Della Raye: A Girl Who Grew Up in Hell and Emerged Whole

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The inspiring story of one woman's struggle to maintain her dignity and strength while confined to a mental institution in the Depression-era South. Eventually, she educated herself, married, raised a family, and managed her own business.

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Overview

The inspiring story of one woman's struggle to maintain her dignity and strength while confined to a mental institution in the Depression-era South. Eventually, she educated herself, married, raised a family, and managed her own business.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565549449
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/31/2002
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.84 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Gary Penley grew up in rural Colorado. Following his service in the military, he earned his B.S. and M.S. in geology from Weber State University and the University of Kansas, respectively. Penley worked as a petroleum geologist for more than thirty years, which included searching for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. He is a member of Toastmasters International and Pikes Peak Writers. He is the author of Pelican's Della Raye: A Girl Who Grew Up in Hell and Emerged Whole, Jubal, and Rivers of Wind: A Western Boyhood Remembered. Penley lives in Divide, Colorado.
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Table of Contents

Preface 9
Acknowledgments 11
Chapter 1 The Visitor 15
Chapter 2 The Bad Place 19
Chapter 3 Yea Though I Walk 41
Chapter 4 Heaven and Hell 71
Chapter 5 The Terrible Teens 97
Chapter 6 The Edge of Despair 123
Chapter 7 The Miracle 137
Chapter 8 Frail Freedom 149
Chapter 9 Climbing the Mountain 173
Chapter 10 Holding Her Own 193
Chapter 11 To Err Is Human 213
Epilogue 227
Appendix 229
Bibliography 239
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    Della Raye's Passing

    Della Raye passed away at 3 a m Saturday morning, September 20, 2003. It is such a painful time. I am so glad I got to meet her and exchanged letters and cards. She is a person I will never forget.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2002

    I met Della Raye

    and she is so sweet. Her eyes are so blue and bright. It was such an enjoyable experience. We have been writing each other and I look forward to her newsy letters. She is one of those people that you feel like you have always known. I plan to see her again soon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2002

    I did not want this book to end.

    Gary Penley has done an outstanding job writing about Della Raye. I was hooked on this book from the first paragraph. By the time you finish Della Raye you'll feel like you lived her experiences, as though you were there. Heartbreaking, intense, but with a few whimsical moments. I will never look at a Crisco can again without thinking of her. A must read. Della Raye's experiences and how she dealt with them will inspire you. This should be on Oprah's list!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2002

    I can not sstop thnking about her.

    I grew up in Holt the community where Della lives and operated her beauty shop. All my young life I passed Partlow State School and wondered about the people who lived there. Reading about Della Raye just broke my heart. When you think 'starting from the bottom, think Della' she did just that. It makes me want to know her now. She has given out so much love and I feel like she should be receiving it back.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2002

    This book will make you thankful for what really matters in life!

    It is almost unbelievable to think that something so tragic as a healthy, normal four-year old being committed to a mental institution is even possible. Apparently, during the Great Depression it happened more than once. I wonder though if any emerged or escaped from such a place and became the loving, triumphant, forgiving person that Della Raye did. She was a 'patient' (prisoner!) for 24 years!! The story just makes me want to go and meet her and tell her she is a TRUE heroe and an incredible example of unconditional love and forgiveness in action as she locates and loves those who abused her in their dying days. As a mother of a four-year old, I could hardly bear to read some of this book and it certainly made me angry at what 'was' and thankful that in America we have come a long way in our understanding of mental retardation, abuse, and helping those in poverty.

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