Saturday, November 24, 2018

From "Places and Times"...a Quartet of Books for Gifts

A recording of a well-received poem from my first book.

All four books are available at the usual places, and also from the publishers!

eLectio Publishing

Finishing Line Press

Amazon KDP

Broad River Books (part of Muddy Ford Press)

Saturday, November 17, 2018

From "Places and Times", a Soundcloud Recording

Check out my other tracks there if you wish! Thanks!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Orange County is dead! Long Live Orange County!

   When my wife saw this, she shared the link with me. I lived in Orange County so long ago that Jerry Brown was governor of California the first time.

   In Summer of 1975 I was a graduate student in German at the University of California -Berkeley. Originally I had agreed to go to Georgetown University, get a Master's in German Linguistics (I was an remain a literature person), and then ease into he federal bureaucracy.  But California was a dream for many of us then, and my sense of adventure found my on a red-eye flight in the last week in 1974.

   Graduate school was challenging in every way, and so was Berkeley. With my coming in the middle of the academic year, there was no hope of a teaching assistantship. In the late Spring I found myself the eighth alternate for ten spots. People even split them, two each taking a half. I began to despair. Here I was, wanting to teach, and not being offered a chance to see if I would be any good at it.

  I spoke with some friends about how one could transfer with some honor. one day someone told me that a professor from UC-Irvine was offering teaching assistantships. I asked where Irvine was, and recoiled when I heard "Orange County".

  The home of conservative Republicans, old-fashioned values. I thought I wold end up imprisoned or worse. But my practical nature told me to try it anyway.  Why not get some experience in teaching? I was assured that I could return to Berkeley. Whether or not I could have was besides the point. I needed to hear that, even if it was not true. My other options were to return to Pennsylvania and work in the cement plant, join the Navy, or try to work for an alternative newspaper.

  I needed two things for Orange County: a car and a community outside of academia. My father bought a 72 Duster back home, and my brother drove it out to me. I had reconnected with organized religion, Lutheranism (I had taken a Luther course and had checked out the student chapel). I found an unconventional Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod parish that accepted me, nurtured me, and where I received the call to ordained ministry, Sadly, St. Matthew's did not exist long.

  In the Orange County of 1975-1977, I was exotic. People thought I was Italian, and were amazed to find I was Hungarian. Really different form home! Also different was that all of the towns looked the same! Thank goodness they had signage like "Garden Grove City Limits". I was used to ethnic/economics variations. Not so in the OC.

   I discovered that teaching was fun, and that altough I had some things to learn, and still do, I was okay at it. While I did not spend a lot of time on the beaches or in the mountains,  did some exploring.We found a nice English pub in some double wide trailers, the shops and bars of "Fascist Island" (really Fashion Island). As long as the facade of respectability was maintained, we could do what we wished. My California Girl came from Hong Kong!

   In the OC I saw my first Community Church, and still shake my head at what it's all about. We survived disco by checking into the Hotel California. I saw the Kinks on campus. More importantly, I kept my values and made strides in becoming an adult.

   OC/California appears in my poetry now and then. I've been back for two Annual Trainings when I was in the New Mexico National Guard, and had no desire to return. My wife even had a job offer in San Bernardino, but she took one in Pennsylvania instead.

   But the article linked above shows the shift politically and culturally. And it's all right.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

A wonderful review of Saluda Reflections  by Manic Sylph. I am so humbled and honored! Thanks so very much!

2LT Wilfred Owen died exactly 100 years ago this day, a week before the Armistice. His better-known Dulce et decorum Est can easily be found, so I will not provide a link. I enjoy teaching that one in my college classes.

I am also working on a poem about my great-uncle Edmond Schollaert, who was wounded in October 1918 and died two weeks after the Armistice.

A movie about Owen and Sassoon's war experience-

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Two events next week!

First time at this, but not my first time in the renovated library!

Great seconf home, almost!

All four poetyr books available!

Can/t make these?

Or contact me!


Reviews Are So Very Important to Writers, and So Hard to Get

      When my first poetry book was published seven years ago, I dutifully asked readers/friends to review it. That book, Places and Times, ...