Member Monday: Salable skills, by Dale Angel

Salable Skills

I was wading in a river of economic crisis, the kind that visits periodically in the form of a deluge. I was drowning when I received a phone call that I qualified for a government program that teaches you how to acquire salable skills to compete in the marketplace.

I met many…interesting…seasoned women there. Our bifocals, plastic teeth, and puffy ankles and conversation on World War Two and our intimate knowledge of the names of classic cars may have given us a competitive edge, but we all agreed, it was the inability to afford breast implants that put us at our most…disadvantage.

My first day in class, they asked us to write a resume citing our accomplishments and degrees. I wrote in mine that I had graduated from the dish pan to the bed pan, and my most recent job had been terminated by death. His.

They sent me to update my computer skills. I walked in to find the class in progress. I had to interrupt to ask how to turn it on.

They were so inspiring. I was told we had earning and leadership skills. I couldn’t think of any I might own. They insisted we couldn’t have lived this long without learning something. They asked us to name one. I raised my hand and said “Survival?”

I offered my experience of marching a small army through rain, sleet, and tantrums in house wars and mutiny among my recruits…with no fatalities. I thought I had leadership and was in command until I realized I was in charge of rations, latrine duty, and transportation. These are not salable skills.

I was placed in a job under the supervision of a hardened retailer. As I worked, I hummed along with The Beatles. She arched and flared and hissed “Never would those degenerates be found in my house.”

I quit humming.

 

Dale Angel

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Member Monday: Carolyn Faubel

The Bowl

©2017 Carolyn Faubel

After the wedding

They brought her the bowl.

Arms wrapped around its sleek heaviness,

They delivered it to her house,

Laid down a tea towel and

Rested it upon that, with

Tenderness.

 

She stroked the glassy, curved interior,

Marveling at its weight,

Capacity, and

Beauty.

They left the heirloom

While she dreamed of

Sourdough, tamales,

Matzo balls,

And magnificent sponge cakes.

 

And when they asked,

(Because of course, they always ask)

How is the bowl?

It’s

Broken.

The shattered shards of her words cut deep.

 

But, I LIVED, she whispered, remembering

Her children’s hands patting the masa and

Laughing.

I LIVED, she said, thinking about

Mixing meatloaf millions of times, saving money for

A tropical aquarium full of beautiful fish.

I LIVED! she thundered, knowing

The dull, scratched

Bowl was more beautiful than it had ever been

When it held offerings of pine cones and pyracantha

In the middle of the Thanksgiving table.

 

They crept back to their shuttered homes;

Dusty candles with cold white wicks,

Unopened decorative tea canisters, and

Sealed commemorative brandy bottles

Decorating their safe lives.

Member Monday: Marie A. Warner, The Game

The Game

I came upon a truth today

It was quiet at first

But then it ran in to me straight away

 

It had been buried under layers

Of color coordinated clothing, healthy weight,

Frosted hair and a countenance that I could situate

 

It showed up in a game that we all could play

One that would push the truth up in such a way

That I could see, hear and feel

And value what it would reveal

 

It was different for me, or maybe it was the same

It gave me a mirror

And as I said it I could hear

The meaning that directed me for so many years

 

I was eager to share it with others

For I knew as I said it

It would pull out the weed

The one that had poisoned my heart from its true need

 

The need to be connected

To others in heart

To let down my guard

So I could be a part

 

A part of this world that we all do share

The one that has become somewhat dark in despair

It helped me decide to turn on my light

To share it with others, to make it more bright

 

To help build the message

It is not too late

I can join in and appreciate

 

Written in Redding, CA 9/16

Copyright ©2016 Marie A. Warner All Rights Reserved

Member Monday: Marie A. Warner

Today’s Member Monday is a contribution from Marie A. Warner. This is a poem that Marie read at our latest Read Around.

 

Time with a Pen

 

Sitting down to collect my thoughts,

To draw out what otherwise I would have not.

Always going…thinking of the next thing to do,

My mind always buzzing but to what end I can’t construe.

 

Weighing out what matters at this stage of life,

Knowing what cleanses me from layers of strife.

Enjoying the discovery that words are a friend,

One that will be with me until the end.

 

To collect them on the page gives me such relief,

It helps my day move forward with a new belief.

One I wouldn’t have ever known if I had not sat down,

And given my pen some time to move around.

 

Written in Redding, CA 9/16

Copyright ©2016 Marie A. Warner all Rights Reserved

 

Charter Member John Lawson passes away at 89 in Sacramento.

I knew John Lawson twice; as a Writers Forum member, and concurrently as a Record Searchlight employee. When I started at the paper, John was pretty much retired, but to keep his fingers in the game, he took on one of the paper’s weeklies for the community of Shasta Lake.

Lawson, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Navy, graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in journalism after working in the logging industry, beginning his career at the Record Searchlight in May of 1960.

Not only was he a charter member of WF, he belonged to the Shasta Historical Society, the Salvation Army, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center board, and the Forest Council of Turtle Bay. He also served on the Shasta County Grand Jury.

Gilbert Moore, past City Editor and Managing Editor at the paper, said this (in Marc Beauchamp’s recent RS blog): “John was a true original, and it is hard to describe some of his powerful gifts in the ordinary terms of journalism,” adding, “I wanted him, with his brains and keen observational skills and knowledge of science to cover a science writer’s convention in Berkeley. John found more excuses for not going. Finally, in exasperation, I yelled, ‘Okay, John, then DON’T go!’ Which instantly made John decide to go. He went — and among his excellent reportage from the convention was an editorial page essay on John’s stroll around his old Berkeley college campus and the memories this stroll brought him. That column won a first prize in (a) statewide California journalism competition.”

But Lawson’s interests went beyond writing. He loved music. He enjoyed singing and playing the trombone with local bands, especially for seniors in nursing homes.

John Lawson plays trombone on 80th birthday with local school’s jazz band

Lawson is survived by his four sons, five grandchildren, and his wife, Clara, 86. A memorial will be held at the First United Methodist Church sometime in May.

In Memorium by Past President Larry Watters

 

Adding to our coffers…

For years, Writers Forum has relied on our Membership for Multi-media Presentations. From borrowing Shasta College’s Digital Projector (and later their Screen) to other members’ Audio Cables and Mobile HotSpots, we are thankful. But one problem was that Advanced Planning was needed. We could not at the drop of a hat (read that as a presenter canceling) substitute a packaged media program from Writers Digest or other online resources.

NO MORE!!!

Scripps Howard Foundation  has awarded the Writers Forum a Volunteer Gift of over a thousand dollars for purchase of equipment that support will enhance Multi-Media presentations.

gift-explaining-smirk

Retired Scripps Howard Employee and Past Writers Forum President Larry Watters, left, holds check for purchase of Multi-media equipment at General Meeting held February 11, while President Laura Hernadez, right, and Program Chair Sharon Owen, foreground, laugh over the prospect of Owen not “Borrowing” Shasta College’s Projector ever again.

 

gift-treasurer-hiding

Writers Forum Treasurer Jennifer Levens holds Scripps Howard Foundation check.

 

Member Monday:The Game, by Marie A. Warner

Spontaneous Pen Image
A poem from WF member Marie A. Warner appeared in this month’s newsletter. Much to my embarrassment,  the poem ran with typos and transcription errors. My apologies, Marie.
Here is Marie’s poem as submittted.
The Game
 
I came upon a truth today
It was quiet at first
But then it ran in to me straight away
 
It had been buried under layers 
of color coordinated clothing, healthy weight, 
frosted hair and a countenance that I could situate
 
It showed up in a game that we all could play
One that would push the truth up in such a way
That I could see, hear and feel
And value what it would reveal
 
It was different for me, or maybe it was the same
It gave me a mirror
And as I said it I could hear
The meaning that directed me for so many years
 
I was eager to share it with others
For I knew as I said it
It would pull out the weed
The one that had poisoned my heart from its true need
 
The need to be connected
To others in heart
To let down my guard
So I could be a part
 
A part of this world that we all do share
The one that has become somewhat dark in despair
It helped me decide to turn on my light
To share it with others, to make it more bright
 
To help build the message
It is not too late
I can now join in and appreciate
 
* written in Redding, CA 9/16
Copyright © 2016
by Marie A Warner 
All rights reserved.