eros, not Cupid.

From the time she could read on, Marlena showed an interest in her personal history by helping her dad with genealogy research, eventually taking over for him. At first all she did was read the sheets sent to him by his aunts, but as she got older, she did actualy research, imagining what life might have been like for the ancestors she never met a century or more prior.

In school history was one of her two favorite subjects, learning all the stories of people who lived long ago. And it was all about the stories. She wanted to know what those people were like, who they were, and, in some cases, what happened to them, pulling her love of mysteries in to history. Of particular fascination was the story of the lost Colony of Roanoke. She imagined all sorts of scenarios about what could have happened to them. Her favorite was that there was an invisible island that was home to dinosaurs and that the descendants of the colonists live there with the dinosaurs to this day.

Her other favorite subject was, of course, reading. If reading the stories of people that lived in the past had the ability to set her imagination on fire, then stories that were deliberately meant to that had the ability to take her beyond her world and into the worlds others had created. Besides mysteries, she enjoyed historical adventures with kids her age, the occasional biography or autobiography of people long dead, especially those who had lived around the times of wars, science fiction centered mostly around her favorite fandoms, and superhero stories. Of course there was also her favorite American history book, which focused each chapter on a different historical figured who touched American history in a significant way. From Christopher Columbus to Pocahontas to Miles Standish, Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale, George Washington Carver, and more, the book brought to life people who might otherwise have just been names on a list.