Signing for Trochlil’s book set for Saturday

ELKINS – Mainline Books, located at 301 Davis Ave., Elkins, is hosting a book signing from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday for “Lilacs to Share and Shirts in the Refrigerator,” written by former Elkins resident Rose Trochlil and her sister, Carol


In the mid-90s, Trochlil took a watercolor painting class at the Elkins Senior Center taught by Arnold Shultz, and several years later, after a painting class taught by Kay Gillispie, Trochlil was inspired to paint a view of the farm buildings and settings from her childhood in


After showing the painting to her sister, the two began recalling many stories from their childhood. There were enough memories to fill a book – so the duo penned one.

Sixteen months later, with the help of a writing consultant, the memories came together as a 200-page book about growing up on a farm in southern Minnesota in the 1940s and 50s – “a period of change,” Trochlil said. The book contains descriptions and stories of life on a small farm, including photos and recipes of their Czech background.

“Do you remember ball games, bus rides, classes in geometry, swimming in the gravel pit, roller-skating and drive-in theatres and burger joints?” Trochlil asked. “Growing up in the 40s and 50s was truly a time of change from oil lamps to electricity, from the outhouse to running water and indoor plumbing, from the ice man deliveries to refrigerators and home freezers. So, whether you live in town or on a farm, ‘Lilacs to Share’ will remind you of your own stories of the good old days to share with your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”

The memoir includes vivid descriptions of the house and buildings on the farm, and the work and fun related to each. The story then expands beyond the farm to extended family and community connections, stopping at the one-room schoolhouse and visiting churches and cemeteries.

Read about the maiden aunt, a furniture-buying honeymoon with the father-in-law, a pageant in Washington, D.C., and of course, lilacs to share and laundry waiting in the basement. Readers also follow the sisters as they worked with their father in the fields as well as with their mother in the house.

“The stories of our book remind us that our parents were a couple who worked together all their lives for us and wanted us to grow up following God’s direction in our lives,” Trochlil said.

When the sisters started writing the memoir, its main purpose was to share memories with their younger sister, Lori. Trochlil was 20 years old when Lori was born and she often said she wondered about those earlier years. The authors also wanted their children and grandchildren to know about farm life when they grew up.

“People often ask if I kept a journal,” Trochlil said. “I did not but Carol and I sat down with albums and pictures and words began to flow. Because Carol lives in Iowa and I now live in Virginia, half a country away from one another, we wrote via email. Thank goodness for technology. I don’t think we would’ve finished it


The Trochlils raised eight of their nine children in Elkins. Trochlil brought her personal experience of 10 years in Minnesota 4-H clubs to West Virginia. Both she and her husband, Richard, had been 4-H leaders in Wisconsin and soon encouraged their children to join 4-H while they became leaders in

Randolph County.

The Trochlils attended St. Brendan Church and Rose Trochlil served as a member of the Parish Council and was active in the parish women’s group. She was president of Emma Scott Garden Club and participated in many beautification projects in Elkins. She also taught at the Elkins Junior High for 16 years. In 2008, the Trochlils moved to Winchester, Va. to be closer to their more than 20 grandchildren.

“I have had such a strong, positive reaction from strangers who have enjoyed the book,” Trochlil said. “I wanted to share it with the Elkins community where I lived for 30 years. Family, gardening and weather are just some of the things shared by people living in either Minnesota or West Virginia.”