Pinkorama #1: Betsy Helpeeping at the Front

It is my great honor to bring you the 2024 Pinkoramae!

For our first Pinkorama of 2024, the mother and daughter team of Carla and Rowan bring us a harrowing scene from Two Peeps and a Wedding.  It’s 1898 and the height of the Spanish-American War.  A Red Cross nurse (Betsy!) assists a gravely wounded Rough Rider (Holt!) after the battle of San Juan Hill.

Here they are, in the makeshift Red Cross encampment at Siboney, in a rare black and white photograph of the scene.

One of the things I love about this so much?  When I was writing Two Wars and a Wedding, I relied heavily on photographs from the Spanish-American War, and this black and white rendering of the scene so perfectly catches the feel of those photos I came across while researching.

But, of course, for Betsy and Holt this isn’t old timey sepia toned; it’s immediate and real, so here’s the scene again in full color, with Betsy’s red cross bright on her nurse’s uniform– and the gore on Holt’s clothes very visible.

They didn’t have an easy time of it, those Rough Riders.  You can see where Holt’s multiple wounds have been extensively bandaged.  It’s a good thing he has Betsy there to look after him.

And here’s the tent in its full tent-like glory.  Those who have read the book will know that Clara Barton took over from the American army hospital, refusing to use their filthy building, and, instead, set up her own hospital under the flag of the Red Cross– and you can see that flag proudly flying here!

Because they’re wonderful, Carla and Rowan have also included a picture of the passage from Two Wars and a Wedding that inspired this Pinkorama: when Holt wakes up in the Red Cross Hospital in Siboney under Betsy’s care, having been delirious for three days.

Take a bow, Carla and Rowan!  This so perfectly captures the spirit of Two Wars and a Wedding (check out the stubborn expression on the Betsy Peep’s face!).  The scene was created with such care– but, for me, the ultimate stroke of brilliance was rendering it in black and white, which makes you blink a time or two as you remember these are Peeps and not actual Spanish-American War photography!


Join me here tomorrow for Pinkorama #2….



  1. Rachel Adrianna on May 6, 2024 at 3:13 pm

    Huzzah, Carla and Rowan!

  2. Sheila C. on May 6, 2024 at 4:45 pm


  3. Elizabeth (AKA Miss Eliza) on May 6, 2024 at 6:49 pm

    Oh my, this is genius. Food coloring for the bandages? Because there’s some magnificent seepage.

  4. Anita on May 7, 2024 at 9:06 am

    So creative! Especially love the black and white photo!!

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