Hi everyone

SANDY and I, with ROBIN, TIM, and JEFF, decorated family graves over the weekend and gathered later for a pool party and burgers on the grill in our back yard. To top it off we made homemade ice cream, a rare treat.

Standing at gravesites always brings back memories of loved ones no longer with us. As Sandy and Tim washed the Kennon headstone, my thoughts turned to her father, RALPH KENNON, and his love for the soil and his vegetable garden. I wrote a poem about that a long time ago. It was published in The Purchase of Small Secrets in 1998. Still thinking about my father-in-law, a good and gentle man, I came home and reread the poem.

By David L. Harrison

fingers lingering
over wondrous gifts,
he contemplates with satisfaction
the completed act.

“Nothing beats home-grown,”
he says.
“You won’t find corn this sweet
in any store.”

Another platter,
meaty red slabs
surprisingly heavy
on white china.
“Try these tomatoes,
tell me these aren’t
the best you ever tasted.”

Sweet onions
served with garden talk,
language of the soil,
wisdom of grandfathers.

Golden ears dripping butter,
spinach wrinkly tender,
delicately green,
cauliflower better than expected,
green beans
demanding to be bragged on . . . 

“You won’t find these
in any store,” he says
to heads bobbing
over full plates.

He nods,
agreeing with himself.
I smile and think,
“Nothing beats home-grown.”

Remember and enjoy

Hi everyone,

TIM RASINSKI was kind enough to post one of my poems on his Memorial Day tribute. If you missed it there, I’ll put it on my post today. I hope you enjoy the weekend and remember those who have protected our freedom, many at the dearest cost of all.

Tim also included "In Flander's Fields" and a wonderful video of him reading it. Don't miss it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STK5y2TT4_k

OUR STORIES, a new tradition at David Harrison Elementary School

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I loved every minute of my time at David Harrison Elementary School. Superintendent of Schools, GRANITA LATHAN was there and gave out packets of free books to every child. I learned later that she has done that for every 1st – 5th grade student in the entire district!

I was given a seat of honor at the front of the gymnasium where I could wave at the kids as they came in. I was then presented with two books, one made by each of the 4th grade classes and their teachers, JAMIE BAUMANN and SHANNON BOSSING plus the super talent of art teacher KEVIN ZIMMERMAN.

Each book, titled, Our Stories, is a compilation of information (plus picture) of every graduating 4th grade student at Harrison, the first editions of what is going to become an annual tradition. The books are dedicated to me. Another one of those moments at Harrison that stick in my heart.

Here I am reading one of the books as Dr. Lathan reads the other book.

This picture is of librarian (and mastermind of the books), ANGELA KNIGHT, with principal SHAWN DEWITT and superintendent Lathan. I’m holding a cuddly version of a huskie, the school mascot.

Harrison’s wonderful principal, Shawn DeWitt, invited me to be there on August 22 for the first day of school this fall. I’ll be sitting outside the front door to welcome each student to David Harrison Elementary School. All I can say is, WOW!

Last day of school

Hi everyone,

First thing on my agenda today is to pay a visit to David Harrison Elementary School. I’ll meet the librarian, DR. ANGELA KNIGHT, in the library at 8:10. Springfield’s superintendent of schools, GRENITA LATHAN, will be there for the last-day-of-class festivities.

I look forward to wishing the graduating class of 4th graders much success next year when they move to another school and hope to walk the halls for a while and step in and out of classrooms. What a wonderful way to start my day!

A Braille project

Hi everyone,

I have agreed to allow ten of my books to be released in Braille editions to be placed in area public libraries at no cost. The Legends Project is a nonprofit organization established to make more books available to blind and visually impaired readers. I’m delighted to be asked. Years ago part of one of my books was released in Braille and I’ve often thought that I would love to have more of my work made available this way. Here’s a recent TLP press conference in a neighboring community.

I’m providing the project director with this list of books, two extra in case alternates are needed. I won’t be paid for this project. The Legends folks will raise the money to cover costs. A law signed in 1996 makes it legal to take copyrighted materials into Braille as long as no one is paid and its for educational purposes. The process of creating a Braille edition will take half a year or so after the funds are raised.

A Place to Start a Family – Charlesbridge
Now You See Them, Now You Don’t – Charlesbridge
The Dirt Book – Holiday House
And the Bullfrogs Sing – Holiday House
I Want an Apple – Holiday House
Rum Pum Pum – Holiday House - co-written with Jane Yolen
After Dark – Wordsong (Boyds Mills & Kane) 
Pirates – Wordsong (Boyds Mills Press)
Cowboys – Wordsong (Boyds Mills Press)
Crawly School for Bugs – Wordsong (an imprint of Highlights)
When Cows Come Home – Boyds Mills Press