Mary Strachan Scriver
2 min readDec 29, 2021

Until 1961 I was a thoughtful, funny, “poochie” (my mother’s word — she meant “pouchie”. She disapproved of my figure.) sort of unremarkable young woman who was not likely to be much of a figure in the sex/love games leading to marriage. I disliked the possibilities on offer. I was terrified of childbirth and the possibility of losing a child. The best safeguard seemed to be prevention.

Therefore it was a great stroke of life to engage with a sculptor who was embedded in the Old West and Indian Reservation of Browning but also mature (twice my age), vasectomized, charismatic, successful, sexy, and in need of stabilization as well as physical help while narrowly escaping going blind. I was proud. We built a foundry, which in those days was no small thing.

His previous partners had complained about too much sex. Not me. I was ready. He had funny WWII stories in his head about both love and sex, which he confused. There were ex-wives, Brigitte Bardot knock-offs, grandkids, a desperate and finally dying daughter, and an uber Mom who set terms. Many stories and many surprises. This is one of my main reservoirs for writing.

It is not the only one. Unitarian ministry is how I handle the big philosophical, moral, and woo-woo questions. The prairie is my best grasp of reality.

Stories grow out of the structure of the human mind which is composed of connections based on experience. These structures may be related or even connected, but not necessarily. Another extremely basic one is the ideas about terrain, wealth, and success which grew out of the one-celled animal that had to travel to find food and to evade danger. Success was surviving.

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About all I can handle today, but I’m healing and the weather is warming — very slowly.



Mary Strachan Scriver

Born in Portland when all was calm just before WWII. Educated formally at NU and U of Chicago Div School. Clergy for ten years. Always happy on high prairie.