Thursday, February 6, 2020

JAN 16, 2020

Katherine Flotz, Beverly Stanislawski, Al Koch, Mike Ripley, Dennis Mclean, Amy Brailey, Pam Maud, Ruthann Graczek, Hardarshan Valia, Marlene Starcevich, Gail Galvan


Philip Wielgus, Diane Alicea 


A vote of approval for the January 2, 2020 meeting was first given by Dennis Mclean and seconded by Katherine Flotz


AL KOCH read his essay entitled “Journey to a Degree” that displayed glimpses of his sojourn to becoming a teacher. It began at age of 23 bringing in life-changing events: socially, economically, and personally. Juggling his way through arduous journey, he was able to fulfill personal responsibilities, obligations, commitments, duties, and promises. However, after more than 50 years, the journey still continues per a stanza in Robert Frost’s poem “ Stopping by the Woods One Snowy Evening:” ‘The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. And miles to go before I sleep.’

Marlene Starcevich read a chapter from her book-in-progress entitled George Joseph, The Rescue Cat which deals with author’s journey coping with family illness, family death -- and a very special cat named George.  The author poignantly describes a daughter’s dilemma when her 90-year old mother wishes to return back to her own home after recuperating from illness. She reluctantly comes to terms with granting her mother’s wishes. However, dilemma arises when mother asked for one of the two cats that were author’s pet. After much discussion, mother agreed to adopt a rescue cat and proposed the name “George” after her father’s name. The continuity of connectivity to love through generations, and into the future, was movingly presented in this story..

BEVERLY STANISLAWSKI read “The Puzzle Pro” narrating the story of Preston Crawford, a businessman, who has a “silent” battle over a crossword puzzle and the stranger who “stole” his newspaper. The tension builds as Preston is in a race to finish the crossword puzzle before the stranger completes the same puzzle. The desire of revenge overpowers Preston. At the end of the story, the stranger humbly explains his winning strategy to Preston. 

DENNIS MCLEAN read his four short free-verse poems. In his poem  “Directions”  the he laments about the human right abuses that come from all directions.  The next poem, “The Past, the Present, and the Future” describes how broken promises of hope have always been a constant factor in the vastness of time and space.  “More on Time (or Moron Time)” Dennis sheds light on how time creates its own elusive dreams about promises of a better future.  His last poem, “Strange Worlds” ponders upon the perpetual motion of the spirits with no place to call their home.

MIKE RIPLEY read his story entitled “Avoid the Night.” It narrates a mayfly’s flight to the west to avoid nightfall. As nightfall approaches, the mayfly finds beauty of life in the arms of a rose flower. Its end of life metaphor conveyed beautifully that is hard to find in today’s literature. 

Amy Brailey continued with Chapter 15 of her book  Joe Everett and the Hall of History. Marching towards Fort Duquesne, Jon notices Lieutenant Colonel Gage is looking for someone. When two spies return and Gage continues to search, Jon realizes someone has not returned. 

Pam Maud read from Chapter 1, Part 2 of her book-in-progress entitled God’s Fingernail. Linda puts the final touches on the preparation for the family’s last camping trip of the season. In the process, Linda empties a cash box and gives it to her friend without noticing the content of the cash box, which she figures her husband Dale will sort it out at a later date. After the friend leaves, Linda awaits for Dale’s return hoping he arrives early for the trip.

Gail Galvan before reading her two poems “Fiercely at Play” (Dedicated to Max Ehrmann) and “Afternoon Near the Tippecanoe,” She introduced attendees to the writings of Max Ehrmann, American writer, poet, and attorney from Terre Haute, Indiana. He is widely known for his 1927 prose poem “Desiderata” (Latin: “things desired”). In the first poem “Fiercely at Play,” Gail describes how Max Ehrmann’s poem inspired her to heed the simple remembrance of nature’s rewards and heartfelt deeds while taking blissful strides through pathways of her own life. In the second poem “Afternoon Near the Tippecanoe,” the she describes her gratefulness to “all creative life jackets thrown at her during her poetic travels both on land and when tried to walk on creative waters.”

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 7:30 P.M.

Respectfully submitted by:

Hardarshan Valia, Jan. 20, 2020