The Literary Corner: Renegade Writers Guild

Published 8:44 am Thursday, June 29, 2017

My Smith Corona

By Gaye Hoots

When I was in seventh grade my father had back surgery. A neighbor had taken us to the hospital to leave Daddy. She dropped us at home after dark. I thought of the small Jersey cow my dad milked every night.

“Did Daddy ask one of the neighbors to milk the cow?”

“No, but don’t worry about her. He will be home in a week.”

I knew you had to milk twice a day, and she should not be left unattended. I took the milk pail and tried to milk her. It was a very slow process, but I managed to milk her every morning and night until my dad returned home. This chore was mine until I married. Every morning and night, rain or shine, I milked the cow.

The milk production began to slow and I told Daddy. He asserted I was not milking thoroughly. I suspected she was going to have a calf. My dad knew she had not been with a bull. He became angry when I broached the subject. Daddy informed me he had worked with cows many years, and I should not presume I knew more than him.

One rainy morning the cow pulled her stake out of the wet earth and was gone. Daddy accused me of not securing her out properly. “I bet she has had her calf,” I said.

He became angry again but went with me to search for the cow. We found her near the woods behind our house. She started toward me, and a small red calf with a white face followed behind her. The calf looked exactly like our neighbor’s bull. Daddy apologized to me and told me the calf was mine and when he was sold, I could have the money.

I had enrolled for Typing 1 at Davie and used the money to purchase a used Smith Corona typewriter. This was part of my plan to transition from milkmaid to the work world.

“Encouraging the Young”

By Kevin F. Wishon

Dear Lynn:

Congratulations to you on your recent success and certification. All of your time and hard work is starting to pay off, and I’m so proud of you. It’s been such a pleasure to watch you grow as a person over the years. The best part for me is how you have set your fears aside and reached out for your desires. It is this courage that makes getting to know you worth every moment.

However, I encourage you to continue onward; don’t let this be one of only a few successes. Make this progress just another step of many to come. Each success will eventually become a ladder of personal accomplishment. Ever since I met you, I have felt you had latent promise and looked forward to seeing you discover your potential.

Please continue to press forward. Pursue your dreams, and put all of your doubts aside. I know there are people and other things around you that may be discouraging. Nevertheless, I implore you not to let any of it take root inside of you. You have worked hard, and you deserve this and much more. As always, my very best wishes are with you and all that you may undertake.

(Originally typed on a 1952

Model S Underwood typewriter)

Your friend always,

Kevin F. Wishon

“My Big Tree”

By Marie Craig

Quercus Alba!  I see you standing there in my front yard

And I wonder what you have seen and experienced in your long, long lifetime.

Several of us measured around your trunk.

You’re too big for me to do this alone.

We discovered that you are 200 inches around!

That was twelve years ago, have you grown even bigger?

How did you do this?

How did you last so long?

A formula for deciphering age of a white oak tree

Says that you began in 1700.  I wonder if that’s true?

I can’t imagine the changes you’ve seen and the persons you’ve influenced.

You were near Native Americans; you used to live in a colony.

You were living in Rowan County before 1836, and now you’re in Davie.

You wore a yellow ribbon the year my son was serving in Iraq.

I wonder if you wore a yellow ribbon for someone else whose dear one served in some other war.

I hope they came home safe and sound as mine did.