Years later, in 1962, he was to write his memoirs in Life on the Modjeska Ranch in the Gay Nineties and speaks of the Ranch in terms of endearment. He spoke of Arden as a fascinating place with such lovable people to be associated with. Besides the natural beauty of the scene, he said the whole air seemed charged with gaiety and romance. He stated sometimes he wondered if it were not all just a beautiful dream.
This wonderful little book is out of print at the present time and the copyright is owned by the Theodore Payne Foundation. The Helena Modjeska Foundation is in touch with them to see if it would be possible for this to be reprinted. In the meantime, you will find it in all the local libraries.
Matilija poppies were growing in this area when Mr. Payne lived on the Ranch. He tried valiantly to grow them at the request of Mr. Bozenta, as he called him. He was not successful and it wasn't until later that he learned if he had burned some straw or dried grass over the ground, he would have been successful in germinating the seed.. The poppy fascinated him, and in later years he collected the seed for exporting to Europe.
Roses were a great part of Madame's life. She was passionately fond of them and had a large bed in the front of the house. Mr. Payne has left us a legacy, a list of the names of 20 roses that were in her garden. Someday there will be a rose garden again!