AMY ANNELLE

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a sister from the very same pasture

OKEMAH, OKFUSKEE COUNTY, OKLAHOMA USA I met woody guthrie's sweet baby sister mary jo guthrie  at the Okemah Shamrock gas station.  she god blessed me and said she loved me and all musicians and sat with me a minute and gave me a little card with woody's photo and her address and a red heart and on the back was a version of the Optimist Creed. "my father raised all us kids on this," she told me, and that she passes it on to folks she meets. now i believe the Optimist Creed was written in 1912 and i don't know much of it's history or politics. this is personal. please don't overthink it. take ms. mary jo's words to heart and follow the straight line they make to a certain place: the guthrie family kids getting raised up in hard times, in a house on a hill in okemah.  (some of the story: "Bound For Glory" by Woody Guthrie)

here's what it says on the back of the card ms. guthrie gave to me:

TO BE so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.

TO TALK health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.

TO MAKE all your friends feel there is something special in them.

TO LOOK at the sunny side of everything.

TO THINK, work, and expect only the best.

TO BE just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

TO FORGET the mistakes of the past and look to the future.

TO WEAR a cheerful countenance always and give every living creature you meet a smile.

TO GIVE so much time to self improvement that you have no time to criticize others.

TO BE too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.