Pictured above is classical guitarist Sharon Wayne. I photographed her during her Februyary 24 concert sponsored by Springfield Classical Guitar concert at First Presbyterian. I have posted many pictures from the concert which you may view by visiting http://www.civag.com/artslinks.htm and scrolling down to the link to the SCGS site. MARK YOUR CALENDARS for March 24 when Javier Calderon will play in concert. Details at the SCGS site.
Took a store-brand Suda-Fed this morning, and didn’t sniffle once during the Poetry Out Loud state championships today where I was privileged to help as “prompter.” KUDOS to Springfield Area Arts Council and event sponsors for a terrific celebration of good poetry, well memorized and exceptionally well recited. Congratulations to runner up Mark Schmidt of Wheaton Warrenville South High School whose early round recitals Jonathan Swift’s “A Satirical Elegy on the Death of a Late Famous General,” of Sanburg’s “Chicago” were surpassed by his recital of Martin Espada’s “Alabanza: In Praise of Local 100.” Robi Mahan, Harrisburg High School took top honors with her presentations of Lisel Mueller’s s”When I Am Asked,” e.e. cummings’ “anyone lived in a pretty how town” and “Beauty” by bony Hoagland. Must note, for MY record, that Mt. Zion High School’s Kelsey Cunningham knocked me out of my chair (almost) with her recited poems. I expect the world will hear a lot more of all three of these talented artists and my notes, which include the names of all the students’ names, will be a treasured mimento of this day. BRAVO!
I sat with Marcellus Leonard at the awards luncheon and handed out ArtsLinks cards and Vachel Lindsay: The Poet Speaks cards to several good people, including most of the judges and esteemed guests. MY DESTINY is a place in the local arts. Perhaps I’ve already found it, but what I really have in mind is spending the rest of my life with a full-time employer in the arts business. We shall see . . . . .
After Poetry Out Loud festivities concluded, I visited Springfield’s newest art gallery: jimiArt Gallery at 518 E. Monroe. It’s a terrific gallery, and will be telling you more about it at ArtsLinks. In the meantime, visit ArtsCalendar to see who’s going to be hung there, so to speak, in April. And say “hello” to my new good friend Olu-jimi Adeniyi. Tell him Job sent you. He’ll know who you mean.
On a terrific sunny afternoon, I enjoyed a leisurely stroll to Sixth at South Grand to pick up my car from Meineke Car Care Center. For the first time in about four years, my car has a working muffler, thanks in part to a friend across the street who gave me a coupon good for significant dollars off the cost of service there. He gave the coupon to me last September, soon after the maintenance fellow at a popular locan tire and lube center had offered to fix things for $500. I didn’t use the coupon all winter, feeling confident I would not be pulled over by the police until warm weather returned. After all, I had done okay since at least 2004 and maybe 2003. Several times over this winter, he asked if I had used the coupon (due to expire sometime in March) and I always said “no.” FINALLY at last Saturday’s Writers’ Bloc, I gave him my world, I’d drive over and at least get an estimate. Monday, I did and was pleasantly surprised. I knew there was no point in continuing to pollute the town with my unmuffled puttering — make that the car’s unmuffled puttering — so I set up Thursday for the work. They kindly gave me a ride to the Poetry Out Loud venue, and I truly enjoyed the stroll back to pick it up. Now there’s only one problem: True, the clatter of the engine had driven me almost CRAZY (no lie) at times, tooling down the street and barely able to hear the radio. But when I hit the ignition leaving Meineke today, I had a new concern. How the hell can I tell when my fricking ENGINE starts? Answer, I can feel it start through the vibes transmitted through the key in the ignition to my hand. I really, truly, no exaggeration, can barely tell I have a working motor now, thanks to the new muffler . . . . and thanks to my friend across the street.
Last week when I went grocery shopping (after subbing at Jefferson Mid) for the first and “parbably” last time to Cub Foods on Sixth Street, I was verbally, politely hailed by a 20-seomething fellow offering me a free State Journal-Register. I agreed to subscribe, thinking I can afford a trial subscription for (what I imagined might be ) $10 or $15. How 20th century of me! When it came time to write the check he explained my options were three months, six or nine, so my lowest entry would be $30! I was NOT going to back out of the deal, and thought hell, I MAY even be able to afford it before the subscription expires. So I pre-paid to get the obligation out of my hair and shopped there less than anticipated. WHY? For starters, it was a sad place compared with the Cub out west. People there seemed to have been sent there as punishment, like they were doing George Orwell 1984 time. BUT, they had LARGE cannisters of Lipton ice tea mix (unlike Shop & Save), so I picked that up, a few more items and high-tailed it home. I’ve enjoyed reading the daily again, and God only knows: I can use the rubber bands.
One more thing, real fast. I decided that when I feel “slighted” by people (whether I respect them or respect them not), the best thing I can do is suck it up and not open my big pie hole. I watched a terrific espisode of Law and Order a few nights ago in which the heroine had been bound, prior to being tortured. She got away, and explained to her fellow officers that the freak who had kidnapped her and tied her up, removed the gag so she could respond as the badperson tortured and murdered another captive. (No details were photographed; it was all pretty PG-13 Viewer Discretion Advised) Heroine-person explained that it was obvious to her when the gag was removed, that the murderer WANTED her to scream as the other victim met her grisly end. She told her associates that she KNEW that if she opend her mouth during that time, she would have been killed also. So she kept quiet. No need to explain the happy outcome beyond saying the bad person was caught. But watching this TV show, combined with today at Hoogland led me to understand this: It is the height of folly to tell strangers of your specific discomforts, inflicted knowingly or unintentionally by fate. Show pain and FATE respects you less, Describe every track of the knife across your face, and strangers will grow weary of your lament and walk away. That is why I have resolved to report what makes me better — to you via this blog, and to innocent friends and strangers . . . . and not shed crocodile tears over inconsequence. Maybe fate . . . . maybe YOU . . . . . just want to hear me scream. Well, I want you to know I have removed that part of my life from my repertoire. Who knows? I may net a measure of respect, and left to my own devices, I may untangle the ties that bind, and make it out of future “episodes” alive.
So at 7:37 p on a Thursday night, I’m still not sniffling, there’s plenty of iced tea mix and Folger’s instant, and who knows, the sub teacher service may call before Charlie Rose comes on.
WHY IS EVERYTHING CENTERED NOW? DANGED IF I KNOUGH!
Live long . . . . . . and proper.
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