Jul. 6, 2004
Somewhere I'll Find You
Poem: "Somewhere I'll Find You," by Phebe Hanson, from Why Still Dance. © Nodin Press. Reprinted with permission.
Somewhere I'll Find You
So we moved from my small town in western Minnesota
to St. Paul where I had to go to Murray High, a school
with more people than in the entire town of Sacred Heart,
and I had to walk two and a half miles every day because
there were no school buses, but it turned out to be not so
bad after all because I met a boy in confirmation class who
let me ride on the handlebars of his bike on the way home from
school and one Sunday my dad even let this boy pick me up
to go for a walk in Como Park, since after all the paths were
safe, filled with many families swarming with children, and
even though my dad knew the devil went about the city like a
roaring lion seeking whom he might devour, he let me go
with this boy because after all he was a Luther Leaguer and
we had sung together sitting side by side in church, "Yield not to
temptation, for yielding is sin / each vict'ry will help you,
some other to win / fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue /
look only to Jesus, He'll carry you through," but as soon as we
left my house this boy said he was going to take me some other
place I'd like very much and it was going to be a surprise so
off we went on the streetcar and new to the city I had no idea where
we were going until we got off and were standing in front of a
movie marquee and I said, "I can't go in. You know my father
doesn't let me go to movies. It's a sin," but he gently guided me
with his seductive hands, saying "Just come into the lobby to talk."
There below the sign "Somewhere I'll Find You," starring Clark Gable
and Lana Turner in a "torrid tale of love between two people caught
in the chaos of war," he persuaded me at least to go inside and sit
down and watch part of the movie and if I didn't like it, we could get
right back on the streetcar and go to Como Park, so I decided since
I already was in this lobby den of iniquity surrounded by posters of
Jezebel movie queens and devilish leading men, I was doomed anyway,
so I might as well go into the darkness with him and even let him put
his arm around me and hold my hand and that's the way it's been ever since.
Literary and Historical Notes:
It's the birthday of children's author Beatrix Potter, born in South Kensington, England (1866). She's best known for her twenty-three illustrated storybooks about a rabbit named Peter. She never went to school and lived with her parents until she was in her forties. She liked to play in her family's yard with small animals like frogs, mice and rats; and she often went to local museums, where she made sketches of animal skeletons. In 1893, her friend's son caught scarlet fever, and Potter wrote him a story about a rabbit to cheer him up. That story became The Tale of Peter Rabbit (1901), about a rabbit who disobeys his mother's warning to stay out of Mr. McGregor's garden. The book was a huge success, and after a few more Peter Rabbit books she made enough money to move away from her parents. She bought a sheep farm, where she lived for the rest of her life, using the animals on the farm as inspiration for characters in her books.
Potter said, "Believe there is a great power silently working all things for good, behave yourself, and never mind the rest."
It's the birthday of novelist Gwyn Thomas, born in Cymmer, Wales (1913). He's the author of plays, TV and radio dramas, and more than a dozen novels, including All Things Betray Thee (1949) and A Frost on My Frolic (1953).
It's the birthday of novelist and essayist Eleanor Clark, born in Los Angeles, California (1913). One of Clark's best known books is a nonfiction book on oysters: The Oysters of Locmariaquer, in which Clark wrote about the oyster industry in a small region in northwest France. It won the National Book Award in 1965. Clark wrote, "If you don't love life you can't enjoy an oyster; there is a shock of freshness to it and intimations of the ages of man, some piercing intuition of the sea and all its weeds and breezes. [They] shiver you for a split second."
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