The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 8:51 am Thursday, April 12, 2018

“The Roar of the Lions”

By Linda Barnette

When I came across some old pictures of my dad this week, I started thinking about his service to our community through the Mocksville Lions Club. He enjoyed being a member of that group and felt committed to help others.

I was able to get some information from Dr. George Kimberly, a fellow Lion and daddy’s friend and physician for many years.  My friend and fellow writer, Marie Craig, also led me to several folders at our library filled with newspaper articles about the club.

It seems there were actually 3 different clubs over time.  The first one was organized in 1926; another in 1936 that ended because of WWII; and the one that was chartered in 1954 and remains active today.

When the current club was organized, it had 65 members, and my dad was the treasurer.  Later he served as secretary and finally as president in 1960-61.  He was a faithful Lion, helping with their purple broomstick sales, their collections of used glasses for those less fortunate, and their other projects. He also spent many Saturdays building ramps for those who needed them because of visual problems.  He was especially committed to the club’s work for the blind although Lions had other interests as well.

However, he also enjoyed the fellowship of other members, the dinners at the old Rotary Club building on South Main Street, and traveled to several international conventions.  One such event that brought lots of laughs in our house for months was the time that he and a fellow Lion were refused seating at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach because they were not dressed in dinner jackets. Another time in California he and mother became separated from their group because they didn’t want to try Chinese food.

But the funniest thing that ever happened was the “womanless wedding” that the Lions put on back in the 1950’s.  All I remember about it was going to the Mocksville High School Auditorium, now the Brock, for the show and being totally embarrassed to see my dad dressed up like that. Luckily, I kept the picture that someone took of him in his “wedding” outfit, a magenta shirtwaist dress, a shoulder-length blond wig with bangs, lots of jewelry, and holding a cane!  I imagine the high heels he had to wear were difficult to walk in, as they are not in the picture!

Shall I just simply say that those were the days!

“The Daffodils”

By Beth Carter

My grandmother Lucy sure had a green thumb. Neighbors loved to visit her yard throughout the spring and summer to view the numerous flowers planted all about her yard. Strangers driving by would often stop their cars along her drive just to get a glimpse of the wondrous colors therein.

To me, the most memorable flowers were her daffodils also referred to as narcissus and jonquils.

     My grandparent’s home was located at the corner of two very well-traveled streets in my hometown. Therefore, her yard was an easy view for the passersby. After building the house in the late 1940’s, Lucy began planting the popular yellow bulbs all along the parameter of the 2-acre lot. For as far back as I can remember, these cheery flowers welcomed in each spring.

     Throughout the years, Lucy would have to dig up and separate the bulbs to keep them healthy and aid in the growing process. She wandered the neighborhood for several nights after supper to share the bulbs with others. Soon the entire neighborhood was fondly referred to as “The Daffodil Drive.”

     Lucy formed a local “Garden Club” where the members happily shared their many plants, and all new members received a bag full of her bulbs. The local newspaper awarded her and my grandfather the “Yard of the Year” and published a story and photo of the two of them standing amongst the spring display.

     When I got married and moved into a house of my own, Lucy presented me with a bag of bulbs as a housewarming present. She stood right over me and instructed me in the proper planting technique. She assured me that come spring, I would have the brothers and sisters of her original bulbs growing in my own yard. I questioned her about where she had acquired the original bulbs, and she explained they had come right out of her childhood yard in Union Grove, N.C. I was amazed how these bulbs had survived drought and flood, scorching heat and frigid cold, and animals, both friendly and wild.

     I enjoyed years of my bulbs and took a multitude of photos of my two sons each Easter in the middle of the daffodils. When we had the opportunity to move to a larger home, I dug up each and every one of those bulbs to transplant in our new yard. Lucy was not there to assist me in this planting, but I felt her presence as I inserted each bulb into the warm earth.

     Since that time, I have separated the bulbs numerous time and transplanted them all over our yard. I have shared them with family and friends just as my grandmother did. Each spring, a local nursing home takes the residents on a field trip out and about to look at spring flowers, and they always stop in front of our house to view the sea of happy yellow faces.

     This past fall, my 5-year-old grandson aided me in the digging and separating of the bulbs. There were too many to count, but I sent him home with a bag full of prized blubs for him to plant in his own yard. I truly believe the passing on of family traditions is one of the most pleasurable things I do. As long as I live, I plan to bless my family with these special moments just as my grandmother Lucy blessed me.

     Last Sunday as I drove to church, I passed my grandparent’s home. Someone new has lived there for the past 18 years, but those hearty daffodils are still standing strong along the street with their faces turned towards the morning sun. Seeing those flowers took me back to a simpler time, and as a single tear slide down my cheek, I remembered playing in that same yard without a care in the world.

“Car Trouble”

By N. R. Tucker

One morning while living in Italy, I dropped my son at the Asilo (preschool) and drove with my two-year-old daughter to the American base over an hour away. A full day was spent with doctor appointments and shopping. Driving back to Verona to pick up Stephen, we were on the north end of town when the van died. The van coasted off the lanes of the Autostrada (Italian interstate), but that was the most I could coax out of it.

This was before cell phones, so I had one option. Carrying Michelle, I walked to the exit and found the ACI, which towed me off the Autostrada. Another company towed me to a garage. In Italy, there is one union for towing on the Autostrada and another for towing in town.

The ACI let me use the phone to call my husband. I informed Ed he had less than thirty minutes to get to the Asilo to pick up Stephen. There was no way he could drive from downtown Verona where he worked to the Asilo near where we lived in thirty minutes. When he arrived, Stephen and one of the teachers were the only ones left at the school.

Meanwhile, Michelle and I had made it to a garage somewhere in eastern Verona, in a part of town I didn’t know. As I approached the service desk, the man behind the desk was speaking French with a customer. I ran the odds of the mechanic also speaking English and felt I was doomed. At that time, I was still learning the language, and at no time did my command of the Italian language include car trouble descriptions and words like alternator, which was the problem. The customer left, and I stepped up to the desk. Using my questionable Italian, I spoke a few words. The man smiled and asked (in excellent English) if I would feel more comfortable explaining the problem in English. With apologies to my husband, I must admit at that moment I could have kissed the Italian mechanic who spoke English as well as French. I have since wondered why he worked at a garage, but it didn’t matter. The simple act of communicating with an adult was the highlight of my exhausting day.

Tired and hungry, Michelle became cranky like any two-year-old. Giving up on my bid for mother-of-the-year, I grabbed some of the Halloween candy I had just purchased for Trunk-n-Treat and let her have at it. Michelle was pleased with the offering.

From the garage, I called Ed. He had arrived home with Stephen, and I gave him the address for the garage. I couldn’t give him directions, so I said, “Find the place.” He did. We loaded a month’s worth of groceries, some Christmas presents, two kids, and two adults into the small Alfa Romeo Ed drove around town. The drive home was cramped, but the car was running, so I considered it a good trip.

The kids missed Trunk-n-Treat with our small American community in Verona, but they were happy with the candy I bought, so Halloween wasn’t a bust.

“Spring or Rebirth”

By Julie Terry Cartner

First come the flowers,

Seemingly overnight, they pop out of the shrubs, the trees,

    the ground

Crocus, forsythia, daffodils, the epitome of sunshine,

Then hyacinths, violets, redbuds, the deep purple of


Finally snowdrops, dogwood, lily of the valley, the white

   of redemption

Perfuming the air in a symphony of colors.

Soon after come the leaves,

The light green of new life,

Coloring the trees, the shrubs, the ground.

Slowly they engulf the flowers,

Turn darker in the warming air,

And before you know it, the earth is covered in verdant


Each beautiful in itself.

Like life, colors come and go:

The sunshine of childhood,

The passion of adulthood,

The purity of eternity,

The promise of new life.

Each season merges into the next

In the portrait we know as life.