Renegade Writers Guild: The Literary Corner
Published 9:27 am Thursday, February 23, 2017
“A Writer’s Aspiration”
By Kevin F. Wishon
Where shall I dig or pan,
From which well should I draw.
Memorable life experiences,
Or mental machinations.
Each one weighed.
Let it not be today,
Empty of progress.
Let thoughts flow freely,
And words be not arduous.
Just one precious thought.
Amid all uncertainty,
I reject my fear.
For in water’s clarity,
And out of the sand,
Soon, a nugget will appear.
“The New Man”
By Gaye Hoots
My father and grandfather were farmers. We lived with my grandparents in a house overlooking the Yadkin River until I was 6 years old. There was a large barn about a quarter of a mile from the house. This barn was used for the milk cows. The milking was done with milking machines. Milk was then stored in a tank with a cooler. It was picked up by the dairies that processed and marketed the milk and milk products. Cows grazed the pastures in the summer. Crops of various grains, hay, and corn supplemented their feed. These crops were grown on our farm. In addition to our family, there was paid help to milk the cows and another full-time person to help on a daily basis. During harvesting, we traded help with neighboring farmers and hired seasonal help as needed. My father and grandfather considered hiring another full-time worker.
I heard my dad tell Grandpa that he had found someone he thought would fill the spot and he wanted Grandpa to meet the man to talk with him. Dad described him as younger than the other workers and very strong. The story of the interview was that Grandpa met with Brock. While they were standing in the barnyard talking, Grandpa’s pet barn owl approached and headed in for a landing on Grandpa’s shoulder. This was the owl’s usual approach. He flew in quickly with his talons spread wide to grasp Grandpa’s shoulder.
Brock had never heard of the owl. When the owl flew near Grandpa’s face with talons spread, Brock thought Grandpa was being attacked. He reacted by knocking the owl out of the air before it reached Grandpa. When Grandpa picked his owl up it was dead. This was not a good way to start a job interview. Grandpa was pragmatic though and decided Brock’s quick thinking, good reflexes, and strength qualified him for the job.
When my dad began managing the March farm we moved there. Brock and his young family moved into a house on that property. His wife was pretty and friendly. She took good care of their small kids. Brock was pleasant to work with. He had a sense of humor and joked a lot. This helped to make farm chores go by quickly. We were attached to him and his family. This was true of all the families that we worked with.
Brock and the others workers celebrated their weekends by playing poker and having a few drinks on Saturday night. They attended church on Sunday. One weekend the card game evidently got out of hand. Someone had struck Brock on the back of the head. He had been dragged into the graveyard of the church and left to die. They found him unconscious the next morning, but he later died in the hospital.
There was an investigation and a man was charged. We believed others were involved because Brock was too large for one man to carry. No further charges were brought. The man who killed him was sentenced to jail. Brock’s wife and children moved back with her family. This was the first time I had encountered violence of this magnitude. It was sobering to realize that a moment of anger could have such far-reaching effects on so many people.
This one act of violence left grieving parents and siblings, a young widow in shock, and small children with no visible means of support. It was probably fueled by jealousy, greed and the catalyst of alcohol.
By Julie Terry Cartner
Unlike any other
As the flakes drift slowly towards the earth
Faster, but still with utter tranquility,
Now appearing on branches and twigs,
Now covering last summer’s grass,
Now disguising rocks and leaves,
The snow encompasses all
In a peaceful power play.
I gaze around
As the snow begins its quest
To conquer me,
Already covering my hat and boots,
Now encroaching on my hair and shoulders,
Finally overtaking my heart.
Amazed by the overwhelming hush
Of silent snow,
And unutterable joy
For this gift of
The Dentist Who Played Baseball
From the 1924 diary of a girl born in 1912
By Marie Craig
My dad is not much of an athlete, but he loves to watch baseball games. We always go to the church-sponsored baseball and softball games here in Mocksville. The whole family goes, and sometimes we take a picnic. Those are fun times for all of us, but especially my father. Since we live in town, it’s pretty easy for all of us to walk to the games. If it gets late, somebody will give us a ride home in their buggy. I asked my dad why he liked baseball so much. He told me the most surprising thing. We ride the train to Winston to go to our dentist, Fred Anderson. I always dread going, but he’s a funny guy that makes me laugh and helps me realize that I really should take good care of my teeth.
“Dr. Anderson played big league baseball years ago,” dad told me.
“I think you’re teasing me. Nobody from around here could do anything that well,” I said.
“Oh, but you’re wrong. He and I went to school together, and I have a scrapbook I kept of his sports career. Would you like to see it?”
My father went upstairs and finally came back down with an old scrapbook he found in the attic. “I would cut articles out of the paper, and he sent me some souvenirs sometimes.”
As I looked through the pages, I saw lots and lots of numbers. I had never realized that baseball involved so much arithmetic. I learned that Dr. Anderson was born in 1885 in Calahaln and played his first professional ball game in 1909 when he was 23 years old. He was the pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. The scrapbook had a picture of him when he was young and playing ball. He dropped out for a while and finished dental school, and he was a dentist in Statesville.
But in 1913, he went back to the Red Sox team and played ball on that team for three years. In 1916, he joined the team of the New York Giants. His last game was on Tuesday, July 9, 1918. It was played at Weeghman Park in Chicago. He pitched almost all of the game which went to 10 innings. The final score was New York Giants 7, and Chicago Cubs, 6. He struck out 2 hitters. He didn’t score when it was his turn to bat, but he helped win the game by pitching well.
I didn’t understand why this was his last game, but my dad told me that the World War had begun. So Dr. Anderson joined the U.S. Army Dental Corps. He served at a military base in the United States to help soldiers with their teeth.
After the war, he became a dentist in Winston. I sure am glad he didn’t get hurt playing baseball or during the war. I’m going to tell him that the next time I go see him.