Blog 141 Confessions, Poetry, and Lunch
I have a brain filled with trivia and lots of useless information that fills the crevices, nooks, and crannies of my brain. People often ask, “how do you remember all those things from years ago?” I don’t know. I just do.
Now here is a true confession.
I have never cared much for poetry, ever since freshman English with Miss Mamie Brawner. I remember Miss Brawner. She was 105 years old and looked every bit of it. Digressing, she retired while we were at Jeff, because her picture disappeared from the yearbook. I think she was 107 when she retired. But back to poetry…she had us read some poems and then asked what the poet was telling us. I had no idea and cowered down in my seat as she began to call on classmates for a response. Fortunately, Warner Fassnidge
raised his hand and gave some reply. Miss Brawner went into raptures about his response, which I did not comprehend.
is that I do not read poetry. Forty years or more ago, I bought a book of the complete poems by Robert Frost. Someday, I may open it, but in the meantime, it impresses (I hope) visitors to our home, as the spine faces toward the room in our book table.
The Sunday newspaper publishes a poem every week. One recent poem caught my eye, and I actually read it. More importantly, I identified with it, because it talks about the long-forgotten events that hide within your brain. For your reading pleasure, I copy it below.
The Stain, Dave Garroway, and Everything Else
I remember the high school buffet
at my date’s country club
where I could never belong
and the mustard I spilled on the table,
ruining a girl’s puffy white dress
so long ago. I wonder if she remembers too.
The brain holds on to everything, it’s said:
the 2nd grade classmate’s football-shaped cake,
Dave Garroway announcing Stalin’s death,
a winning basketball shot in junior high,
Daddy’s cigarette smoke as he played the piano,
Mother’s note—”should anything ever happen to me I sometimes keep money
under the ironing board cover,”
among all the ordinary, strange, and hurtful
things I’ve ever seen, felt, or done.
They float up from the deep, trying to speak,
to remind me of the world that was—and still is,
the lost and found opportunities, the mistakes,
and all the good that keeps waving its arms
in the crowded past, trying to get my attention.
Ending the poetry jag, I do remember bits and scraps of poems that we tried to find meaning for. Carl Sandburg wrote about the fog in Chicago, “creeping in on little cat’s feet.” There was Blake’s “Tiger, tiger, burning bright” and a few others. Rest in Peace, Miss Mamie Brawner.
I may add a few more lines about memorable and not so memorable teachers the next time.
Class Lunch Our class lunch last Thursday was a good one. We missed our unofficial photographer, Patsy Patterson, who now lives in Tulsa. I took some photos and I asked all to take out their smart phones and take a selfie and a photo of the person(s) sitting near them. A few did, with the results posted below by our classmates and me.
Bob Huff Selfie
Dorothy Akers, Margot Rocha, Sylvia Cueva
Reggie & Genevieve Brooks
Dorothy “Tas” McGraw
Warner & JoAnn Fassnidge
Fritzi Connolly & Larry Byrd
Johnny & Sarah Coyle
Patsy & Don Martin
Cerene & Chuck Slagle
Servando & Amelia de la Garza
John & Betty Russell