February 2005 Newsletter of

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February 2005 Newsletter of Powered By Docstoc
					December 2010, PWG Newsletter, Washington N.C.

The Pamlico Writer’s Group      met for our last meeting of this year            This year saw completion of nearly all the steps—in the
on Tuesday Dec.7th. Abarr, Barbani, Clark, Cuthrell, Dramstad, Keen,          right direction—toward our goal of being residents of The
Lupton, Roberson, Schroeder, & Buys attended the meeting/party.               Village at Brookwood in Burlington, NC. In February plans were
Chairman Jerry Cuthrell thanks members and wives for making this a            complete for upgrades to our home there, including addition
most memorable year and wishes all, A Merry Christmas and a                   of a sunroom and double car garage. New carpeting and
Happy New Year.                                                               hardwood floors, interior painting, built-in display shelving,
                                                                              and ceiling fans completed the changes. By May, all met with
                     READINGS                                                 our approval, and we closed on our residence agreement.

     Nancy Clark read her 2010 Christmas letter titled,                          The one big step left, of course, is to sell our home in
                                                                              Cypress Landing. When the phone rings, Dick and I fall into
                   Mind Thy Step                                              step on the now familiar drill of quickly readying for a
                                                                              showing. We are anxiously patient in anticipation of a sale, but
      “Watch your head! Mind thy step! Wipe your feet! God                    very mindful, of course, of a slowed real estate market. Our
   bless all in this house!”                                                  move date is indefinite at this writing, but much “stuff” is
                                                                              already packed, and the long lists for the next transition
           With such signature, rapid-fire admonitions, our                   steps stand ready.
   cheerful friend of Irish heritage makes both greeting and
   farewell. We choose “Mind thy step!” as motif for our 2010                  Stepping carefully became Dick’s focus both before and after
   letter.                                                                   arthroscopic knee surgery in January and then a complete hip
           Actually, it was the very end of 2009, when Marilee and           replacement in June. He worked diligently through hip rehab,
   Rich stepped off a plane for a holiday visit with us, making a            and his physical therapists declared they’d never seen anyone
   memorable preface to our new year. We three (Roxanne was                  come back faster from that surgery. Part of that, of course,
   ecstatic!) enjoyed a very special few days hosting them.                  was attributable to good physical conditioning beforehand. He
                                                                             made good use of our fitness center pool for water therapy, too,
                                                                             through the hot summer months. Since fall we’ve slipped in
                                                                             occasional 9-hole rounds of golf.
                                                                                Almost daily we step on the gas to meet a 5 a.m. group of
                                                                            workout buddies, with whom we’ve grown to share special bonds.

                                                                      At Last

Sometimes we step out for excellent entertainments, ranging                             Herta Abarr read from her historical manuscript
from our local jazz musicians, or a barefoot bluegrass musician                                        Safe at Last
called Lightnin’ Wells, to several community concerts. Most                                        (an excerpt follows)
recent was a thrilling performance by the still ramblin’ New
                                                                                    First, there was a soft thump. It was followed by a series of thumps, a
Christy Minstrels (circa early 60’s). Dinners with good friends
                                                                                    pause, and then a spine jarring jolt; then there was quiet again.
and many lunches out dot our schedule. At home, we are still                        Joanna started out of what had, up until now, been a fitful sleep. She
surrounded with books, movies, and newspapers when we are not                       shifted her weight only to discover for the umpteenth time, that there
busy spoiling the Schnauzer, who tops our daily highlights and                      was no room to shift, some maniacal design engineer having decided
often steps in to remind us that the world revolves around her.                     that adults had a standard sized rump measuring the same number of
                                                                                    limited inches. As she rose more to consciousness, blinking in the
   Nancy often steps out briskly with “walking-talking” friends.                    dim light, she uncrossed, then re-crossed her aching legs, she became
This year she’s taken on a project of making audio recordings of                    aware that she was actually aching all over. She leaned forward and
all the selections of poetry and prose which are also intended                      then back, coaxing her circulatory system to find different channels.
                                                                                    She decided she must look a sight. Glancing surreptitiously about,
some day for a book.
                                                                                    and seeing her fellow passengers in various stages of sleep, she
                                                                                    decided that vanity could wait until later. She saw a stewardess, wait,
   Special greetings to you for this holiday season. For the new                    no, a flight attendant, walking up the narrow aisle, checking on the
year: “May God grant you lightness in your step and . . . bless all                 passengers like a mother hen, and Joanna smiled weakly in return.
in your house.”
                                                                                    She checked her watch, and in her numbed mind was unable to
*********************************************************                           calculate the time, as to what it was, or where they were. While
                                                                                    looking down, she noted that her walkman had run the talking book
                                                                                    to the end, and had clicked off. She didn’t remember past the middle
                                                                                    of the tape. She would have to rewind and start again. She hated for
                                                                                    that to have happen, as it seemed to drain the batteries, and did not
                                                                                    know where she would be able to replenish her supply in a foreign
                                                                                    country. She was glad to have thought of bringing along this
                                                                                    diversion. Too many thoughts kept jumping at her, and she could
                                                                                    only parry one at a time. She knew that engagement needed to take
                                                                                    place, but she wanted to put it off for as long as possible.

                                                                                    On her left, her husband shifted, deep in his sleep. Lucky him. She
                                                                                    was glad for his presence, as though it would keep the proverbial
                                                                                    bogey man at bay. The dimly lit cabin offered only shadows, and the
                                                                                    instrumental hum that pervaded would and could have lulled her to
                                                                                    sleep, had she not ached so. Or was her ache, the result of the
invisible tension that had pulled her taunt emotionally and physically               Jim Lupton read from his historical novel,
ever since the reality of the trip had been finalized.
                                                                                        Pilgrimage of Power – Chapter four
She shifted again and looked out into the night, the depthless sky;
black and deep as velvet pile. It reminded her of another velvet night,                        ( an excerpt follows)
though there, there had been nothing peaceful about it. The very
blackness of this night served to turn the porthole into a mirror, and         .... It was cold and cloudy when I followed several handsome,
she saw a face reflected back and he was temporarily disoriented               well-attired knights to the royal barge. On the open deck, beneath a
again. Of course it was she. Somehow, she could not remember                   colorful canopy, a steward directed me to a seat by the rail at the
getting older, she had always been conscious of being, and this                starboard side. I was among jovial young men, joking and
stranger looking back at her, simply could not be her. There was an            laughing, as they looked forward to another day in royal company.
audible click. Her walkman had finally rewound. She lifted her hand            I was quiet, engrossed in my own thoughts.
to start the novel, and the, catching a glimpse of herself again, simply           A while later, the king came preceded by a retinue of older and
let her hand drop. She looked at her image, and slowly raised her arm          more prestigious courtiers. He was between halberdiers, front and
up on the armrest, and rested her chin in her hand. She looked into            back. They looked fierce, armor shining, halberds lifted high,
her eyes, and then past into the inner aspect of memory and let                walking in disciplined cadence. The king strolled. He was enrobed
herself think. Finally....                                                     in a great fur mantle with a hood. I pulled my wool robe close to
***************************************************                            my neck against the wind when he started up the gangway.
     Jerry Cuthrell read his old delightful poem,                                  Trumpeters behind the royal throne, high on an elegant dais,
                 Pitcher Pump                                                  gave a royal fanfare.
                                                                                   “His Majesty, the king,” a handsome master of ceremonies said,
                 Water standing                                                loudly and unnecessarily.
                 In the Pipe                                                       The whole company became silent as we rose and bowed while
                 Grown tepid                                                   His Majesty took his place on the throne. The trumpets sounded
                 In sun’s heat-                                                again and the boat began to move, long oars splashing into the
                 Dull to the tongue                                            muddy waters of the Thames.
                                                                                   Muted by the wooden deck, but still audible, were the fierce
                 Shake hands                                                   commands of the galley master. “Row fast, row in cadence,” he
                 With the pump handle                                          said, his voice loud and stern. “Faster, faster lift those oars higher,
                 Like you’re asking                                            higher.” Then there was the crack of leather, as whips descended
                 For its vote                                                  on the naked backs of the chained slaves. “Faster, faster, up and
                                                                               down, you’re rowing His Majesty the king.”
                 Let water flow                                                    I remembered my time in the Cambridge gaol, and how close I’d
                 Lift by lift                                                  come to the galleys. But for the grace of God and Dom Gregory,
                 By the leather                                                I’d be rowing below, instead of seated among the royal retinue. I
                 Of the flapper valve                                          cringed with each crack of the whip. The contrast between laughter
                                                                               and frivolity above and misery below tormented my soul.
                 Until it runs off                                                 We moved up the river, under Tower Bridge, and towards the
                 Cool and sweet.                                               high spire of Saint Paul’s. When we passed Westminster Palace, a
minstrel began to play. Liverymen served a delightful lunch, with
wine and plenty of ale. Life in royal court had many blessings, but
I couldn’t enjoy it with the cavalier gusto of the young buck
around me. The barking galley master and crack of the whip were
too close. But it would be harder adapting to royal service if I kept
dwelling on the contrast.
   We arrived at Windsor Castle a little before vespers. The day
had gotten colder and a light drizzle dampened the fun. My robe
was tighter around my shoulder by journey’s end. Looking up at
the castle build the William the Conqueror to assert his power, I
was glad to be living in a new dynasty.
   The king disembarked and ascended the hill to the portcullis.
The rest of us followed in casual procession to Saint George’s
Chapel, where the choir sang vespers. The magnificent church,
much like King’s College chapel, was awesome. Though
unfinished, enough was in place to imagine it ultimate beauty. I
fell to my knees and gave thanks....

(Congratulations Jim Lupton on the publication of your book)


A reminder: Our next meeting will be on the fourth (4th) of
                                                                            The Pamlico Writer’s Group meeting continues every other
January 2011. Have a happy and safe holiday to all.                         Tuesday, 7PM in the BCAC Office, 108 Gladden St, Washington, NC.
                                                                            Members are encouraged to attend and present their work to the Group.
                                                                            Please bring copies whenever possible, for members to follow along as
                                                                            you read. Also, please Title, Sign, and Date your work for the

                                                                            The Pamlico Writer’s Group is open to all writers and non-writers.
                                                                            Our mission includes providing a forum where writers of any genre can
                                                                            read their work and receive constructive feedback.

                                                                            Comments or questions should be addressed to the Chairman, Jerry
                                                                            Cuthrell at, 252-946-9471 email... rediron@embarqmail.com , or to the
                                                                            monthly newsletter editor, M.L (Matt) Barbani 917- 4566, or