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.

A Worthy Signature 

Our own Sharon Owen, writing as Sharon St.George, signing books at Redding’s Barnes and Noble yesterday,  Saturday, August 6.

The signing was for the third book in the series, Breach of Ethics. The fourth book in the series is due out next spring. 

Local Authors on the Radio

A fun way to learn about North State writers is to tune in to North State Public Radio’s weekly radio program, Nancy’s Bookshelf. The host, Nancy Wiegman, has lived in Chico since 1990. She started broadcasting with Chico State University’s NPR station KCHO as a classical announcer that same year. She has hosted Nancy’s Bookshelf since 2007.

Every week, Nancy interviews local, regional, or national authors. Just this year, Nancy has interviewed three Writers Forum members:

Recent guests include a neurosurgeon on America’s health care system, a high school teacher on the Lassen Peak eruptions of 1914-15, and a Chico author with a collection of family recipes.

You can listen to Nancy’s Bookshelf on Friday mornings from 10:00 to 11:00 on North State Public Radio at 88.9 FM, or go to the website to listen to a podcast of past episodes. Just follow any of the links above.