Thursday, April 11, 2013
"The Lady and the Panda" a book by Vicki Constantine Croke
"China is a country of unforgettable color, and often, quite unbidden, come vivid pictures to my mind--sometimes it is the golden roofs of the Imperial City in Peking, or again it is the yellow corn on the flat-roofed little stone houses in the country of the Tibetan border land" Ruth Harkness
February 19, 1936 William Harvest Harkness, Jr. lay dying in Shanghai, his bohemian, socialite wife, Ruth Harkness was in New York City, totally unaware of what her husband was facing. He had left for China on a quest to bring back a live Panda - at this time in our history folks such as Teddy Roosevelt had journeyed to China to hunt pandas, bringing back only their "trophies" of their hunts - so Harkness' journey was something totally unique at the time.
When Ruth learned of her husband's death, she made the decision to embark on the most unusual journey of her time. Leaving her own career in dress design, she traveled to China on the quest of a lifetime - her's and her husband's.
There are many obstacles in being a woman traveling in China at any given time, during the 1930's obstacles were even greater. Her quest to bring back a live Panda was filled with many up's and down's, the threat of World War II looming, her lack of understanding the culture and language, yet none of these obstacles prevented Ruth Harkness from completing her husband's "appointed" task.
Ruth kept going through all types of conditions, until one day ...............
You will just have to read this one for yourself to find out what happened to her expedition.
Hope you will enjoy this one.