I googled Books about Gypsies, Gypsies in Romance, and Novels about Gypsies. The results: I didn’t find a single reference to our book, Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek. But...I found quite a few books, some looked good, others not too.We didn’t place the word Gypsy in our title. We chose Travelers instead because Gypsy has an unpleasant connotation for many people, especially the Romani people. We wanted to be kind, and we feel that we wrote a book that is kind, objective, and at the same time humorous.
Readers are not finding our book as often as we’d hoped. Therefore, this blog entry is to tell you part of what our novel is about: Gypsies. We wrote about some wonderful people who are invisible in the United States. We told about what their lives were like a century ago; in many ways, as their lives were the same a millennium ago; and their lives, which have not changed much over the last one hundred years.
Despite their intelligence, gentle ways, and loyalty to their own people, these beautiful ones go unnoticed. Those who are Gypsies seldom call attention to themselves. Did you know a recent President of the United States descended from the Romani people? Did you know that more than a few famous entertainers have come from the Gypsy heritage?People’s attitudes toward Gypsies have been unkind. According to Dictionary.com a Gypsy is, “a member of a nomadic, Caucasoid people of generally swarthy complexion, who migrated originally from India, settling in various parts of Asia, Europe, and, most recently, North America.”
Or a Gypsy could be “a person held to resemble a gypsy, especially in physical characteristics or in a traditionally ascribed freedom or inclination to move from place to place.”
Scrolling down the definitions of Dictionary.com we find that a Gypsy may be “an independent, usually nonunion trucker, hauler, operator, etc.” or “a chorus dancer, especially in the Broadway theater.”When we decided to tell our story about the Gypsies, which we call Romanies or Travelers, we learned about the beautiful humanity of these people. We haven’t glorified them. We’ve merely tried to present a true-to-life picture. Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek is full of brilliant characters, stooges, noble people, and criminals. Good and evil exist universally.
(Mary Lou Cheatham and Sarah Walker Gorrell have co-authored Travelers in Painted Wagons on Cohay Creek, a book of fiction. Much of the novel reflects stories told to them by their parents and grandparents.)