Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 10.08.20

I don’t have the answers to yet

I’m not afraid of dying

I’m just not ready yet

I still have lots of questions

I don’t have the answers to yet

At times I feel like I’m lost

and I may never be found

To proud to ask for help

when picking myself up off the ground

Some mornings I question

how my life would be

If I gave my soul to you

so it could finally fly free

Not wanting to doubt you

but I know you’d want me to ask

Yet giving up ones soul

is not a simple task

Looking deep inside myself

never knowing what I’ll see

Not finding any answers

it’s more like watching a scary movie

So how can I believe in you

because I really want to

But if I don’t believe in myself

how could I be any good to you

I’m not a very strong man

still my knee’s they won’t bend

I can’t believe you want them to

even when I come to my journey’s end

I’m not afraid of dying

I’m just not ready yet

I still have many questions

I don’t have the answers to yet

Walter De BELL, Troy

The Tea Leaves Told a Different Story

My life plan promised far-flung glory

But tea leaves told a different story.

Pleasure was the underpinning

Good deeds second-fiddle to winning.

High ambition defined my youth

Success I deemed would provide the truth.

I was primed to run the race

I planned to take the prize with grace.

But fate for me had a different plot

Success, alas, was not my lot.

I learned to live a simple life

Enjoy the good, accept the strife.

Happiness is a simple pleasure

A life well-lived is the utmost treasure.

Sylvia Honig, Wynantskill

Melvin Roads Post Did Us Proud on 9/11 Ceremony

I was very pleased to see the American Legion post in East Greenbush at the media forefront of the 9/11 and Patriot Day ceremonies this year. (I’ve been over to the post at the end of the Memorial Day parades, but was not able to get to this event). It seems the Covid situation muted much of the attention to 9/11, in the Capital region and perhaps the entire nation. Granted, we have to be careful about the health precautions at larger gatherings. But it was great to see Melvin Roads step up and take the spotlight for the local remembrance.

Frank Coppa, East Greenbush

Memoirs of an Amnesiac: Cross Your T’s, Doubt Your Eyes

They say a man’s signature always reveals his personality–and sometimes even his name. Maybe I’m just weird, but it seems unfair when a person with sloppy handwriting uses an expensive fountain pen. For better or worse, not many people use fountain pens these days.

Things were different in 1960, when I was in Fourth Grade. That’s when we started doing some of our schoolwork in pen. Mrs. Sweeger had us each buy a marble notebook and a fountain (not ballpoint) pen. Whenever we wrote a composition, it had to be in that notebook using that pen. And we practiced cursive writing.

There were two types of fountain pen back then, distinguished by how you loaded them with ink. One called for a cartridge which you’d snap into the barrel. The other contained a fixed rubber tube which you’d squeeze then release while dipping the pen-point in a bottle of ink. Either way, you’d probably get blue fingers.

Some of my school desks had a hole in the upper-right corner of the desktop. Those harkened back to a time even before fountain pens. Earlier students kept a bottle of ink inside the desk, directly beneath that hole, then dipped the nib of their pen into the ink every few seconds. Fun, huh? If you were Tom Sawyer, you could show Becky Thatcher how much you liked her by dipping her pigtail into the inkwell. Nowadays, you’d have to buckle up for a lawsuit.

Our Town Historian in 1994* described a Mr. B.A. Thomas of West Sand Lake, “who was the most accurate surveyor and finest penman in eastern New York.” It’s rare to read of a penman being celebrated; don’t we usually celebrate swordsmen instead? If the pen is mightier than the sword, is it because a writer can inspire support among people who own weapons?

If you get a letter from me written in crayon, it means I won’t be brandishing a sword or any other sharp object. ‘Til then, I’ll keep battling mental health. 😉

Ron McKee, Averill Park

* Madelyn Carpenter, “Sand Lake Advertiser” 9/24/94

Things you learn

The sun is slowly sliding down towards the horizon in the west,

Why the sun puts on such a grand display at the end of the day, I can only guess.

They claim that dust and other stuff refracts the sun’s light rays

In such ways to make these gorgeous colors.

By that time of day I’ve grown quite tired, but sunsets make me feel inspired.

I’ll sometimes sing a western tune as circumstance allows,

It takes me back to another time when I helped out milking cows.

The wooden-cased Philco radio hung up in a corner of the barn and was turned up really loud so we could hear the sound

And I knew and sang every word like “Pick me up on your way down”

I wrote some songs myself I must confide

One was about leaving a bar and taking a bend in the road a little wide

My brand new truck was totaled, but much worse, my good hunting dog died

I saw the light that winter night and the money I saved on beer

Could buy me a new truck every year

I shed my share of tears even after all these years

I still miss that dog.

We all make our foolish choices, we were given advice

But we didn’t heed their voices.

I have worn out my share of shoes, made myself a target to be abused

But win or lose, I am still around

And most of the bullies lay underground

I suppose it could have been worse but when I think of them

I say their name, and then tell them “For what it’s worth, you really looked good in that shiny hearse.”

I won’t ask about their smell when they were tossed in the lake of fire down in hell.

I sing at funerals for hire and do rather well

I’ve learned a lot since my birth because I’ve had quite a time on earth.

Dean Evans, The Outhouse Poet, September 29, 2020

Live To Give

There’s plenty of food and money to go around

The concept is not that profound

If everyone shared part of what they had

The wealthy wouldn’t notice

And the pauper would be glad

Tis better to give than receive

A concept that’s easy to say but difficult to perceive

Some devious folks wait impatiently

For their relatives to die

Hoping to inherit a piece of their pie

Many people shell out millions to help cure a disease

Then go about thinking they can do as they please

Other donate to gain notoriety

Then think they are part of an elite society

Alumni give to their college

With the hope it will perpetuate knowledge

Many give to get a tax break

Otherwise its money the government would take

Various folks give to see their name upon a place

It makes them feel like a vital part of the human race

Some upper class citizens give just to showboat

But how long can you brag and gloat

If you choose to be smart, give with all your heart

Then your feeling of satisfaction shall never depart

If the rich would give to the poor

It would help even the score

Everyone has something to give

Do it so others can simply live

The most important thing you can give is free

And you can do it indubitably

Live to give everyone a prayer, because you care

And it’s what God longs to hear

Donna Masters, Troy

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