Center Stage: Spring Writers Read
Words, words, words, Writers Chairman, Wally Kain welcomed the anticipatory audience last Thursday night, to the wonderful world of words, crafted and woven together by our local wordsmiths, for the annual Spring Writers Read 2012. This annual event has grown in scope and artistry not once but twice every year, once in December and again in March (which is celebrated as poetry month). Kain commenced the evening by paying homage to Winnie Donohue founder of the first Writers group back in 1984; which has since expanded to five groups meeting once weekly to read and critique each others work. It is impressive how each and every year these talented writers grow and flourish in their craft.
Duke Barron was the first of eighteen writers to read his work titled “Uncle Clem and the Two-Headed Lamb”; a wittily told tale about an enterprising relative who was both a dandy as well as an entrepreneur. This clever fellow was not only the local Justice of the Peace in a Michigan township he also owned businesses, stopped a crime wave and ran a museum which held a historic collection of what-nots along with the aforementioned two-headed lamb which still on display today. You’ll have to contact Barron for directions to this museum in Niles, Michigan. Barron’s story kicked off the evening perfectly with a laugh and a giggle.
Sandy Gadomski word fully set a calm and reflective scene with her two poems, “Remembering Rain” where the murmur of morning doves took her back to the serenity that such sounds evoked. “Chin In Hand” was a tender reverie on the connections between mothers and daughters including their physical similarities and expressions.
A swift change of pace to a skewed lighter side had Hazel Barber describe a memorable dinner where the hostess suddenly took a nose dive into her dinner falling asleep while the host left the scene to carve the roast in a most peculiar place. You’ll have to ask Hazel to give you the skinny on this far out, goofy, dining room drama, it’s hilarious, as only the Brits can be (think of the TV sitcom, “Faulty Towers” and you’ll get the picture).
“Solitude” by Lorraine Vail transported us once again to a soothing tea time scene; where the scent of exotic teas and tranquility set a restful vista wherever we find ourselves, be that our Island paradise, high tea time in London, or Rangoon. Another change of pace “A Child Sleeps” described a child sleeping in an automobile that has become the family’s home, the family, now poverty stricken, lacking funds, hearth and home; this child however does not lack love or the that such love provides. This was a well thought out pairing of two poems, showing two different sides of what inner peace means.
Beth Ellen Warner is one of those gentle souls that makes folks feel safe; so small wonder that the admonition delivered to her by her daughter “Never Talk to Strangers” didn’t work for Beth. She may not talk to strangers but they just can’t resist talking to her, and thank heavens because it certainly made for big laughs from her audience.
“Morning Frost” scribed by Joyce Rand used filigreed words to describe the delicate tracings that winter’s ice makes on all it touches. Rand’s “Buried Treasures” could be summed up by saying how many little things mean a lot. Most of us have our own set of buried treasures that we hold close, thanks for sharing yours with us Joyce.
Oops, sorry wrong door, brought a hapless baby raccoon into Bev. Forslund’s world, into her home and causing a major shake up in the household. This “Unwanted Guest” just barely escaped from the monster with the garbage can, plastic bag, and goggles. What was that? A man? A monster? An alien? Nope, just Dad coming to the rescue while providing comic relief about a raccoon eviction.
.”Notes For Chris” by Nancy Carlile was a tome on the dos, don’ts, must nots, should nots, would nots, could nots embedded in the rules and regulations before gifting her old 1999 “V 8” automobile, along with some driver’s ed. rules to her nephew Chris. He must promise to listen and obey all the above, before he calling this car his own .There were no such road rules for us to obey, so we just laughed at them.
OK Joe Pacheco, now hear this! a watched pot never boils, and if “My Pot Runneth Over”, is about your tummy pot running over your belt line, remember watching your diet means more than just watching. But regardless your belly fat dilemma gave all of us belly laughs. So good luck and happy dieting, just remember, the best exercise ever, is pushing your chair away from the table.
A fifteen minute break gave us all time to speak, congratulate and thank our writers from Act 1 before taking our seats for S.R. Maxeiner Jr.’s hilarious mini play “The Bus Driver’s Mother”. Mom was no back seat driver in this ludicrous “laugh in”, nevertheless it’s still M.O.M. (mind over matter) only with mom in charge, the bus company’s rules and regulations don’t matter.
Don Brown’s ode to all things old and care worn, maps the endearing, enduring sweetness contained in beloved- “Old Things”, a poem eulogizing echoes of the past.
“Bacon Blues” by Tanya Hochschild had us in stitches when breakfast in Boston becomes a “Boston Beguine” of no, no; “no bacon for madam without consent of the Maitre De”.
Ray Buck’s paean to growing “pot” in “Green Initiative”, shows us the many ways marijuana is grown surreptitiously, while giving a whole new meaning to puff, puff, the magic drag on.
Adopting a pound puppy is always a winning way to woo and wow and audience and the engaging telling of Maryanne Daly’s rhyme “Ramses” did just that in a few short sentences.
The faded old newspapers that covered Mary Lavelle’s poem “Unpacking Grandma’s China” tell a different tale, of another time in this place. Lavelle’s “The Basement” took those of us who remember back to childhood fears of going down into the scary dark, basements to bring up something or other. Basements were spooky places where boilers belched, laundry machines whirled and mangle contraptions tried to eat our fingers if we weren’t careful. Brrrrrrr I never liked basements, did you, but I sure liked your basement story Mary.
Some girls are just cute and adorable, small, dainty, delicate always clean and well groomed. Some girls are tall, with arms too long, legs too lanky, hair too stringy, with clothes outgrown and shoes too short ,a moving bean pole. Isn’t it too bad that Amazons want to be cute and adorable, while the cute folks want to be long and lean! “If Only” by Harriet Werfel Edwards reminded us of that sad tale of woe, and now all grown up we can reflect back and smile. So thanks for that bittersweet memory, from both the short and the tall.
I’m not sure any of us believed Sid Simon when he announced he’s watched “The Last Football Game” ever. Bah humbug, even with the endless ” Player’s Stats.”, bellowing, over the top, commercials, half time whoop tee doo, and all the rest of that hoopla, I’ll bet you a dollar, Sid’ll be back in front of his TV, rooting for his favorite team next year, same time, same station. Meanwhile we had fun listening to the telling of the great Sunday afternoon pastime, which may soon be defunct in the Simon household.
Most all of us have had a relative or family friend that scared the living daylights out of us. Mort Levy told his relative Aunt “Gietl”. This lady could be counted to be a fashion forward wearing her fox fur stole, with the three heads and tails, winter and summer to “complete her outfit”; she was also the funeral directors nemesis, throwing herself into open coffins, demanding to be buried along with the diseased. Thank goodness for these characters, they make for great stories and lots of laughs, but only after reaching adulthood. My adversary was Aunt Gertie from the Bronx;complete with a Jewish accent you could cut with a knife, and a bone crushing hug Thanks for sharing “Gietl” with us, she was a wonderful sketch.
Caulk up another winning evening filled with the joy of laughter, a sentimental journey provided for us by our very talented group of poets and writers. I’m already looking forward to next seasons offerings of “Writers Read”, meanwhile write on!