Garden Road - September 30, 2014 Fringes of the maple tree across the street are beginning to turn bright orange, while the fading sun is tipping some of our walnut trees yellow. A tree on the corner of the driveway to the Corydon housing complex is burning red in spots, and those crimson leaves gather in clumps below. The change is here. 2,500 years ago, at the tipping point of the sun’s descent south, we’d be gathering inside the resonant pillars of Stonehenge, that old mortuary and planetarium. And the crops would be reaped under the light of the harvest moon, the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox. This year that will be Oct. 8. Sep 29, 2014, 09:03
Garden Road - September 23, 2014 Due to time and space constraints, this week’s Garden Road will be short and sweet. Perhaps this will seem like good news to some.
After writing the first draft of my story about Paul Epperly, I sent it by request to his daughter, Marti. This was her response:
“Isn’t it amazing how my dad can remember all those kids, their positions, and even the plays they made? He really was in it for all the right reasons. He loved the game and the kids who played for him. To him, it wasn’t just a job, it was a way of life (it was for all of us—my mom used to wash the football uniforms every Saturday). I know he was really humbled when the field was named after him, but he’s the first one to say he had a lot of good people helping him, from players to coaches, to parents and fans.” Sep 22, 2014, 09:53
Garden Road - September 16, 2014 This is the season of submission for writers like my wife and me. We love the punishment. Literary magazines with affiliations to colleges and universities open up with the start of fall classes. These are small presses. Some pay only in copies of the review, if you’re lucky enough to get an acceptance. More people will read my work in the Times-Republican than most of these small publications. That’s one of the things I like about this job. I have a readership. It does little good to be a writer if no on ever reads your work.
After the season of submission, comes the season of rejection. Unlike the reaping and sowing of agriculture, there are no specific dates for planting and harvest of words. And as far as I can tell, there is no insurance for crop failure in a dry writing season. There are only fat vultures circling the next short story carcass, to pick it of its excess, before the story is reborn with better metaphors and sent out again, alive, to the next bored grad school reader to cross out. I imagine those readers in the guise of my oldest son, Wes, who for some reason crosses his index fingers to X out his little brother, Grant, or whatever might be bothering him at the moment. Sep 15, 2014, 13:07
Garden Road - September 9, 2014 What an honor our own Dusti Relph received, becoming the first female judge in the fifth judicial district. I have so much confidence in the job Dusti will do from the bench. She is a great, compassionate woman with composure of steel, and a scarf to conceal her wrath, which she wraps in words. Her husband isn’t a bad guy, either.
While researching the late Judge Thomas S. Bown, the last district judge from Wayne County, I found that his mother’s name was Helen Selby. I don’t know exactly how I am related to them, but I assume it is of some fashion. Several people, whom I mentioned Bown to, knew him and spoke highly of him, including new 'The Humeston New Era' staff member Linda Grismore. I enjoy discovering connections to others, how everything weaves together and makes our world unique to each person in it.
For such a sparsely populated area—speaking for all of Wayne County—an inordinate number of men and women of influence have come from our ranks. I think we relish our underdog status, and we’ve got a lot of fight in us. Sep 8, 2014, 10:17
Garden Road - September 2, 2014 Monsoon season has returned to southern Iowa. The other morning, lightning struck a tree near our house, and shook the earth with an instantaneous clap of thunder. When lightning hits a few feet from you, even if you’re inside a building, it’s memorable. It’s strange to imagine something channeling through the charged air of a thunderstorm so close to where my family sleeps, with a power to generate a heat greater than the surface of the sun, without the necessity of splitting atoms. To be fair, according to the Discovery Channel, farther down our star, the sun’s core reaches around 27 million degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the almost 54,000 degrees of lightning. But there’s always that potential power all around us. Sep 4, 2014, 10:07