<![CDATA[GigisPlace2Be - Strength of a Woman]]>Tue, 01 Dec 2015 23:21:30 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Strength of Woman with Julie Phillips]]>Fri, 02 May 2014 05:30:14 GMThttp://gigisplace2be.weebly.com/strength-of-a-woman/the-strength-of-woman-with-julie-phillipsPicture
By Gina Slagle   

  “We were so, so poor and so sad that we lost our Terry. I would never have thought of spending 50 cents on a paper!”

 Julie sits proudly in her modest kitchen as she pours a hot cup of tea.  Surrounding her are family pictures that hang across two walls in her living room and many pieces of furniture and collectibles that she has brought back to life with her artistic flair. Julie reflects back on that day in 1982 that she bought a “News Philadelphia” newspaper and the ad she read would ultimately change the course of their lives.


As a proud mother, Julie Phillips has conquered and endured more in her life than many can ever
imagine.    

In the foot hills of the Appalachian Mountains, Julie raised many of her children. She 
was born in 1949, had gotten pregnant at 17, married and ultimately dropped out of school. It wasn’t until
10 years later that she received a GED. By the young age of 31, she was a mother to seven
children; Tami, Terry, Tracy and Tonya were her first four biological children.  She also took in
Georgie and Macie; her nieces, and a 7 - month old boy; Jamie.  Within a couple of years  two
more sons were born; Danny and then Charlie and eventually her youngest daughter Dezi.
    
She remembers the day she saw the ad in that paper she spent 50 cents for. 

“We were so, so poor and so sad that we lost our Terry. I would never have thought of spending 50 cents on a paper!” 

She goes on to explain that Terry, her oldest son, went swimming with some friends in the river one afternoon.  "He never came back. He was only 14."

      “After that everything went to hell. My marriage was falling apart and we couldn’t function. It prompted a desire to move.” 

A small town in Canova, SD wanted families with school age children.  The school was at
threat of closing and this put a spark in this small town mother because at this time she had eight.
  “They wanted the children!” laughs Julie as she recalls the conversation.   She remembers writing Superintendent Heitz of the Canova School District.

       “I wrote to him and said I have eight kids, thinking this was my chance.  He
wrote back. ‘Eight kids? That is going to save the school.’ We then started to plan a visit.”

     It was 1982 and with times being so hard, she hoarded her money to buy a Chevy Blazer
for $250. Without even realizing how the vehicle would run she laid down the seats and headed
out.  Julie’s husband was over the road much of the time, so she took the children on her own. 
“My kids knew how to travel.” She giggled. 

 As they arrived in Canova she smiles as she remembers how warm and welcoming that the community was.  Her younger children stayed with Mr. Heitz and she and her older girls stayed with a woman across the street. 
      “It wasn’t proper for me and my older girls to stay in a man’s home.  It would look bad.” said
Phillips.  They visited for four days and headed back to Ohio.        

She had made up her mind.  They were moving to Canova, SD.  Although they wanted to go right away, they needed some time to save up some money. She started working at a little restaurant making pies from scratch.  The pies were a hit and the owner agreed to pay one dollar a pie and buy supplies.  Julie earned about thirty dollars a day making pies. 

Julie and her family lived on a 40-acre farm where they had cows and milked them.  She remembers a little creek in the front that would flood at times and keep them stranded on the farm.  They had no electricity many times, as they could not afford it. Kerosene was what fueled lights and electricity. To cook they had a pot belly stove and an iron clad stove.  However they could make money or save money they would. 
    
     “We canned everything we could!” said Phillips. “We canned cherries, plums, meat, you name it; we canned it!”      
    
 Julie remembers when a deer was hit on the road, the sheriff would bring it up to the farm
 and her and the kids would strip it down.

In 1985, they finally earned enough money to buy a 60-foot big yellow school bus withthe help of her income tax.   They paid around $1200. 

     “We took out half of the seats so each kid had his or her own bench and loaded everything in
the house. We packed that bus clear full!” Remembers Julie.

When they moved to Canova, SD Julie and her family were invited to stay in the town’s café and to run it. There was a motel above the café and so each of the children got their own bedroom.   “We had an old dog, no one would take her. So, we kept her and she slept down in the café.”

Working in the café was a real casual experience.  Julie remembers that they never locked
the door.  “Customers would come in and help themselves to coffee all the time.  I would
come down in the morning in my robe.”
    
 Unfortunately, after a year, Canova school district closed its doors and Julie and her
family had no need to stay.  Heitz got a job in Delmont, SD and got Julie a job at a Hutterite Colony working as a Teacher’s aide.  

Ultimately Julie and her husband decided to divorce. “We agreed on everything.” Julie laughs. “It’s not like he wanted the kids!”

Delmont was a place of new chapters.  Julie received her B.A. degree in Psychology with a minor in the arts in 1991 and she had gotten remarried and divorced again and had given birth to her youngest daughter; Dezi.
    
 In 1996 Julie’s youngest son, Charlie, had gone missing on the reservation with the Yankton Sioux Tribe. Charlie was found murdered. Julie remembers the hard ships and recalls drinking heavily for three years. In 1999 she left Delmont and moved the rest her children to Yankton to work at a Mental Health Center. Julie had 5 children still at home.

In 2005 she moved to Sioux Falls to be with her daughter Traci and her baby grand-daughter. She has since then obtained her Master’s Degree in Psychology with a Major in Business Management in Criminal Justice and she worked at Volunteers of America for some time until she quit.

Now,  Julie is enjoying the comforts of her children and grand-children that are near and loves to create. She finds comfort in finding things that have been thrown in the trash and bringing them back to life and searches rummages and Craig’s List for hidden treasures.  

“I take old stuff and redecorate them. I really enjoy creating and it’s something I want to do when I retire.” Sighs Julie.

Julie’s treasures are called “Mystic Feathers and Fur’s.” She markets herself currently on her Facebook page. She hand sews her projects because she feels it goes together better.

     “But, you can’t sell a lot in Sioux Falls.” Said a frustrated Julie. “Eventually I may have
to get a job.”

Marketing has been an issue for Julie.  She doesn’t have a way to market herself outside of Facebook at this time and hasn’t done well with that. “What I really want is a website.” Wishes Julie. 

You can find Julie on Facebook under www.facebook.com/jeweleephillips.com.

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