Thursday, April 9, 2015

What Will They Think?

by Jackie Welsh

     The First Methodist Church of Dellrose, Tennessee, was an imposing, old brick edifice that stood next door to the small, white frame house where Mama and Papa Meeks lived.  It was just a very few feet away; so close, in fact, that if a person was feeling a bit out-of-sorts and not much in the mood to sit through one of Brother Tomlin’s Sunday sermons, he’d better make sure he stayed out of sight because everybody in town would know it was a case of just being plumb ornery.  You could also be assured that speculation as to the cause of it would be the topic of a good deal of the morning’s conversations.  Now I’m not saying that that’s the reason my grandparents were so faithful in attendance at the church, but then, it didn’t hurt either.

     That old church was an important part of their lives and to ours, when we children would go to visit.  It’s next to impossible to think of a visit to Dellrose that didn’t include some memory of the church.  Why, some of life’s most memorable occasions actually took place within those hallowed walls.

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Jackie Welsh was born and raised in Fayetteville, Tennessee and graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in English.  She married her high school sweetheart and had almost forty years together before he passed away the first day of 2004.  They raised three children and Jackie now has nine grandchildren.  Just this past February  Jackie became the great grandmother of a beautiful baby girl.  Jackie says she has always loved story telling and enjoys writing stories from her memories to give to her family.  She also writes poetry.  Jackie divides her time between Williamsburg, Virginia and the east coast of Florida.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Those of us in the business of the word gather magnificent companions. That is, we make friends with those with whom we are constantly in communication or communion–the writers we read. For we tend to do more than read their works–listen to their side of the conversation. We observe them, go behind their backs to converse with others about them, travel around to see where they have been. It makes no matter if our friends are alive or dead–I dare say, most are legally dead. But to us they are alive and very much parts of our lives.

I have a friend–alive, tangible, still making his physical way on earth–who became enamored of Jane Austen. I do not know what it is about her, but he went so far as to become a member of the Jane Austen society. To me he seems well acquainted with her, having read her novels multiple times and knowing something about her environment. If she were a contemporary movie star, we might see him on the news arrested for stalking her. But she is dead, so he is free to go through whatever of her refuse he can find. Not long ago, he went to the society’s annual national convention and came back humbled: how little he knew about Jane. Compared to her other friends at the affair, he was a mere acquaintance. Those others really knew her. The color of her eyes; one cannot learn that from that one silhouette representation of her in Winchester Cathedral, but the close friends of Jane knew the color.

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Clarence Wolfshohl is professor emeritus of English at William Woods University. He has published  both creative and scholarly writing in small press and academic journals.  He is a member of AAPA and operates El Grito del Lobo Press.  A native Texan, Wolfshohl now lives with his writing, two dogs and one cat in a nine-acre woods outside of Fulton, Missouri.