The Matchmaker


(I in no way own the above image it is a stock photo I found on the internet for The Matchmaker -1958- Pictured is Paul Ford, Shirley Booth, Anthony Perkins)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the 1880s? To live in a time when the Victorian era would start to transition into the Edwardian period. What an interesting time to be alive, the height of the industrial revolution, fashion was rapidly changing, and for women. Well, for Women, they were slowly but surely gaining independence and a footing in society. The history of women in the workplace often went unrecognized. Their roles in society were often thought that, with very few exceptions, if you worked then you must be the lowest of trash. A woman in the working world wasn’t considered to be good enough to associate with anyone outside of their station. Making an eligible match was certainly out of the question for a lowly working girl.

Some women had such jobs of working in factories doing manual labor varying from fixing machinery to sewing and making uniforms, others were teachers, others still were hat makers, and some were matchmakers. It was rarer still for an unmarried woman to have respect in a man’s world. However, this was not true for every working-woman.

This idea of the lowliness of women in the workplace often extended to literature and plays in this era as well. They were hardly represented in a positive light. So when one stumbles across literature highlighting the industrious woman it is important to take note of it. Which brings me to the point of tonight’s blog: The Matchmaker written by Thornton Wilder. The Matchmaker, which, some may know as the later inspired musical Hello Dolly, takes place in the early 1880s. Not only does it touch upon various working women such as the ‘millineress’ Irene Molloy and her assistant Miss. Minnie Fay but the infamous Dolly Gallagher Levi. Mrs. Levi considerers herself a “Jack–of all -trades” since her husband’s passing as well as the world’s best matchmaker.

In short, Mr. Wilder’s play is a riotous farce about love and money. It stars the uncontrollable busybody Dolly Levi. “Through Dolly’s subtle machinations, several unlikely couples come together to find happiness in 19th-century New York”.

You might still be wondering why I bother to write about this play in particular? It is simple. I have the great opportunity to perform in Coach House Player’s production of The Matchmaker. So, I must beg your patience over the next month, as I will not be able to write to you, dear reader.

I leave you with then two promotional videos for the play that I hope will not only entertain you but make you feel as though you are rehearsing right along with me.   (Coach House Player’s Video for Irene Molloy)    (Coach House Player’s Video for Minnie Fay)
Until next time when I return to more storytelling
I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell


Where-In-Time-Are-We ( I in no way own this image I found it on the internet)


                                                      Written by: Cheyenne E. Mitchell

“Time is a curious thing. It is nothing you can see nor touch yet it is ever-present. It dictates aspects of life and death, actions and reactions, joy and fear. It either moves as slowly as watching molasses pour out of a jar on a cold winters day or with the rapidity of a scared rabbits heartbeat. For an invisible facet of life, it yields great power. The idea or the actuality of ‘time’ has the ability to stop your life as an individual possibly keeping you from moving forward. It creeps up on you slowly at first so you feel as nothing will ever change, and then suddenly it’s over. What you have waited for is gone. For you were so busy waiting for that thing to come that the waiting consumed you and you didn’t live your life. Life and opportunity left you behind and gave its helping hand to someone else who wasn’t afraid. Isn’t that an interesting concept when you stop and think about it, Marigold?”

Marigold seemed less than interested in any of Mr. Barberry’s musings over his morning’s newspaper. So he asked her again, “Marigold don’t you think that is an interesting notion?”

The only response Marigold gave was a roll of her very large green eyes, then stretched out her little white mittens and returned to her semi-recumbent position. You see Marigold was Mr. Barberry’s black and white tabby cat. She cared nothing for the idea of time and the curious thing of whether it would stop and go on without her. All Marigold cared about was breakfast time, lunchtime, dinner time, an occasional treat, her morning cuddles and afternoon sunbathing.

“Cats really do have a wonderful life. To think they are pampered, loved, stroked and fed and all they are asked to do is give their owner a little affection now and then.” Mr. Barberry mused to himself as he patted his little tabby’s head. Marigold rather liked this for as he began to stroke her long beautiful fur; she let out the most joyous contented purr. Turning once again to the paper he stumbled over the obituary column to see that his neighbor of three houses down died. “Extraordinary,” thought Mr. Barberry “he was an old fellow to be sure, but not as old as all that, to go ahead and die,” he said out loud to Marigold. At this, she now opened her one eye and picked up her head slightly and looked at her “pet” as she considered him to be as if to say ‘really tell me more.’ Wishing to oblige the cat’s curiosity Mr. Barberry continued to read aloud the obituary “Mr. Wilber Watkins 72 of Wimpole Street has died, late Tuesday afternoon. The causes are unknown.” ‘Very interesting,’ thought Mr. Barberry; he continued reading “He appears to have expired while waiting for his afternoon mail as he did every day. Services to be held this weekend at 3 pm at the Corner Church.” With this, Mr. Barberry took off his spectacles, put down the paper, and looked at the fat tabby who had moved from the sunny spot in the chair next to him to his lap. “Unknown causes eh? See Marigold he died while waiting for the postman to arrive. It’s just what we were discussing this morning everyone is always waiting for something and he died while doing it. He died rather suddenly; I wonder what the family thinks he died of? A broken heart maybe?” While scratching his chin Mr. Barberry suddenly stood up knocking the poor stunned tabby to the floor. “I have got it!” he exclaimed, “We will solve the case of Mr. Watkins death.” For poor Mr. Barberry was a lonely widower who had no company except that of Marigold and an occasional visit from the odd niece and nephew from time to time. He, therefore, read a great deal and thought himself to be somewhat of an amateur sleuth.

Quite excited by his idea of finding the real cause of old man Watkins death; he quickly grabbed his favorite sweater and walking shoes. He, to Marigold’s utter fright and dismay, picked her up and shoved into a harness and leash and off the two went. Mr. Barberry, since the death of his wife never went anywhere without Marigold. “We will call on young Mrs. Jenkins first Marigold, she lived next door to him, and maybe she will have an idea of what happened.”

Mrs. Jenkins was a thirty-something blonde woman who had lived on the other side of Mr. Watkins for the past six years. She, though striking in appearance, was the nosiest, most gossiping woman in town. “She should know something about the matter, don’t you think Marigold?” As Mr. Barberry began walking up to the house, Mrs. Jenkins watched him through her windows and ran out to greet him. Before Mr. Barberry could say “How do you do?” Mrs. Jenkins began to question him about the death of their “ beloved reclusive neighbor Mr. Watkins”. She began “ Well I was just as surprised as could be! I never expected such a thing, did you? I never saw him come out of the house except to greet the postman, did you? All he did was either wait in his front room by the window or wait on the front porch. Did you ever hear of such a thing? Life just passing by and all he could do was to look out the window!” She prattled on like this for several minutes. Mr. Barberry tried to interject several times but to no avail. Marigold now began tugging on her leash as she rolled around in the sandy brown dirt on the sidewalk. She began meowing, which signaled that it was time to leave. Before Mr. Barberry made his farewell to the effervescent and gossiping Mrs. Jenkins, however, she did manage to utter one small thing that could help to find out the reasons for his neighbors’ death. “One thing that struck me as odd” she continued “was that housekeeper … fifteen years she had worked for him! And not one word came out of her mouth when I asked her about the old man’s death.” How could she with your constant talking” Mr. Barberry thought to himself? “ Do you know the housekeeper’s name?” “ Oh yes” answered Mrs. Jenkins “Tabitha… something… or other… she is still staying in the house while she wraps up Mr. Watkins affairs.” Here Mr. Barberry thanked the gossiping Mrs. Jenkins. Then he and Marigold walked down the road to Mr. Watkins house to speak with the housekeeper. As Mr. Barberry walked away carrying Marigold, he heard Mrs. Jenkins calling after him that, if Mr. Barberry should find out anything that he should be sure to let her know.

Mr. Watkins house was large, though; marred from the time it still held certain cheeriness about it. Mr. Barberry walked up the walkway to the home and promptly knocked on the metal knocker. Within minutes a stout middle-aged woman came to answer the door.

“Hello madam, I am here to inquire as to the death of my friend and neighbor Mr. Watkins.”

“Come in, Mr. Barberry,” said Tabitha “there is no need for you to be so formal, I know who you are.”

“You do?”

“Yes I would watch you from the study windows with Mr. Watkins, he knew that it was you who would leave him those basket of cinnamon rolls every Sunday morning on the front porch.” With this last statement, Mr. Barberry squirmed and twisted about with a great deal of embarrassment. He hoped that the gesture would lure the old recluse outside of the home, but he never wanted to be discovered.

“Well now,” Tabitha continued, “I am sure you have as much right as any to know what happened to our friend Mr. Watkins. Come with me.” She led Mr. Barberry through the cheery hall into Mr. Watkins private study. The interior of the home much like its exterior retained cheery elements through the decaying wallpaper and furniture. Now standing in the brightly lit study Mr. Barberry and Marigold looked about them with great surprise. This room, unlike the others, was well preserved and modernly furnished. “Mr. Watkins had me fix the place up in case you should call after he was gone.” Said Tabitha.

“How did he know I would be coming?” asked Mr. Barberry somewhat shocked by this last bit of information. It was here for the first time Tabitha smiled, and what a beautiful smile it was.

“Her smile is enough to light up the entire world,” thought Mr. Barberry as he placed the ever-squirming Marigold on the floor. Marigold tired after being carried down the block looked about the room for the sunniest spot. She stretched her little paws yawned and jumped into an oversized chair in the brightest sunniest spot in the room and went to sleep. Mr. Barberry watched her for a moment to make sure she was not going to be naughty and make a mess. Tabitha who had momentarily left the room and returned by now with tea for Mr. Barberry and an extra treat, a saucer of milk for Marigold.

“Now, won’t you please sit down Mr. Barberry and read this letter Mr. Watkins left it for you before he died.” Indeed it was a letter addressed to him.

“ I don’t understand” began Mr. Barberry “ How did he know…”

Here Tabitha interjected “Just because the man was a recluse doesn’t mean he didn’t know you. Now I will leave you to read your letters if you or Marigold require anything else just call out.” Tabitha reached down to pet the head of the lovely tabby before shutting the door behind her.” Mr. Barberry thought it was all very strange and he repeated his thought out loud to the contented and sleeping feline.

“ September 21, 1958

Dear Mr. Barberry, 

If you are reading this letter I must be quite dead by now. You are probably thinking to yourself how strange that this man I never met is writing to me. Well, it may seem strange to you, but to me, it feels as though I am speaking to a long lost friend. You see Sir, I have watched you for many years out my window and I have come to feel that I know you. As such, I feel it only good and proper that you hear my true and actual story of how I came to this sorry state of life and how it ultimately has caused my death. The question I find myself asking is where to begin? Certainly not, in the beginning, I lead a very ordinary and dull boyhood. So I suppose I will start in the spring, in Paris 1919, I was 33 years old. Did you ever walk out on the street in one of the most magnificent cities in the world and simply ask yourself ‘what am I doing here?’ “How did I get here?” Well, I have. Those thoughts raced through my head every day that year. I met and married a beautiful French woman and we traveled home to the states. I had waited what felt like a century to meet this woman. I waited yet again for her to agree to marry me and waited longer still for the ceremony to take place and to travel home. Married life was blissful as all marriages can be in the early days. Until suddenly it was no longer bliss, for her at least, I had noticed some little oddities in her behavior as time went on but they were so few and far between that, I paid them no mind. How was I to know that they were warning signs of things to come? More time passed and I noticed that my darling wife was becoming more and more indifferent to me. Not wanting to upset her, again I waited to see if she would tell me what was wrong. Nothing, no word pursed her lips and she fell silent. No longer did she take meals with me, no longer did she even want to remain in my company. I never understood why. I gave her everything I owned I provided for her in every way I could think of. Nothing it seemed was good enough. Then the day after news of the bombing Pearl Harbor, she quietly slipped out of the house and I never heard from her again. I contacted every authority known to man but no one could find her. It was on that day that my life ended. Time seemed to stand still and I no longer seemed to care about anything. It was on that day I felt a crack in my heart which has grown ever bigger since. That is why you see you always can spot me in two places either on the front porch waiting for the postman just hoping he has a letter for me from her or inside looking out the window hoping to see her smiling face walking up those 200 brick pavers and those 15 porch steps. I have counted them you see. I waited so long for her to tell me how she felt that I never took the time to ask her how she felt, and because of that I lost her. Time is a funny thing, is it not Mr. Barberry? It moves so slowly until suddenly it is no more and you have none of it left to give someone else. I believe my heart died that day and I have been waiting ever since for the rest of my body to go with it. And now the time has come for the rest of me to go. But before I do I wanted to tell you this story so you wouldn’t become what I have, a mere shell of a human being. I know your wife has left you in the sense that she has passed on. But don’t let your heart turn to stone as mine has. Go out on the town with a pretty lady; take in a picture show with Marigold, that naughty tabby. I happen to know that Tabitha is fond of Picture shows and chocolates. Well, I believe I have moralized on this long enough. Take care, my dear friend. I have no doubt you should keep my confidence.

P.S. Thank you for the cinnamon rolls, always so kind.

Very truly yours, 

Wilber Watkins”

Mr. Barberry sat in the modern sofa still staring at the page not sure what to think. How could this man die sitting and looking out his window waiting for her all this time? ‘Most importantly’ he thought ‘why tell me’. Well it is plain as plain could be Marigold that he counted me as his friend…” here is thoughts wandered back to Mr. Watkins’ words, “Tabitha likes chocolates and a picture show… It has been a long time since we went to the movies, eh Marigold? Tabitha does have a beautiful smile… what say you Marigold should we ask her to come out with us?” At this Marigold once again rolled her green eyes stood up stretched wiggled her little toes and hopped off the chair and sat at her “pet’s feet”. She gave a little meow and purr as Tabitha walked back into the room, indicating that it was time to go. Mr. Barberry and Tabitha exchanged a few words and the three of them stepped out into the early autumn air.

Time as Mr. Barberry earlier observed does dictate all in the end. It continues with or without you, moves slowly or with rapidity. And as Mr. Watkins learned it is how you best make use of that time that makes all the difference. Poor Mr. Watkins learned this lesson too late, but perhaps it will save the lonely and kind Mr. Barberry.

** A note from the Author**

I hope you enjoyed tonight’s tale and I hope to see you next time when we return to more storytelling.

In the meantime, I remain as always, respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

The Rose


(The above image came from my garden #frommygarden)


First, bits of green appear, with crimson red pooling from its core.

Oh, what a wondrous sight,

Such color, such joy,

Forming the perfect red lip

Soft and glorious for the eye to behold;

Painful and warning to the touch

As if it were to say:


What do you see?

What do you see when you look at me?

Do you see something you can’t go near?

For indeed you shall not come nigh.

Let me show you all my colors that are so dear.

Do you see the morning dew upon my branches?

What do you see, you curious creature?

How large you are and fair in your own right.

But tell me true, what do you see?

What do you see when you look at me?


How shining, how bright you are,

Every stroke of your velvet throne would be a joy to touch,  if not, for your

crown of thorns.

Why do you taunt me so?

Why do you jeer and act as though you know me not?

Did I not care for you, tend to you and bring you up?

Why must you taunt and not allow but one pluck?


As your crimson begins fading,

And the light dims from your once glowing, dew filled eyes;

Your once perfect red lips peel, brake, and crumble to the ground

And as every soft, glorious petal falls from whence it came,

I hear you whisper…


What do you see?

What do you see when you look at me?

Do you see something you can’t go near?

Let me show you all my colors that are so dear….


Your voice fades to silence, as your last petal glides gently to the blackened earth,

Here, your voice is forever stilled.


By: Cheyenne E. Mitchell

“The Minister and the ‘Comforter’”


e9fc849de2213233082a79f96f30eda6(I in no way own the above image, I found it on the Internet)

It is hard being a teenage girl. It is harder still when it is coupled with the fact that you are a very poor teenage girl.   I would like you now to imagine that you are that girl. She can look like whatever you want. Maybe she is taller then all the boys with a ruddy complexion, maybe she is short with big eyes and braces. Just, close your eyes and imagine her now. What is her personality like? When I close my eyes and imagine her, I imagine she is sweet, a little awkward and always wants to do the right thing no matter what. Though this girl, let us call her Cathy ‘beats to her own drum’, she naturally wants to fit in with her peers to some extent. Perhaps she wants to join her friends in Aruba for spring break or wants the latest hairstyle or a manicure, but she knows the value of her every dollar. And the dollars needed for these things are beyond her reach. One day, Cathy decides that she is going to change her life. She decides that she and her family will no longer have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. She has faith that she will finally find employment and she does.

Now pretend you are the girl I have just imagined for you. Try and put yourself in Cathy’s place just for a moment. Seventeen years old short, sweet and a little dorky.   You start making plans and saving your money to do at least one thing you always wanted to do. Everything is falling into place until something happens that disrupts your life yet again. You are suddenly in a terrible car accident and you suffer from a shoulder and neck injury. It hurts to sit up. Lying down to sleep is unbearable from the pain. You have to wear strapless shirts even in winter because the cloth touching your shoulder makes you want to scream from the pain. One day the doctor tells you that you must get a different mattress one that will better support your pounding back. Later that night you sit on the floor of your room trying not to cry from the searing pain and you look at all the money you have been saving to buy a new coat and realize that instead, it was going toward a new mattress.

This is exactly what happened to Cathy. As Cathy sat, she looked blankly at her hard earned money on the floor of her room. She was lost in thought. “Sweetheart can I come in?” it was Cathy’s mom. The sound of her mother’s voice took her away from her wandering thoughts. “Sure mom, come in” she replied. Cathy’s mom was a tall blue-eyed woman with silken blond hair, which was quite a contrast from Cathy’s dark, curly, coarse hair. “Now sweetheart I know you have just been through a lot and a mattress is the last thing you want to buy, but this will work out. And just think you needed a new one anyway.” Cathy sighed as she put her money back into her piggy bank and carefully climbed into bed. She knew her mother was right but she wouldn’t admit that allowed. Cathy quietly cried herself to sleep that night. The next morning was Saturday the day she would purchase a new mattress. Unfortunately, the only mattress size they had left was a Queen, which meant she would need all new sheets, blankets, and a bed frame.

That evening as Cathy sat looking at her very large new bed in her room, her mother came in to kiss her goodnight. Here she burst into tears “Mamma what are we going to do now? I need all new sheets and blankets and we can’t afford them!” “God will work it out” her mother replied, “He always does”.

Her mother helped her to bed, lying there, Cathy hated to admit it but the mattress was lovely. A few days had passed and in an attempt to cheer up her daughter Cathy’s mother took her shopping in the thrift store of their local church. The Church was a beautiful old building built in the early 1800s, out of stone and large stain glass windows. Cathy always felt at peace here. Carefully Cathy climbed down the big stone steps with her mom to the basement of the church. As her mother looked from item to item chattering away and occasionally stopping long enough to try something on Cathy, she aimlessly rattled the five dollars and fifty cents her mother gave her in her pocket. The whole time she was thinking about her need for a blanket. The subject was on her mind so much that she began to talk to her mother incessantly about it. “ I just don’t know what to do a comforter set is at least $60.00 on sale at a discount store,” said Cathy “…and where will we ever find that kind of money?” “Trust” replied her mother “God will work it out,” “He always does”.

After looking around the basement a few times the two were about to leave. Cathy looked once more at the table as she began to pass it before crying out “Mamma look!” “What is it? What are you looking at?” Asked her mother. “Over there,” Cathy pointed to the most beautiful red and gold comforter set she ever saw. Cathy and her mother noticed a man standing near it, who, they presumed to be the minister. “Come take a closer look at he said if you like it that much”. So the two moved closer to it. Cathy couldn’t believe it, that was exactly what she needed, it came with everything it was just the right size and brand new. Cathy’s excitement soon withered however when noticed the price tag of $20.00. Her mother could only afford to give her the $5.00 and since the accident Cathy could no longer keep her after school job. The Minister noting her disappointment asked her what was wrong. “Oh, Nothing she replied”. “Come now there must be something wrong that you look so sad, tell me what it is?” asked the Minister. “It’s just…” and here she stopped speaking as she looked to her mother before finishing her thought. “I just can’t afford it” “Oh,” said the minister. He took a long hard look at Cathy and then asked, “Why is it that you want this blanket so much?” “Well you see,” said her mother as Cathy struggled to fight back her tears, “Cathy was in an accident and we had to get her a new mattress so she can sleep at night. However, nothing fits her new bed. My husband and I lost our jobs and now we are looking for a new blanket”. “I see,” said the Minister “then you deserve the blanket. You should not have to worry about what you can use to keep you warm this winter.” It was at this moment that an onlooker intruded on this conversation “How dare you,” she began, “I bet she just made the whole thing up to get your sympathy.” Now it was here that the minister stopped her “How dare you, accuse this child of lying or telling me that she does not deserve this blanket don’t you know the scripture “’…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’-Matthew 25:40” With this the intruder sheepishly walked away. The Minister then turned back to Cathy and her mother and said, “Never let yourself become blind and uncompassionate as that woman. And never forget the act of a good deed for it is written “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it-Hebrews 13:2” here Cathy thanked the Minister profusely and they left the Church. Turning to her mom she asked, “How do you think that blanket got there, it was not there when we had looked before?” “Oh we probably just missed it,” replied her mother.

However, what neither of them knew was that the Minister had heard their conversation and had gone to the rectory to get his own blanket set to give to the girl. Cathy never forgot the kindness of that Minister and still to this day even though Cathy is grown and has many other comforters, she still uses that old red and gold comforter each winter, and tenderly packs it away each spring.

I know this story, for I know Cathy, and have her permission to tell it. It is her hope that perchance this blog will reach the eyes of that Minster and he will know just how grateful to him she still is, and how that act of kindness taught her more then he will ever know.

Until next time when I return to more storytelling,

I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell


sea-of-yellow-and-orange-daffodils-135169065-5a9ddb3c875db90037eb7616 ( I in no way own this image, I found it on the internet)

There comes a moment when you feel stuck. Stuck for words, stuck in a moment…. just stuck. What do you do when you feel trapped inside your own head? I asked myself this very question as I sat blindly staring at my blank computer screen. I have been working and re working a few stories and have reached a block. Do you know that block? That exasperated feeling that no matter how much you think and try, you just don’t have anything to say? Something just prevents it. So what do I do? Find inspiration, I remembered what has helped me in the past. Poetry. So below please find and enjoy a poem that I have always found inspirational and beautiful. I hope it will not only help and inspire me, but also help and inspire you.


I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud ~By William Wordsworth

“I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.


The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:


For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.”


Until next time when I return to more literary talk, I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell

Happy Birthday Mr. Dickens


source ( I in no way own the above GIF I found it on the internet)


Hello Dear Reader:

Tonight I am here to write a quick Happy Birthday to one of my personal favorite authors Charles Dickens.  Mr. Dickens was and is an extremely influential writer of his era, not only did he spin complicated and emotional tales but brought attention to the problems of his time.  He left nothing to the imagination, each book, each world, he created was so intricately built, so detailed oriented which proved that his stories were near flawless.  Even to the end of his life, Charles Dickens spun tales to tantalize and intrigue his audiences.  So please join with me now in remembering a writer with true ingenuity.

Until, next time when I return with more Storytelling

I remain respectfully,

Cheyenne E. Mitchell