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  • Writer's pictureLizzy Shannon

Random - Kay Snow, Awards, and past love affairs

I apologize to my local Oregonians for the lack of sun on Wednesday. I brought it in to give it a bit of a polish and he ended up staying for a while. What tales he told me, and I think half the time he was making it up as he went along. He was so snug he wouldn't get out of bed but finally it got too hot in there, even for him. So I reluctantly let him go and he'll put in an appearance in the morning. What a fibber he was! Not like me. I'd never make up crazy stories as I went along. :-)

I'm beginning to pick up the threads of my life again since the surgeries. After the sun left I got in touch with Bill Johnson, Office Manager and Heartbeat of the Willamette Writers. Part of my duties as the Awards Coordinator is to help Bill out sorting the Kay Snow and Kate Herzog entries into piles and get them to the judges. I've most judges ready and waiting; I just have to make a couple of phone calls to get the rest in place. I've had several friends tell me they've entered the Screenplay section, so I must reluctantly not look at that section and get the pile of entries out to a judge that Cynthia Whitcomb, the President and professional screenwriter, has personally selected for this year. Then it turns out that one of the surgeons I saw after my heart incident has two daughters who have entries sent into fiction and non-fiction. They've both been winners in the past. Fortunately the actual print-outs don't have names, and I'll make sure it won't be me judging either of those.

If I get a chance to be a judge I usually opt for the Poetry section. (So, for the gods' sake don't write and tell me you've sent one in!) :-) Poetry in general is one of my secret passions. I love to read it out loud and taste the words and pictures.

In my office I treasure many old favorite collections, including the original leather-bound Shakespeare's Sonnets I used at drama college, but keep coming back to a book I bought in Nottingham, England, while working for Footprints Theatre Company. My housemate at the time, a fabulous lady called Rowena White volunteered at a coffee/book store called The Potters House. Now she is a fully fledged Church of England Pastor with a Doctorate! And married, although kept her name as Edlin-White. We would leave messages for each other on the top step of our apartment, using a stuffed toy frog to deliver them. Whether they be a bottle of wine when either of us needed to let loose, or an important and anxiously awaited letter.

The book I bought there is "Love Poems" by Brian Patten, (Courtesy of Unwin Hyman Limited, and copyright Brian Patten 1981, 1984) From time to time I sift carefully through the pages, most of which have come loose from the spine, and whichever poem I choose to read transports me back to that year in Nottingham. Back then I fancied the love of my life at the time to be a street preacher called John D-R. It was doomed from the start! But we had some very fine times before it all went 'pear-shaped', as they used to say. :-)

This poem, entitled simply "I caught a train that passed the town where you lived" pretty much says it all.

So, with kind permission from Unwin Hyman Limited and Brian Patten, here it is:

I caught a train that passed the town where you lived. On the journey I thought of you. One evening when the park was soaking You hid beneath trees, and all round you dimmed itself as if the earth were lit by gaslight. We had faith that love would last forever.

I caught a train that passed the town where you lived.


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