Home from IRA

BULLETIN: Poets, forgive me for being slow to post the May Word of the Month! Blame it on IRA. I’ll remove April’s poems and comments this morning. In the meantime, you can start thinking about your new poems. The word is WINDOW.

Hi everyone,

I’m back at my computer this morning, trying to decide how and where to begin playing catch up. IRA was a whirlwind and I loved it. Sunday at 5:30 I met Janet Wong, April Halprin Wayland, and Esther Hershenhorn for conversation at Mercat a La Planxa then attended a wonderful dinner party at Dee’s Mandarin Restaurant hosted by Highlights Foundation where I had a chance to greet my friend Kent Brown.

Monday began with breakfast at 8:00 with Tori Bachman from IRA followed by meeting Laurie Edmondson at the Phoenix Learning Resources booth to help introduce our new DVD series and kit, LET’S WRITE THIS WEEK WITH DAVID HARRISON. (More about that later).

From 11:00 – 1:45 I participated in a symposium called “Using Poetry for Word Study, Fluency, and Instruction.” The other presenters were Tim Rasinski, Brod Bagert, and Alicia McCartney. I divided the afternoon into signings at Boyds Mills Press, Scholastic, and Phoenix Learning Resources.

At 5:30 I attended the Scholastic Authors’ Reception at the Cage Restaurant, which was splendid, as always, and then caught a cab to join my friends and hosts, Dona Rice, Conni Medina, and Sharon Coan, at the Teacher Created Materials dinner at Gene & Georgetti Steakhouse. What a great evening. However, during dinner I received a phone call that the manufacturing plant on my property in Springfield, which was formerly my firm, Glenstone Block Company, was on fire. Sandy went to the scene, which was blocked by six firetrucks and three squad cars and had a hard time getting close. She finally spoke with the fire marshal and learned that the fire had been set by someone. It took hours to bring it under control and the building is a total loss.

There was nothing I could do, of course, except grind my teeth. I haven’t been to the scene yet but yesterday’s and today’s papers show pictures and explain more about the situation. The original plant was built on that spot in 1945 by my dad and his partner. Lots of memories went up with the flames and smoke.

Later in the evening I left the Teacher Created Materials dinner and barely made it to the Poetry Olio held in the Hilton in time to present a couple of poems and enjoy hearing a few by other poets. I was supposed to meet Mary Jo Fresch for a nightcap but it had been a long day and we both decided to put off getting together until Tuesday.

Tuesday began with breakfast with Ruth Culham and then I spent the rest of the day signing at Boyds Mills Press, Phoenix Learning Resources, Zaner-Bloser, and back to Boyds Mills Press. Mary Jo and I managed to squeeze in a brief meeting about the book project we’re doing together. I finished there at 4:00 as the exhibit hall was closing for the day, grabbed a cab to the airport, and made it to my gate with a few minutes to spare. For some reason I napped in the cab going out.

That’s my report. It is always stimulating to attend IRA and see so many old friends. Every year I meet new ones too. I’m already looking forward to next time.

David

10 comments on “Home from IRA

  1. David, it was great to glimpse you at the Poetry Olio– I had no idea you were coping with such a disaster at the same time! How terrible. I’m so sorry. What a sad loss. Sending a virtual hug– Sylvia

    • Thank you, Sylvia. Virtual hugs are gratefully accepted! I’m sorry we didn’t get to visit this time but maybe we can make up for it next time!

      David

  2. Dear David,
    I am glad you are back, safe and sound. I am very sorry about your losses- the building and the memories. What a hurtful, senseless,destructive act.
    Wishing you well and better days ahead.

    Cory
    xox

    • Dear Cory,

      Thank you for your sweet, sympathetic thoughts. Destroying other people’s property is a crime I can’t understand. Here’s to better days soon!

      David

  3. David,
    Thanks for sharing your busy life with us. I’m exhausted just reading about all your activities. Wow, do you have a lot of stamina.
    Sorry about the fire and the memories. Sorry sandy had to deal with this while you were out of town. How is Mom doing dealing?
    See you soon.

    • Thank you, Joy,
      I’d like to be mad but don’t know at whom. So I’m just sad.
      Mom is hanging in there. In another four months she’ll celebrate birthday 100.

      David

    • Steven, thank you. I’m told that vagrants have been seen on the property at night so I suppose one of them might have set the fire. We may never know who did it but I’m glad that no one was found inside.

      David

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