A big reason for my recent visit to Butte, Montana was to learn about and honor my father’s family, but on my first full day there I saw something that immediately made me think of my mom.
I know this would have made her laugh.
Hell Roarin’ Gulch is a replica of an 1890’s Montana mining town and is part of the World Museum of Mining, one of Butte’s most interesting attractions.
My mom, Judy Coughlin – who we lost nearly six years ago – was a great reader. An English major at George Washington University, Mom owned and read more books than anyone else I’ve ever known. She read out loud to me and my sister Moira when we were kids, and I recall begging for “one more page” before bed of books like The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer and many many titles from The Hardy Boys series.
She was also a great advocate for the public libraries here in Loudoun County, Virginia and we visited the Thomas Balch Library in Leesburg on a weekly basis. Mom went on to serve on the Rust Library Advisory Board and later the Loudoun County Library Board of Trustees.
Judy Coughlin took libraries and the role they played in her community very seriously. But she also had a great sense of humor, and I know she would have laughed if I could have shown her the picture of the Hell Roarin’ Gulch Library Society.