Archive for the ‘Atlanta’ Category

To Learn The Science Of Naming In Today's World Is Vicious


11 Nov

art-science

Art and Science

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I saw the seven words, then it finally registered with all the synchronicity of a lighted odometer turning over from all nines to all zeroes. This was it! The riddle had been solved! In ill-considered black and white here before me, written three days earlier, on my mother’s 48th birthday was the culminating stroke of this freaky name-change operation thing I had charted for months with soft sell handshakes and strange grimaces to any new person who happened to meet me.

And I took the name Gabriel Thy...

The Howell House was clean and active, even upscale I suppose one could say, secure and nearly two-thirds geriatric. My mother lived four floors above me up on the sixth floor of the 18-story building. She was on staff as the senior citizens coordinator and bookkeeper, and I occasionally helped her out with some of the more confined and colorful patrons doing odd chores for them. I was anxious to tell her of my discovery, although I could hardly expect her to understand the impact this fresh twig of myth and reality would have on me, Richard, the eldest of her seven children. It was her birthday and we were to have dinner together. I was bursting with excitement but I was understandably challenged by a mother's sense of her own naming rights—to bring the gift of reason to the dinner table that night.

How would my family, particularly my mother react to this news, a most suspicious tale ringing with tremendous religious overtones, or as others might prefer, smacking of superstitious or worse, some kind of dangerous demonic affiliations? Of course many people have changed their names with no other purposes other than enhancing one’s business, hiding an ethnicity, blending in, or sheer simplicity in mind.
As it was written on the page, the name—Gabriel Thy—was not given but was taken. This seemingly minor detail concerned me for a quite a while, not in a truly bothersome way, but as a nuisance, like a flapping scarecrow in a field of errors. Having taken this name was it no longer a gift? But when someone gives you a nickel, don’t you take it and perhaps slip it into your own pocket? Such were the subtleties of bible and literary scholarship, and so it was with my own problematic gestures.

I was thoroughly bewildered. The name was certainly an odd one, a very special one. I liked it, approved of it, but without a doubt it certainly had a very pretentious ring to it. I was not at all certain I in good faith could take it. And what would I do with it? The cornpone religiosity, the in-your-face God-component of the now prophetic name-change operation, self-fulfilling and otherwise, was obvious to me. But I was sure others would laugh me right off the sidewalk. What about those who already knew me as RSN—a right interesting vintage acronym already, particularly when pronounced Risen or risin as in...Christ is risen! How would my family, particularly my mother react to this news, a most suspicious tale ringing with tremendous religious overtones, or as others might prefer, smacking of superstitious or worse, some kind of dangerous demonic affiliations? Of course many people have changed their names with no other purposes other than enhancing one's business, hiding an ethnicity, blending in, or sheer simplicity in mind.

Having finished with ecclesiastical literature, about this time I had also finished reading, was presently reading, or would very soon be reading the herded vapors of Gide, Camus, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Miller, Darwin, Kerouac, Nietzsche, Castaneda, and Douglas R. Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, A Metaphorical Fugue on Minds and Machines in the Spirit of Lewis Carroll, the latter, a landmark ransom for me, among others. But I would not wholly give up the ghost. I clung to every shred of hope massaging my investigations that God would clear me for landing his understanding, that each and every one of the moderns were wrong in their denial of deity, dead wrong in their intemperance in disparaging the creative power from without, even as they worshipped the creative power within whether it be DNA or environmental advantages. Time and time again I found the writers complaining not against Christ but rather against the wretched incarnations of the church, its scavengerlike methods poisoning their minds against all of the burlier forms of theology and the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jesus of Nazareth. Still I persisted just as I persist today.

And by no stretch of time or imagination was this an easy task to discharge, seeing as I knew almost no women at the time and had little coin with which to persuade others that this was on the level, was no prank, no plot to appear artistic and sublime, nor merely a passing fancy. Yes neighbor, I was feeling tragically symbolic, alone but for the voice of God resounding in my head, just as intricately wrought analysis of my daily experiences had led me to belief.
I don’t remember my mother’s initial reactions to my telling the tale of the harbinger bringing forth her son a new name. Not then, not there. She in all likelihood, since I don’t specifically remember her response, sighed and said something along the lines of, “That’s interesting, son,” while thinking to herself that this was just a passing artistic phase or something or another and to follow form she’d share no words either of encouragement or of any personal horror. She’d always thought of herself as somewhat of a mystic, but was not easily persuaded that any such thing would rub off onto her children. So I use the words "not then, not there" simply because there was no mindjarring quarrel I recall from that Sunday night, and shortly thereafter, speaking both epistemologically and chronologically, things begin to shift into place with great importance.

The name was mine to take. That much was had been chanced upon, had been written, had arrived in a happy circumstance. There was no doubt in my mind that this was living theatre, that I had been given an emblazoned word of prophecy in Corpus Christi, and it was fulfilled here in Atlanta because I had stayed the course. But I also intuited that there were certain terms involved, certain measures and quotas to be filled, certain spiritual hoops to be jumped through in order to discern whether or not this was this real McCoy. Because it was my understanding that I’d come to this earth through the wondrous body of a woman, was named by that same woman, had bullishly married and was now irreparably separated from another woman once twice my age, it was preserved in my mind and reinforced by circular logic that if this name change was truly from God, my doubts could only be dispelled if endorsed by a woman. And by no stretch of time or imagination was this an easy task to discharge, seeing as I knew almost no women at the time and had little coin with which to persuade others that this was on the level, was no prank, no plot to appear artistic and sublime, nor merely a passing fancy. Yes neighbor, I was feeling tragically symbolic, alone but for the voice of God resounding in my head, just as intricately wrought analysis of my daily experiences had led me to belief.

I was working three hours a day downtown delivering pizzas and sandwiches on foot to the downtown Atlanta highrise luncheon crowd. I saw many faces and shared a quick grin or a few words of friendly chat, but my social importance was next to nothing. When I had a few dollars to spare I’d occasionally dip into a rather eclectic pub down Peachtree Street a few blocks from the Howell House for a pitcher of cheap suds, but knew only a few guys, the bar maid, and maybe one woman superficially at best. The happy hour crowd was always buzzing with a spattering of high profile cultural scooters including the nucleus I later grew to appreciate individually as an art curator, a couple of attorneys, an old hippie or two, a librarian, a couple of salesmen, a science fiction aficionado, a banker, a copywriter, an amateur actress, a faux cubist painter, a few struggling musicians, a chess champion, and a CDC technician.

The nihilistic era of the rude nickname had arrived in spades, the new epithet of the unsung, pacing the steamy streets and charlatanic nightclubs with the vengeance of a caged wolf, with little respect for anything, hardly sparing themselves. Visceral yearnings in youth were reshaping a new generation’s perspective on love and hatred, and the mad rush for mostly vulgar monikers had already begun in earnest.
This circle of soon to be regulars was still small at the time of the White Crow writing. All of them knew me as Richard, slightly weird and chalked up with an armload of library books. Keep in mind of course that when I introduced myself to someone, that was the last mention of a name-change operation, the line was dead until the next stranger was introduced. I didn’t go around like some enfilading riflemouth spraying people with some nonsense line in search of attention. In fact I was often quite self-conscious when introducing myself. Within a few days (three, four, five?) however I was to meet a young woman four or five years older than me named Kathleen Baker, a woman whose more delicate features were overshadowed by the liberal contours of her body. She weighed over 300 pounds, sang classical music with the voice of a monk, and immediately seemed to enjoy the nimble dispatches my wit invested among the afternoon mélange. Thinking again as I write this, perhaps I hadn’t told my mother of the Gabriel Thy transmogrification after all, not then that night of her birthday, for whatever reasons I now forget, because with each ascendant memory, in fact, as I am thinking about this concentratedly for the first time in many years, it seems that Kathleen Baker’s were the very first ears to hear the entire mess of fish from beginning to end, sans of course, the still confidential part about needing a woman to validate the transition (part of the test is to not publicly reveal all the details but to allow the truth to unfold according to God’s will and not mine), and that she energetically embraced the novelty of what she was hearing and resolved at that very first meeting to call me Gabriel, Gabriel Thy, enough said. And so in that unorchestrated off the cuff fashion this woman became the first person to know me only as Gabriel Thy, not Richard Nix.

Yes, that was it. She listened to my poem and she approved. Mother would learn only later, and now I recall another event which I shall get to shortly. That afternoon at the Stein tavern I did however note my apprehension at appearing far too pretentious for these cynical hobbyhorse times by dubbing myself Gabriel Thy. I was a nothing, a fledgling writer, a seeker after an illusive and much debated truth, caught within the mechanical web of all breeds and conjugation of fact and fantasy, and yet despite my busy faith and rote exhilaration, I could not call myself a christian because quite frankly I couldn't fathom exactly what the word meant anymore, if indeed I ever did. There were so many conflicting versions of the title that I just preferred to leave it alone, to let the scavengers pick the bones clean if need be.

Little did I know at the time that even as I in all seriousness was changing my name thousands of others were performing a similar operation. The nihilistic era of the rude nickname had arrived in spades, the new epithet of the unsung, pacing the steamy streets and charlatanic nightclubs with the vengeance of a caged wolf, with little respect for anything, hardly sparing themselves. Visceral yearnings in youth were reshaping a new generation’s perspective on love and hatred, and the mad rush for mostly vulgar monikers had already begun in earnest.

Names like Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious became the norming curve for acceptance into this thriving cult of nothingness. My own name mutation, void of applause or record deals, shock value or normalcy, was a serious matter, referencing everything I earnestly believed about the nature and signature of the Creator, flagging for all to observe, his will for me and mankind. To understand this name would take time for me as I experienced what surely would be a new direction in destiny. The easy part was over. Onto the Directed Path of God’s dotted line I was willing to sign, but where, and how?

My anxiety with these problematic questions did not evaporate with the introduction to Kathleen. I still begged in my spirit for more validation.

The Critique


17 Oct

experience

Experience

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THAT'S A KEEN INSIGHT into the poetics of good metaphor, Paige, by insisting the "tree" is neither happy" or "unhappy", but rather merely exists within the framework of its own inanimate kind.

However, as if I were Ezra Pound dancing with a pronoun and you were Thomas Sterns Eliot sipping a cup of Earl Grey, might I suggest, without airs but in an uncompetitive spirit of respect, changing the rather inactive choice of "Withstanding" which is repetitive of the earlier uses of "standing" to the deeper, richer word "weathering the elements" if the poet's style insists upon a common vernacular. And in that sense, one might also write:

              Yet there it still stands
              Rain or shine, sheet or snow,
              an ornament to the elements.

Or better yet, a rebuke to the elements:

              Yet there it still stands
              Rain or shine, sheet, or snow
              a rebuke to the elements.

Thus avoiding a third usage of "stand" in so few syllables. And adds a function to the existence of the tree.

But it's a wonderful poem, Paige. Just take my comments as a persnickety old poet who himself is constantly seeking a more compelling poetics from which to put matters that strike a chord in himself, or better yet, in others, as well.

The tree, a noun, of course, is a living thing, unlike a firelog, so a better choice of words than "inanimate" would have served the argument better, but sense the difference between using an adjective like "happy" or "unhappy" and the device of the active verb "rebuke" to better reflect the context of the "thing" in its apparently subdued and hampered existence.

Gabriel

Time Of The Season (A Family Reunion)


15 Feb

family

Family Spark

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Hey sweet cakes, when did I EVER love you? Beheld you with a certain ill-prepared fondness perhaps, but love? That's an overused and far too frequently misappropriated word. And besides, aren't you Our Lady of Perpetual Crisis? Just ragging. But you can be a lady sometimes, I know, I just know it.

Wassup? On our end of things, we've relocated the studio out to a large historic horse farm on ten acres in a stretch of the good life I call the throbbing nipple of Sweet Virginia. Five miles to Maryland. Ten to West Virginia. Some 60 miles outside the spin of DC. Awesome place, this farm. Will post pictures at some point. Still trying to sell or rent the city condo. Will sign with an agent this week I think. Suzy Blue brought out the papers this weekend, but we have yet to discuss the finer details.

So tell me, how's YOUR wretched deal going? Haven't heard anything new about you and the kids since Clyde swooped in and snagged the old man. Did you guys patch it all up? Was it all just a bad dream? Is this memorex or a badly scratched 78 RPM, thick and unbreakable? Is the Black Hand of Injustice really black, or is that just the shadow of doubt I read about in the tea leaves of the nightly news?

After a rough patch or so near the beginning, things are going okay for "The Chaz" up here. He just got his motorcycle bolted together again yesterday. Allan & family have been up here a couple times with Paige now being observed and penetrated at the National Institute of Health. That's a sad case of mistaken identity. But for the grace of God...

All in all, it's been family reunion tour of sorts for us. Not a bad thing, given the circumstances, the timing, and the hare.

Unfortunately, the grace of transitional power is not the only sensation that's left the building of late, as we are still strung out, and will be hobbled until the condo situation is rectified, and we shift our primary household out here in the fastest growing and richest per capita county in the nation. Despite all that, this definitely feels like the right move at the right time. The two loved ones seem to cherish it here even more than I do, but once I am together again with my books to surround and protect me (nods to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel), I shall embrace the Blue Ridge winds with equal force.

Well, stick it to me, dear. It's the way this game is played. It's true, I never tell you ALL my business. But again, I'm sure you've held out on me as well...

Just thinking about the plural of gravitas...

GT

My Only Book Review


16 Oct

jaden

Jaden

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Nearly two years after its publication, and despite the dissemination of forty or so copies among the few friends, family members, and strangers beating back the night sweats of literary intent, I have come to accept the fact that I write in such an outlandishly dull way as to render this special class of improbable bibliophiliacs completely and utterly devastated to the point of unleashing their inner mute upon the very grains of sand upon which I stand.

Now, I have not handed this book away to just anybody with a cap size or a Big Gulp to spare, but only to those who pleaded, cajoled, paid for in the case of some of the more deep pocketed critics, wished for, promising a review each and every one of them, and if cool beans are a good source of protein, threatened my well-being for a personal copy of this collection of visceral sweat and tears, bloody for the twenty-five years it stewed in the making, usually a signed copy, and usually accompanied by some petty insolence that they loved poetry, or some such glad-handing gush as that. Notions of the silent rejection, notwithstanding, The Silent Cull & Other Mechanical Ideas, Collected Poems 1980-2005 is not your usual thin volume of contemporary poetry, but is four hundred pages of seething canonical arrest, and I use the word "canonical" and "arrest" in all their usual connotations plus a few more that I insist are both canonical and arrested within the pages themselves, banking on subtleties of style and insight that are only coming apparent to the ill-prepared general public in these, our own spectacular terror-driven chaotic times. Well-minced words are a swallower's delight, and this book rarely portrays paradise, or other romantic follies of the past or future tense of mankind, but in its own galloping way wraps itself in the contemporary physics of time and thought itself, tackling its author as much as the culture that spawned him.

But this entry is not about describing the book. It has been aptly described elsewhere.

Here I wish to fan myself with those few words of praise, or words of any kind that have wafted my way in the context of this inpenetrable book. The following paragraph was sent to me by a local artist, a young painter of some early renown, still in his late twenties, whose first son was to be born on my birthday (the second of my friends whose firstborn sons arrived likewise) named James Coleman:

I really like the book man, I read it out loud to Christie at night when we go to bed, they say the baby can hear it and its good to read to him, but I dont know. I really love it man they say if you reach one person, blah blah blah, well thats me. I can sit on the roof and smoke a cigarette, lay in bed at night, damn i would even take it to the beach. It flows it pulsates, it moves me. Im not kissing your ass, I have no reason to. Just wanted to give you an honest opinion, and for whatever reason, it speaks to me. When I read it I feel like I did when I was in college smoking opium and reading boulbelaire or at the coffee shops reading dylan thomas, thinking I should start a fight. What I am trying to say is that at this point in my life your book works for me. Great job man, Im not a literary figure or even a good writer but just wanted to tell you. If I see you and I am drinking and tried to tell you all this, you would think I was full of shit.

What can I say? For all the silent pretenders haunting my crude ambitions, this single review is just about the most stirring string of thoughts an old poet, fat on the failures of inertia, far past his gameface prime, could ever hope to absorb.

Thanks JColeman...

Tracing The Roots Of My Umbrella


20 Sep

howell-house

The Howell House 2004

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Originally published on June 11, 1999

Peggy once held down that same night auditor's job at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Peachtree way back in the early Eighties, although to those of us still dangling her memory chains, it seems like yesterday's music, always with us, cotton soft protection against the white light of a permanent game of trenches. Every cuticle of horsepower in RCH management and grunt services, starting with the owner himself, shined of pride, sliced butter like the most tapered of gay blades, rolled with a sophisticated childishness she admired in herself, so Mother always referred to herself—not as the token female (having owned that role before) but rather—the token straight, always sharing a laugh with her accommodating lads, sharing their jokes as an surrogate, even honorary insider. As a woman in constant struggle and a woman of a certain breeding, she had always prided herself (there's that word again) the longsuffering supportive mother of a high-strung gay son, my youngest sibling, John. Yes, she was of tolerance and empathy, she told the world, however misguided and self-indulgent she often was in presenting this deceptive image of herself.

In fact—Mother was on the job when I took respite on her sofa at the Howell House a mere hundred steps away. This move of mine began a rather quick but import six weeks era of great reading, writing, and window gazing at the street below, little else to drag me into action, after wheeling into the great Georgia capital city from Corpus Christi, poor, thin, desperate for a sneeze and my own artistic statement to initiate my transition from stiff to standard bearer, or something worse.

Home was a sixth floor, corner, modestly appointed, mid-scale one bedroom apartment in a Midtown Atlanta eighteen floor highrise. Mother lived there rentfree in exchange for her services, straight up for acting as the senior-citizens coordinator in a building demographic just over 50% extremely geriatric.

The Ritz-Carlton towered over Peachtree directly across the street from the fabulous and famous Fox Theatre, where "Gone With the Wind" premiered back in the 40s at the height of Hollywood glamour. Tucked into the street level corner of the hotel was famed Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom, now under new management and dubbed the Agora Ballroom. I never saw a show at either.

On the Fox side of the block only a parking lot and Third Street separated the elegantly ornate old theatre where I watched the moneyed classes pour into the streets after soaking up bands like the Stray Cats, the Go Gos and Elvis Costello (whom I had already seen in Houston five years earlier when I was a still a stakeout chief flush with cash). And me six flights up wishing and twitching I'd had the money to go, but once accepting I'd missed the show, miffed I had no camera to mark the spatial moment of my desires.

Beautiful people playing ugly, ugly people playing beautiful, each marked for the glory of the times screaming bloody murder at the winds of freedom flung out to every dick-n-jane exercising the basic American youth ritual of bringing down a rock show, a right fought for and won about the time I was busy being born in 1955. But pacing barefoot in carpet along the sixth floor corner windows, I peered out.

Blank gazing, I had nothing to do but generate assumptions, skirt ripping, roaring assumptions about these oddball and crazy people as they laughed and skipped and coughed and cursed, perched from on high pined the pointless I. Though I was young for my age, I was already 26. And yet, though I was old for my age, I was only 26.

A zetetic heritage group had recently saved the Fox from the demise of public demolition, which to Old Atlanta seemed more a personal humiliation than an urban renewal project, which gave them just enough gravitas to gird themselves for the fight they were panting for. The grand theatre, still in decent shape with a spit of glistening in her eye, yet aching for major repairs was then owned by a notorious porn mobster headed to jail who was threatening to bulldoze the landmark to spite the city as well as raise funds for his own empire quest. Rumor was Southern Bell wanted to erect another 'scraper on the spot.

One block west on Third and West Peachtree stood the 688 Club, the only only punk club in the city at the time. Punk as in cheap. Cheap tickets. Cheap beer. This was the only life I had for those six weeks rocking out on Jason and the Nashville Scorchers, as this powerful crew were originally called. The Georgia Satellites, as THEY were then known. Pylon. REM. The Swimming Pool Q's. Richard Hell. The Restraints. Punk and nasty. Ample nights bled into all night dream sessions quickening into stark frightening unfulfilling stations.

Fashionably thug ugly Chris Wood, the diabetic skinhead lead singer of the Restraints always squeezed off an insulin syringe into his bald skull at some spectacular point in a song during every show. He had a local hit single, an S&M ballad called Whacka Whacka Whacka, where he usually tried, and often successfully to pull a babe onto the stage for a whacking. When the fuss had ended, the girl in suburban clothing was scratched and torn, ass was bared. This was eyeball to eyeball punk rock Atlanta 1982-styled, pre-Genitorturers-GWAR-Mentors razorsharp breakout jones.

I heard through the Carol Jean Reed grape I guess two years later, my first year in DC, that Wood had been convicted of murder, and was in prison for a long string, and that was that. Diabetes and minor rock stardom wasn't enough for this guy. He wanted more more more whacka whacka whacka. But true to the myth he was a soft-talking nice guy when we drank a few beers together at some jukebox bar in the area which offered up the Whacka single before he pushed off into the ether of yet another fame flameout...

Pushing up skin on occasion a few more blocks up West Peachtree at the kindler, gentler, most quaint Bistro was a glitterpunk lesbian band called the Lipstick Stains. The L-Stains, along with another queer band called Weeweepole featuring a pre-drag Ru Paul jacked our jetsons once or twice a week, so the awakening had never been richer or more frivolous for me during my previously coarse life. Packing it up for the Lipstick Stains were three girlz & a boy who knew how to throw pajama parties at the Bistro, doing so with a flourish unique to the scene back in the day, and not a moment too soon as I began digging at the roots of my umbrella...

But that was then, this is now, so pray tell, what on God's black and blue is going on between Matthew Manus the night auditor and Kubhlai the life counselor, father of eight, and moral consciousness of our group? Does it concern me, GT, the SWORG, the changing of the guard, the seasons, the starch I've never had spray my underwear, what?

Oh yes, I almost forgot, after a number of months, three, four maybe, the gay brigade eventually ran my mother off the job to replace her with another of an endless parade of fey boys. She was notably upset at the time, really digging the convenience and prestigious atmosphere of the office, but she shoved on, kept her senior-citizens duties at the Howell Howell for another couple of years or so, and was still kicking up the dust of all her detractors...

The gay mafia clandestine machine, like all special interest power machines, lives on to stroke its unrelenting agenda ...

[My mother does not.]
GT

Love And Time Installments As Life Reminds Us Of Itself Again


26 Jun

skirmish

Time Installments

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At 9:55 AM -0400 6/26/01, Sue Hedrick wrote:

Dear Richard,

I really feel bad now.

Gabriel came home last night after being away a week. First he drove to Monticello, GA to pick up his brother Allan, then the both of them drove to Chicago—where their mother, Peggy, who is studying for her doctorate in psychology is at the Adler School—to visit her before driving back here, arriving last night. I told Gabriel of Mama Ethel's passing over the phone before I went home last evening. Then, when I arrived home, he said there were several e-mails from you starting on the 20th and ending with the funeral arrangements...I am so sorry that I did not check his e-mail over the time he was gone. I actually had thought about doing so, but didn't, thinking that is sort of like opening someone's US mail.

Another twist to this saga is that Gabriel had actually talked about going to Albany to visit you and Mama Ethel last week after picking up his brother in Monticello, GA. But, she may have been to ill to see them at that time.

The point of all this is to let you know I do feel terrible about this missed opportunity to stand by you in this event. If I had read those e-mails on Saturday, I would have been there.

Love,

Sue Hedrick

Wow. My world too is rocked as life reminds us of itself again and again.

Love and time installments,

Gabriel

How My Family Makes The News


01 Nov

shoelacebooks2

How About Shoelacebooks?

samplex

Date: Mon Nov 1, 1999 12:40:17 PM

...and I don't know how to shake either of their trees for fruit.

I LOVE your natural ability to use analogies. What happened to my natural ability? I've had to struggle at everything I attempted to do. Not complaining, just "statin' the facts" as I see 'em.

But back to your site. You would need a domain name, or at least I'd recommend it. Have you hit on anything you like yet?

I plan to use a company name of: The Scholar's Press. What do you think about that? But as for a domain name, nothing yet. I have used the word "obviously" 3 previous times in this one post. When Steven tells me that something is "obvious", it always sounds SO VERY "smartie pants". I must find another word to use! Now, on to the family news....

Charlie appeared at my house Saturday. He will be moving in with Daddy in the apt. on Clyde and Meri's property in around 7-8 weeks. With Mother moving to Chicago, Dad will move in the apt. and Clyde will be renting his house on Lenora Church Rd to Joel, who works for him. He is selling his Mossey Creek house.

Later dude,

Laurie

Honored By Sidney Lanier Oglethorpe Poet Laureat Award


15 Apr

mother

Mother

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Dear Ricky—I hope you got my last e-mail saying I got the airline ticket etc. The reason I wonder is that I did your address for memory, and I may have said .com in lieu of .net. Oh, well, I haven't received the message back—so it probably did go.

I won the Sidney Lanier Oglethorpe Poet Laureat Award for prose—Another classmate got the one for poetry. It was probably the biggest day of my life.

When I embarked on this path of academia, I never expected to get any awards, and now I have two, not to mention a degree. Awards Day is a such big deal at Oglethorpe—All the professors march into the auditorium in their gowns—Very impressive.

Afterwards, we had a free picnic outside with a lot of good food. I really enjoyed myself—so many came up to me and either hugged my neck or shook my hand. Dr. Turner,who teaches accounting, said the thing that impressed him about my winning this particular award is that I am not even an English major—Well, I said to him, I tutored the accounting students, and I am not even an accounting major either. We had a laugh.

Really, can hardly wait to see you.

Love, M

Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 13:13:13 DT
From: Margaret Nix

Mother At Oglethorpe, Old Friends Pass


19 Mar

peggy

Peggy Nix in 1953

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Dear Ricky—I made a special trip in to school today just so I could check my e-mail, just hoping I would have something from you. I think your proposal is wonderful. I accept! It would have to be after May 12th and this YWCA award, however.

Well, that would be just a few days after graduation—so all the excitment will surely still be there. Let's make the plans as time grows a little nearer. Thank you! It is really a wonderful proposal. I have so much wanted to visit you and Sue.

Oh, we are on Spring break at the moment. Most of the Seniors have gone to Savannah—for all the St. Patrick's Day stuff—and I had made my reservation to go along. We got a huge block of rooms at a motel for practically nothing, and were going on Oglethrope buses, but at the last minute I realized I really needed a break—time out to sleep and rest, so I cancelled my trip. I really glad I did that. I am truly not as young as I once was—or sometimes think I am. I think I told you I found out that my friend Gerry Pennington Spicuzza died in 1981—well, through the internet once again, I found out that my boyfriend from my highschool days in Ft. Lauderdale and his brother are both dead.

It’s sort of like James Gault said to me at Kitty’s funeral—”There ought to be a law that everybody who grew up together have to have a meal together in celebration of their friendships at least once a year.” I like that idea.
I am going to quit trying to find old friends! Bob Lozier (my boyfriend) died in 1982 (aged 47) from mutiple sclerous(sic) and his brother, Eddie, died of a massive heart attact in 1993. I talked to Bob's wife of all people, and she was very cordial and nice to me. Told me Bob had been ill for seven years—a hard time for them I am sure—and that they have two lovely daughters. I had wanted to talk to Bob or Eddie because they had known Gerry, and I thought talking to someone else who had been in our crowd when we were young would help me get over her death. Cynthia, Bob's wife is not someone I have ever known, but she knew my name and remembered that I had come from Darien. She told me that all of my pictures were "still in there in the dresser drawer where Bob had kept them." I really was stunned—didn't know what to say, but she hastened to say it was okay, that she had actually been in love with Eddie and Eddie had had to marry a girl from New Hampshire while he was in the service, and she had ended up marrying Bob. She said Bob had been a good husband, a wonderful father and a good provider until his illness. We talked to each other sort of like old friends. I told her I was glad Bob had found someone like her to marry. She said if I was ever in Titusville to look her up. It is really sort of wonderful how once you get old you can get past so many things. I was in Ft. Lauderdale about twenty years ago and tried to find the Lozier boys—I couldn't remember their mother's second marriage name, and there were no Loziers in the phone book. I wish I could have found them then and had an opportunity to talk to Bob or Eddie before they died. We were really great friends. Well, I guess there is just one more friend I'd like to find from those days—Ronald Sapp. He lived in our neighborhood too—he taught me how to smoke. (Ha!) I am sort of afraid to try to locate him—I sure don't want to know he's dead too. It's sort of like James Gault said to me at Kitty's funeral—"There ought to be a law that everybody who grew up together have to have a meal together in celebration of their friendships at least once a year." I like that idea.

I am so afraid I am not going to make it thru the biology, but so far, I am passing. Examinations never bothered me before, but for the past couple of years, I just get sick and almost forget everything I ever knew about a subject.
Well, I've rambled on enough to bore you to tears—I am looking forward already to my trip to Washington!

The spring break ends on Monday and its a shoulder back to the wall again. I have six books to read about Alfred Adler in order to write a paper in my history of psych class, four books to read on Autism in order to write a paper about personal identity and soul for my Philosopy of the Mind class, My research on conformity must continue—I need more data so that I can crunch some numbers and come up with a paper presenting my work that is worthy of presentation at Emory (deadline 3/31), I have tons of work to do in order to maintain a passing grade in this 2nd semester of biology, and I am presenting a paper at the Psi Chi (Honor society of Psychology) semposium in Athens (U of Ga.) on April 8th concerning my last semester's research project (I am not a member of the honor society). I have to do all of this, plus go to class, take notes and pass exams in order to graduate. I am so afraid I am not going to make it thru the biology, but so far, I am passing. Examinations never bothered me before, but for the past couple of years, I just get sick and almost forget everything I ever knew about a subject. So, light a few candles for me or something, please.

Love, M

Date: Fri, 19 Mar 1999 10:42:38 DT
From: "Margaret Nix" M.Nix@students.oglethorpe.edu

Mother Has Her Days


28 Dec

family

Back When Life Was Black & White

samplex

Dear Ricky—Here I am at my work station at school trying to reprint my entire semester's work in my writing class. I inadvertedly dropped the entire folder out of my notebook one day without realizing it and only salvaged a few pages that were still blowing in the wind in my yard and one neighbors when I returned home. What an awful feeling! Not only had I lost all of my work with teachers comments, but now my stuff could be in the hands of who knows who. Oh, well! Luckily, I had it all on two discs—one MacIntosh, here in the Education Library where I work and some on IBM disc where I was working in the college computer room. I'll go there when I finish here. Was going there anyway, because I am starting on the revision of my work on Euphanasia Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide, so I'll have an entry for this national ethics contest I am entering. It is due in Boston on January 22nd. It will probably take me that long to cut my twenty-two pages down to eight. This work I am retrieving now is what I intend to get an excerpt from to enter in the Writing Competition here at school in the coming semester. The more awards I can get, the more apt I am to be accepted in a grad school. Writing is my best bet.

We had a nice Christmas Day at Laurie's. Boo Boo has flown to San Antonio to see Jill—Left yesterday. I would have liked to gone with him, but it costs so much to fly.

Well, the printer has finally stopped, so I guess I am through here. I didn't realize I would have access to may E-Mail all during the holidays because of the computer room being open, and because I have access to this McIntosh in the Education Curriculum library.

A few days before Christmas Laurie and Joel and I came up to the museum here at school to see a sculpture exhibit that everyone should see. The work was done by a former art professor here (He's dead). Even Joel was impressed. He said, "Steven will be sorry he didn't come." Steven said he wanted to go to school that day because he couldn't miss seeing his girlfriend. Well, that's "young love".

I am just chatting on about nothing, so will close.

Love, M

Reply-To: "Margaret Nix" Date: Mon, 28 Dec 98 10:06:19 DT

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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