On the Corner of 5th and Jeffers

by Don on December 30, 2007

in About North Platte, Reflections

Carl who lives in the Nebraska Sandhills is over 80. He recites poetry during open mic. I don’t remember the name of the poems he read Friday night. I do remember one thought Carl shared, “I memorized poetry because I thought it would make me a better person.” Carl is of a philosopher and theologian gifts of hours in the Sandhills no doubt. During a recent open mic he confessed to not remembering all the lines of poetry he once committed to memory. A consequence of age he reflected. So he used a book to aid his memory, the book looked as old as Carl. A reminder of the value of memorizing poetry was his gift to us Friday night.

Susan Strayer a consummate poet shared her poetry with us, Friday night as Vawn read it. What a gift. I don’t remember the poem but I do remember Susan. She is a quiet modest woman with powerful insights and understanding of life. Insights she makes visible with her poetry.

George, Sharon and Will are all good sports as actors in Steve’s screenplay. The screenplay is a chapter in Steve’s new book. George was the best sport being convinced to dawn a yellow wig for his part. Steve read the “Untitled Chapter” at an earlier Open Mic. The crowd called for an encore of that reading. Friday he read a new chapter, which contained the screenplay. “Dad gets busted” was the title I think.

There was a young woman who read a poem for us Friday night; she might have been in the fifth or sixth grade. Will sang several powerful songs; I could go on and on. There was something mythical about open mic Friday night. Even the jam session was energized and richly gifted. We spend our time-sharing what we find important entertaining one another and building relationships there at A to Z Books on the corner of 5th and Jeffers.

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