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LAST MONTH’s LITNEWS omitted a sentence I intended to add to Etheree’s plug for office-holding. We meant to point out that she followed her own advice and had already filed for Recorder. After finishing that stencil I heard that Mary Y. Parrish was filing for Vice President for which she is an ideal candidate for several reasons:

She is a fairly-new member and knows what it takes to make newcomers feel welcomed, and – just as importantly – publishes regularly so that she can introduce new members and possibly use material by them, in the tradition of our best vice presidents.

I’m also told that Dorothy Craig is going to file to continue as Ms. Bur. Mgr. And I want to urge that someone file as Mailer for 1983 so that I’ll have time to use all the copy Dorothy has (and will!) send me!

Greetings! – From Our 1979-1981 President
by Eleanor G. Crum

Greetings to all United Amateur members:

It is good to know you are there and loyal to United with your prose, poetry, publications, reading, dues and gifts! I am still here and keeping very busy. I look forward to the bundle each month, and enjoy reading everything. I commend the officers, and you members for supporting them. Carry on!

Belated congratulations to the 1980-1981 Laureate and Honorable Mention winners! Trophies are being mailed to you. If any part of your trophy is damaged in transit, please notify me – I will replace it!

Best wishes as you continue to write and publish!

Cordially, Eleanor G. Crum

* * * *

Maybelle Burke commenting on a poem in an earlier mailing, Appalachia, by the late Troah Campbell, added, “I had purchased a piece of land on top of a mountain near Brevard, NC, but sold it when my daughter, and her husband sold their lovely home they had built up there. People from Florida come to the mountains in the summer. There were bears there and she felt bad when people killed one. She said, “I suppose they were hungry as there is so little money there.” I won’t say I was unafraid of the big timber rattlers. I was terrified! One snake followed my daughter right up the steps; her husband realized in time and came to her rescue. He said he had stood in one spot in the Indian territory in Florida and shot seven moccasins.

To a Visitor from New England
by Claire Reilly, Ocotillo, CA

Oh, these balmy desert breezes,
While back East – all ice and freezes!
This Southland sky, a cloudless blue,
With warm sunshine to bless us, too!
Enjoy these blessings from our God
And why return to cold Cape Cod?
Remain among us yet awhile,
Don’t let snow-birds tempt – beguilt
With hard snow balls to be pelted!
Do wait until the ice has melted.

Mama First!
by Gloria S. San Agustin
City of Puerta Princesa, Philippines 2901

Our family, when we went out together from the time our sons were old enough to understand, and we had to take rides on public vehicles, my husband would always say to the boys, “Your mama first.” In May, 1980, for the first time since 1969 when Ralph was six and Noel Francis was four, I was with the boys in Manila. Now Ralph was 17, and Noel 15. On our first day together, I took them to our Head Office, then we had lunch at a fast-foods center, and later did some shopping.

We travelled long distances and every time we had to board a bus or other vehicle, they would let me get on board first. And each time we had to get off, the boys did so ahead of me and as I stepped down, I’d find them flanking me to hold my elbows, also whenever we crossed a street. I will never forget the feeling it gave me to have two tall sons ever-ready to offer me this kind of gallantry. Besides the motherly pride that I felt, the experience made me feel like a queen!

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By Mary Margaret Wittner
St. Petersburg, Fl 33703

A long-necked giraffe that I know
Could not fasten his tie in a bow.
He had a nice bid
To a ball in Madrid,
But tieless, how could he go?

Our John Brann is a Cover Boy! A roving photographer for the Fort Scott Tribune caught him sweeping a path through snow in front of a neighbor’s house, and thus not only proved that he still has his trim figure, but that he also is a good neighbor.

by Eleanor Saltzmann
Oil City, PA 16301

A few brown leaves linger on the walk and front porch, lazily waiting for a gusty wind to whirl them away to oblivion. Dark snow clouds gather in the sky and soon the white flakes will blanket the earth, covering the flotsam of late fall.

Brave little sparrows flit about, picking at hedge berries and seeds found in the roadside weeds and grass. Their survival is known only to them, and you will find them nesting in late January under low snow-covered bushes, and the first to perch on bare tree limbs and telephone wires, chirping away as tho Spring were already here.

It was the writer Kingsley who wrote, “Study Nature as if it were the countenance of God.”

The poet Longfellow in his many words of wisdom said, “The laws of Nature are just, but terrible, there is no weak mercy in them. The fire burns, the water drowns, the air consumes, earth buries.” Interim, a waiting period before Earth comes alive again. The month of December is past, with its gaiety, gift giving, and yule-tide choirs paying homage to the memory of the birth of Christ.

In this long cold winter, when the wind swept across the land here, sparing no one his icy breath few found comfort in the knowledge the thermometer always climbs. Soon ice will break in rivers, sap flow from maple trees, and small buds appear on bushes and trees.

Let’s bid Interim goodbye and begin to listen for the peepers, for when they begin to sing we know for a certainty winter has given us our last high fuel bill. Look for the picnic basket and put away the snow shovel, open the doors and windows wide; Summer is on the way!

Granny Dear
by Harriet LeRoy
Largo, FL 33543

There was a little dear old lady
Lived at our house
Just as sweet as she could be;
My mom and daddy called her mother,
But she was always granny-dear to me.

She could rub the hurt out of a finger
I had just pinched in the door
Then hug and kiss the tear drops all away.
And soon she’d have me smiling
At the funny things she’d say,
She would answer all my questions and
Always try to help me see a better way.

Then one day my mom and daddy said to me,
“That little dear old lady has gone away.
Yes, she’s gone away to stay, but someday,
Dear when you get old as she,
You’ll see her once again, I’m sure,
And she’ll be full of hugs and kisses
Just like she was before.”

Harriet LeRoy was hospitalized four times last summer, and just before Christmas, fell, breaking a rib, “so I have not been too active in anything but my tatting.”

by Edw. “Clay” Oliver
Glen Bernie, MD 21061

The hollowness of hell
Dwells deep inside my life;
The turmoil of unrest, of my being,
Touching my very existence –
Survival of life…
At times this is all I am,
Hammering at myself to live…
Points where death is welcomed…
Insides raging, like those fires.
Searching desperately for life.
But a stillness of feelings –
Not death, nor life.
No peace to be found,
No pain,

Senior Rate
by Flora McKinney Hefti
Pasadena, CA 91101

On bus pass
After resting
All through the summer
In friends’ cars and on foot
Even routine trips seem fresh
Seven-fifty is a high price
But a bargain compared to others
Who pay thirty dollars if not much more.

Thoughts of Wordsworth
by Blanche B. Landers
Ingram, TX 78025

His nerve ends
Wandered lonely
Over the snowy page
Planting rows of
Wondrous words
That transformed
A barren desert land
Into a golden field
Of daffodils.
His ten thousand
Daffodils still
Spritely dance and
Fill our hearts with
Pleasure for, lo, these
Many, many years.

Sounds of Time
by Gerald Bradish
Willow Bunch, Sask. SOH 4K0

Out by the sea shore
The moan of fog horns;
In the wooded places
A bird’s song; sigh of wind.
On the open prairie
Hear a train whistle,
Cattle are bawling, and
In the distance a coyote howls.
And in the eventide
The honk of geese flying –
Ducks quacking in the slouth,
A cowboy’s horse neighs –
And the sound of voices…

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by Gloria Procsal
El Centro, CA 92243

You say
You want me
Because I am
A survivor.
But you haven’t seen me
Trailing Venus,
Flashing silver fire,
And you don’t see me now,
Meteor tears.

by Lucy Eaton

No two alike

by Mildred A. Rose
Regina, Sask. S4S S7

Tangle of barbed wire
A pair of rusty mule shoes
Hanging on a post.

Bleached buffalo skull
Adorned by spider webs
Silvered with dewdrops.

by Maybelle Burke

Nature’s needlework
Lace tracery of twigs
Outlined by blue sky.

by Grace Wiebe Lloydminster
Sask. S9V 1K5

Raucous screams daze me
Pine grove dappled with ebony
Convention of crows.

God Speed My Love
by Claire Reilly

I whispered my love
To a friendly star,
Hoping you’d see it
Wherever you are;
Then I made a wish
For the star to go
To shine down on you
So you would know.
Now when you see
A special bright light
From a gleaming star
Enhancing the night
You will feel the sweet message
Descend from above
And know that I prayed
“God speed my love.”

I thought we’d had it bad this winter, but Gerald Bradish reports this has been their worst winter for blizzards and blocked roads. His was that way for three weeks in December. “It was 18 days without getting to town; called the municipal snow blowers out three times, but it was so bad they did not make it for 18 days. But I am glad we did not have it as bad as the New England states and Eastern Canada. Or floods in California.

However, it was 30 below zero during most of January in such weather and with drifting snow; I keep busy reading Reader’s Digest books, studying poetry during those bad days by reading UAP editors’ papers to see how other poets write. I’ve made a lot of friends since joining UAP in 1978 and am having an enjoyable association with UAP. I admire the work of many of the new members; there are some brilliant writers. I love poetry most of all. Not many write humorous poetry; some do and I wish there was more of it. C. U. Smith wrote many, but eye trouble has retired her.”

by Flora McKinney Hefti
Pasadena, CA 91101

What a list each year to keep me busy! Just took a nap and have been moving (furniture and things for housekeeping) that comes to me so often. What a relief to wake up to find it is not nearly such a big job.

When I moved two households of things into one place a few years ago, it was a big job. In my dreams it gets bigger, but it is going to be much easier when I move again. Each project moves a little from day to day. Glass and dishes sent to dealers. A few good books and a picture now and then gets sold. A hat collection and shoes from another era have gone to a shop that sells period costumes, and many unsold items are going to be donated to the Y and other shops. The house is full of things to go, and I hope we can stay here another year to dispose of surplus items.

A new mall is planned for this block. A freeway pushed me out last time. God loves us and we always find a place to build a nest.

* * * *

Edwin G. McCoy (see Feb. Mailer’s Notes) has been ordered to end his type-setting exertions, thus the Feb. issue of The Old-Timer which he got out after his release from the hospital is the final one. He had published and mailed it since June of 1966, just after becoming Mailer in May for the Lone Scout group. Others later served as Mailers, but Ed continued publishing. He’d like to continue, but common sense – and wife, Virginia – prevailed.

Room Enough For Any Man
by Etheree Armstrong
Malvern, AR 72104

Room enough for thoroughbreds,
And to graze the cattle, too;
I will build a barn, a big corral,
And a house designed for you;
Where paper-shell pecan trees
Form a wind-break for the lawn,
And the climbing yellow roses nod
A welcome to each new dawn.
Place fountains by the driveway
For it will not cost a thing
To irrigate the entire place
As the windmills spin and sing.
Terrace the south-east pasture
From hill to River’s bed,
Then set the terrain in seedling trees,
A permanent water-shed.
Yet… I do not own an acre,
Not even a tiny part,
But there is room for yellow roses
On the landscape in my heart.

by Eleanore-Melissa Barker
Delevan, WI 53115
From Blazing a Way, 1981

Out in the ocean’s moisture
A little grain of sand
Gives a contented oyster
Discomfort’s helping hand,
Pearl for a price creating
By sharp, insistent prod
Pain with our growth is mating
To raise each man from clod.

Rosanne and Clarence Pierce returned home early after usual winter plans of spending some months in Las Cruces, NM, then going to California were disrupted by a death and two open-heart surgeries in her family in the east. (Both men are recuperating from surgery.) But Rosanne says she has found home so wintry that they feel like taking off for California again. They enjoy stopping to visit United members, Jewell Adreon and Lenore Hughes – they did see Lenore this year I believe – and Alice Dondiego (who has had a bad fall and I believe is at Tucson, AZ 85730) and last year had a lovely visit with the Leightons (who were still at Cochise, AZ, then) “Nelda, Andy and the girls (Heather and Jennifer). They are a charming family; the girls are darling, very intelligent and creative. Their mother encourages their creativity and she is charming and exceptionally talented.”

The Little Sounds
by Mary C. Bishop
New Westminster, BC V3M 2Z3

The distant whistle of a train
In the stillness of the night.
Waves lapping softly on the shore,
Shining in bright moonlight.
The gentle lowing of the herd
On a lazy afternoon.
Bees buzzing in the garden
On a drowsy day in June.
The clippety-clop of horses hoves
Upon a city street,
A policeman’s cheery whistle
As he walks along his beat.
Frogs croaking in their swampy home
As the evening sun goes down,
The rustle of the silken folds
In a lady’s evening gown;
The creak of truckers wheels
Upon the hard-packed snow at dawn,
The twittering of little birds
After the rain has gone,
The sound of happy laughter
Of children at their play;
And church bells ringing, slow and clear,
At closing of the day.
These are the sounds I love to hear…
The little noises, strangely dear.

The readers, she added, could add to that list their own sounds that bring delight. “Try making a list of what gives you pleasure; not just sounds, but sights as well. Such as a perfect rose, sunset burnished-copper, a baby’s smile; firelight; softly-lighted room; majestic mountains’ scene, moonlight on water; a loved one’s face… you can think of many more and will be surprised at how simple they will be, and how many are free.”

by Lucy Ellen Eaton
Castlegar, B.C. Canada V1N 1M7

The pond lay serene
Unmoved by the cawing crows
Screaming for their food.

This hardly leaves space to thank our efficient Ms. Bur. Mgr. Dorothy Craig!

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Literary Newsette
Willametta Keffer, Shady Acre,
Roanoke, Va. 24014
Assisted by Martin B. Keffer, Printer and Encourager

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