Announcement: Two of my poems, “Home” and “Steel Mill Hearing Loss” will be published in the Spring issue of Plain Spoke in April 2009!!!! One is about my Grandfather Willard, and the other is about my Grandfather John! I received the news the day before my Pap Pap Willard’s funeral. He got to hear the poem when he was sick and he said that he liked it 🙂
Monthly Archives: January 2009
http://obamiconme.pastemagazine.com/ is a dangerous website because it makes procrastinating so easy, but it’s also a good distraction from whatever you need distracted from…. here are my spoofs of change (strange– balki, perfect strangers), hope (scope mouthwash), and yes we can (moo goo gai pan). these are not meant to belittle the president or his campaign as i am and have been a huge and vocal supporter, it’s all in good fun and playing with rhyming the english language!
The only silver lining of my Grandfather’s services were getting to reconnect with less immediate family. Our relatives from “Hoopey” West Virginia came up, including my Grandpa Willard’s sister Myrtle and her daughter Evy Lou. My Grandma Louise died before I was born (d. 1972), so we haven’t been as close to the family on that side, but her first cousin, Paris; her sister, Ollie; and her sister’s husband, Fisher, were there and regaled me with tales of their early years in Hoopey. I tried to write down as much as I could remember afterwards, because it was all amazing and it was the main thing that kept me sane during that time. I will try to write up some of what they told me and post it later. In the meantime, here is a picture of my Grandma Louise (Linkous) Adkins that Evy Lou shared with me. I was always told as a child that I looked like her, which made me happy because she is beautiful and it made me feel closer to her. As I grew older, I guess the resemblance faded, but Aunt Ollie says I still look like her, and she’s her sister, so I’ll take it!
in memory of my Pap Willard
Yesterday was visiting hours, and today was my Pap Willard’s funeral. The only thing that kept me sane was listening to my older Hoopey relatives tell me stories. My Grandma Louise’s sister Ollie and cousin Paris and his wife Louise, and my uncle fischer, especially. Today at the funeral, I read a poem that I wrote about my grandfather called “Home” or “Return Home.” Two days ago, I received news that this piece will be published in Plain Spoke‘s Spring issue in April ’09. How strange to hear that the day after my grandfather’s death. My grandfather got to hear the poem, and his reply was “I like that,” which was high praise. I will remember a lot about my grandfather and how he inspired me to live, but some memories stand out even more than others: learning how to count in “hoopey numbers,” combing his hair for a “wagon wheel” (a silver dollar), learning how to whistle, looking through his photo albums and being touched by every newspaper clipping that any of us were ever in, even honor roll lists. I know all my cousins have great memories of him, and Jada shared some of the more recent ones today. She did a really good job. She woke up at 3 in the morning and wrote what she read today, so I told her that meant it had to come out. She was worried that it wouldn’t be as good as mine because I have all these degrees, but if it comes from the heart and it overflows out of you like that, it is good. More recently, I remember my granpa telling me exactly what drawer and where it was to find the water sand paper for a project I was working on. At that time, he couldn’t get off the couch, but he still knew where every single thing in the house and garage was. I also will never forget that he put in his absentee ballot for “the black guy” keep in mind, he’s from the hollers of west virginia, and when Barack Obama was declared president, he said, “well i guess i lived long enough that my vote counted.” He was a man who was okay with his lot in life. He told me he’d already lived 25 years longer than he was supposed to, because at that time he went to the hospital and the doctors told him he had to quit smoking or he would die pretty immediately. So he did. And when he was diagnosed over two years ago with lung cancer, the doctors said 6 months at best. Well, he stayed until he was ready to go. Now he is with his 6 brothers and 4 sisters who have already passed on, his parents, and his wife Louise. I’ll meet you there one day, Pap.
EAST LIVERPOOL – WILLARD ADKINS, 87, of Harvey Avenue died at home at 1:02 p.m. Wednesday, January 21, 2009.
Born September 23, 1921, in Hager, W.Va., a son of the late James Walker and Martha Jane Adkins, he had lived in this area since he was 19.
A U.S. Army veteran of World War II, he retired in 1981 from the former Crucible Steel Co., having worked in the T.O.C. melt department.
He attended Smith’s Ferry Methodist Church and at one time was a Boy Scout leader. His hobby was playing the lottery.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death in 1972 by his wife, Edna Louise Linkous Adkins, whom he married April 28, 1945. He was also preceded in death by four sisters: Elby Dingess, Ruby Adkins, Donnie Carnes and Emma Carper and six brothers: Leonard, Herbert, Sherlie, Clifford, Oakel and Alva Adkins.
Surviving are five sons, Melvin E. Adkins of Vero Beach, Fla., David R. Adkins of East Liverpool, John W. Adkins and his wife, Wynette, of Salem, R. Dale Adkins and his wife, Beth, of East Liverpool and Willard “Chuck” Adkins and his wife, Darla, of East Liverpool.
There are 12 grandchildren, Tracey, Steven, Jennifer, Aaron, Jada, Emily, Marcus, Erik, Jordan, Zack, Sarah and Luke. There are nine great-grandchildren.
Also surviving is a sister, Myrtle Wheeler of West Hamlin, W.Va.
The Rev. Willard “Chuck” Adkins is to conduct services at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Dawson Funeral Home, where friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.
Burial is to be in Riverview Cemetery.
Following the service, family and friends will gather at the First Church of Christ (Disciples) for fellowship.
Memorial tributes may take the form of contributions in care of Hospice of the Valley, 5190 Market Street, Youngstown, Ohio 44512.
“Say it plain: that many have died for this day”
If you watched the inauguration ceremonies yesterday, you saw Elizabeth Alexander, the fourth poet to read at an inauguration. Robert Frost was the first, as President Kennedy’s inauguration, and Maya Angelou and Miller Williams each read at President Clinton’s inaugurations. President Obama knew Alexander from being on the staff together at the University of Chicago. For more about Ms. Alexander, see http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/245 , and to read the inaugural poem, “Praise Song for the Day, ” go to http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/20/us/politics/20text-poem.html?ref=books or http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/20545