Mother’s fame was a surprise to me. When I was a child, she was a frustrated, stay-at-home mother of five children. We were born within an eight-year time span from 1949 to 1957. After the birth of number three, Mother was too overwhelmed to continue working even part time. She sent me to run errands when I was barely three and had groceries delivered. In the evening, she dozed off folding mountains of cloth diapers on the dining room table.
I was a freshman in college in 1969 when Beatrice de Regniers took Mother under her wing and Scholastic published Mother’s first book, The Wednesday Witch, which sold over a million copies and was translated into multiple languages, including Finnish and Japanese. I only witnessed part of her struggle to get it published, because I didn’t live at home my senior year of high school. Afterwards, I spent as little time in Brooklyn as possible. Mother mailed me an autographed copy of each of her books, which she wrote under her maiden name, Ruth Chew. I lined her books up on a shelf and didn’t bother to read most of them. By 1998, Scholastic had published 29.
My close contact with Mother bracketed her time as a successful author and illustrator. I supervised her care, when she could no longer care for herself, so her treasures, including all of her diaries, ended up in my home. When I was a child, Mother told me not to read her diaries, which she began writing on New Year’s Day 1934, when she was thirteen, and continued daily until early 2001. She claimed there was nothing of interest in them, just a dry record of the events of the day. As a parent, she preached the importance of telling the truth, but she didn’t accurately describe the contents of her diaries.
Eve challenged corporations about gender pay equity and pushed professional societies to be more inclusive. She has served as President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, President of the American Geosciences Institute and founded the Society of Core Analysts. After earning her BS and MS degrees from MIT, Eve became the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford. During her energy industry career, she worked in research, business development, climate change, venture capital investing, alternative energy and university recruiting and philanthropy. Author of three books, Eve focuses on career issues that impact women and dual-career couples.
I met Eve Sprunt , in 2006 before I moved to Texas. She visited beautiful country Azerbaijan for business where we met , I spent few days with her and she opened new doors to me by inspiring and giving advices. I am proud to say that her impact on my growth was huge and I am so proud I met her. Proud of you Dear Eve !
I’m inspired by Eve Sprunt’s works. She separated her work from her mother’s works, but somehow I see them as connected, with a similar energy. I think it’s important that her mother sent her to run errands when she was 3. Her mother had a way to preserve her own life. She told her daughter not to read her diaries. So I guess the writer never read her mother’s diaries. Maybe they were boring. I have a memory of my ages 3 to 5. During this time my grandmother took care of me. She was an exacting type of person. She played classical piano, painted a little, hooked rugs on her homemade loom with the flannel dyed and cut by her to finish the patterned rugs. This type of childhood observance in all people prepares them for their own growing up, and further accomplishments.
Very curious as to what Eve is working on now – a memoir about her mother or herself? Interesting premise.