Slogging Through Humidity


Sandra Scofield was the featured author to read on Tuesday evening.  She wove us into her childhood after her mother died; she did not know her father’s identity, growing up in her grandmother’s home as a plainswoman.

On Wednesday after class the Legacy writers met at the Atlas Restaurant and enjoyed a meal together, after which some of us re-convened at Beadology, a shop which sells not only things to make jewelry, but some very fine looking finished work.  We were not there as customers, but as listeners and readers for the open mic, hosted by the shop each Wednesday evening during the festival.

When I sorted out the paperwork I would take with me for the day, I set aside all the poetry, completely forgetting that I wanted to read in the evening.  When I realized my omission, I thought, with some disappointment, I would not read, but then remembered one poem I pretty much memorized, so I wrote it out to have a copy to refer to from the podium.  The readers ranged in experience from an elderly man who had written a very elegant poem about two swans to some pieces that could have done with more explanation, some soft barely audible voices, to more confident ones, humorous to academic.   The evening evaporated and everyone scattered.

Thursday morning began with a teacher conference to discuss my work over in the Market-café, where anyone wearing the summer festival name tag was entitled to a large cup of coffee at no charge before eleven a.m.  I had eaten breakfast, but was glad to have another cup of fine coffee.  I sat down at the opposite end of the room from where the teacher was finishing up an earlier conference.  When it was my turn I presented the two pieces I had written during the class as well as a poem that a story the teacher told reminded me of.  She was very encouraging about my writing and said I should bring both pieces and the poem for my turn at critique in class the next day.

Scheduled for the evening would be an all classes dinner, but instead of being held at The Old Brick, a former Church, with a steep staircase leading to massive doors, a long walk home from the event, as in previous years, it was held in a ballroom right in the hotel where I was staying.  That was wonderful for me and an opportunity to change into the one dress I brought along.

Refreshed and ready for a good dinner, I went through the buffet line and joined the others at the Legacy class table.  Before sitting down, I walked around with my camera and took pictures of not only my class, but other folks I’m acquainted with, which was fun.

Friday we finished our work, wished each other safe travels and dispersed, agreeing as we always do, to stay in touch, which seldom happens, but the intent is good.  After a light dinner at Z’Marik’s noodle café I went next door to the book store to hear Larry Watson, author of Montana 1948 and other western style novels, who is actually from a cowboy family the featured author at the evening reading.  While I enjoyed his reading I do not think I would intentionally invest in any of his work.  I thought about Grace, one of the ladies in the Legacy writing class.  She was a prim and proper looking lady in her middle years, charming and could have been any successful business man’s wife.  Imagine my surprise when I learned that she was a cattle rancher, taught the business by her father, and in jeans, tall boots, flannel shirt and sturdy gloves, actually herded cattle to market.


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