It’s still National Poetry Month

Hi everyone,

Here’s another poem to help celebrate the month. This one appeared originally in THE PURHASE OF SMALL SECRETS and was written with SANDY’S dad, RALPH KENNON, in mind. He was an avid gardener who loved to see his family enjoying the results of his labors. The growing season is approaching and one of these days gardens large and small all over America will once again produce their treasures to grace tables of those who toil in the earth and those lucky recipients of their efforts.

HOME-GROWN

Tenderly,
fingers lingering
over wondrous gifts,
peeling
paring
slicing,
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.”

© 1998 David L. Harrison,
from THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS

Off to Rountree Elementary School

Hi everyone,

This afternoon I’ll pay a visit to Rountree Elementary School in Springfield and visit with the first grade children there. Teacher NICKI FOLTZ invited me back (from previous years) and I look forward to seeing this year’s students who are just starting their journey toward discovering their future. Nicki says the kids are getting into a writer/artist unit so I’m happy to be part of it.

Our family has a soft spot for Rountree. SANDY attended school there and later on daughter ROBIN also went there.

Every time I walk up the steps and enter the front hallway, I think of Sandy and Robin, when they were little girls, walking up those steps before me. And when I stand in front of a class of six-year-old children, I tell the kids about my family’s connection to their school. I’m not sure they understand what that means to me, but I do.

Honoring Sandy Harrison

Hi everyone,

With pride and pleasure I want to tell you that today my wife Sandy is among five inductees into the Kickapoo High School Faculty Hall of Fame. This is the second year the honors have been bestowed on retired faculty members, chosen by the Alumni Association. The recognition was announced one year ago but the ceremony was delayed by the pandemic.

This occasion also marks Kickapoo High School’s 50th reunion. Missouri Governor Mike Parson attended opening festivities of last night’s football game, at which past homecoming queens, student body presidents, and cheerleaders were recognized.

Sandy was a guidance counselor at Kickapoo for twenty-one years and remains in touch with numerous former students from Hollywood to Singapore and scattered across the United States. During her tenure, Sandy was known as a go-to counselor for helping students decide on and gain acceptance to the best colleges, universities, armed forces, and other options to help them reach their goals. I can testify that in our travels, Sandy seldom passed a campus without stopping to meet admissions personnel to further her understanding of how to help students at Kickapoo and other schools. She took courses and seminars at Harvard, the Naval Academy, and the Air Force Academy as part of her own quest for knowledge.

Sandy has a large and devoted fan base, but no fan more devoted than I. It was my privilege to watch her through all those years earning the high accolades that are now being awarded to her. Way to go, Sandra Sue Kennon Harrison. Congratulations!