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Posts Tagged ‘Indiana’

INDIANA

Indiana – – land of long lazy streams,
Placid ponds, and undulating green hills.
Land of desires and land of fertile dreams.
Home of covered bridges and old grist mills;
Farmland stretching ahead for bountied miles.
A rich source for artistry, poems and themes,
With nature shamelessly plying her wiles .
Indiana, your magic can’t be wrong —
My heart sings of your beauty in your song

8/16/04 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

(A Rainis Sonnet … ugh)

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Don McNeall

This is the other poem that I wrote. After the show, cast members came down from the stage to shake hands with everyone. I can still remember them all.. And Enio almost took Sally home with him, because she read this poem, that I had written. He was so flattered.

We were lucky, and had front row seats, but we had to get up early, to catch the South Shore to Chicago, from Indiana, and be among the first in line. We went twice, then went some place cheap, to eat, shopped a little, and came home on the South Shore. We thought it was very adventuresome.

Don is handsome, you’ll agree
But he’s just not the one for me
Johnny’s sings with perfect pitch
But he’s not the one for me to hitch
And Sam’s jokes are really great
But he’s just not my perfect date
And I don’t want a Philco or a Swift Premium Wiennie
My “dream boat” is, Enio Bolinini

Aug., ’49 Phyllis VanVleck

This wraps up our three days down 1949 Memory lane.

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shackonhill

 

     THE OLD HOMESTEAD

           (Griffith. Indiana)

 

I journeyed to my old homestead

before they tore it down.

Just a weathered run-down farmhouse,

a mile or two from town.

 

It was built from hand-hewn timber

with roof of tin and tile,

but I saw beauty in its form

and couldn’t help but smile.

 

The framework of the old homestead

was broken here and there.

This relic from another time,

was well past all repair.

 

Gaping wounds where doors once hung

from hinges made of brass.

A crumbling chimney of old bricks,

and windows minus glass.

 

Inside, the ceilings wept from leaks,

and holes exposed the sky.

The papered walls were peeling down,

and fixtures hung awry.

 

I walked around on sagging floors

that creaked in mild protest,

hearing echoes from the past

while on this memory quest.

 

And then my heart was overwhelmed

with feelings memories bring,

and I was quick to realize,

that a house is just a thing.

 

For home is what we make a house,

by sharing time and space,

with love and grace and tolerance

and smiles upon our face.

 

So it wasn’t just an old abode

of ceiling, wall, and floor . . .

it was the home inside the house

that I’d been longing for

 

The house now dies in sad decay

But the home will never fade away.

 

 

9/7/92     Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

 

5’th … Arkansas NPD 1997

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When I was twelve and my mom came home (Hammond, Indiana) one day and said that she had found the cutest little house for us to live in. She could have a garden and we would have a huge yard to play in. And, then she took us there and my heart just fell. But, I shall always remember it as my home on “Hookey Hill” where we had love, adventures, sorrow and joy.  We were a family.

 

THE SHACK UPON THE HILL

 

I was a lonesome run-down shack

Sitting high upon a hill

Abandoned and neglected there

My rooms were much too still

 

My boards were loose and weathered gray

With specks of former hue

My tarpaper roof was wind-torn

And had a leak or two

 

My chimney crumbled from neglect

And had a ragged crest

Sparrows used it yearly

To house their springtime nest

 

My window glass held years of grime

Some frames had lost their panes

And sills showed signs of sad decay

From frequent snows and rains

 

My door had broken hinge and lock

So hung a bit awry

The sounds it made in passing breeze

A squeaky lullaby

 

My insides, too, were ailing then

With checked and peeling paint

But though in need of much repair

Could be described as quaint

 

For everywhere that one might look

Were glimpses of the past

And though it was in token form

Had somehow seemed to last . . .

 

Clean spots left upon my walls

From pictures hung with  twine

That hugged and graced the covering

Of faded rose design

  

And on my rough hewn pantry shelves

There sat a broken clock

A mason jar, a dented pan

And damaged butter crock

 

Rusty one-pound coffee cans

With sparse and dried remains

Of pungent red geraniums

Sat on my window frames           

 

A gaping hole was in my wall

Where stove-pipe once went through

Linoleum graced a cracked sink

And Granny cupboard, too

                                               

A room was added long ago

With roof of rusted tin

There was a deep dark cellar room

That served as harvest bin

 

And that is how I was perceived . . .

As a crumbling old shell

But life was not to see an end

For I have more to tell

 

A city family on a drive

Discovered me one day

And saw potential beauty here

Beneath my sad decay

 

And soon my wounds and bruises

Were no longer seen

I have new paint and paper

And brand new window screen

 

My chimney with its new red bricks

No longer winter sleeps

And with its new gray covering

My roof no longer weeps

 

There’s glass in all my window frames

That’s now kept sparkling clean

New hinges on my big front door

Prevents that awful lean

 

Pretty pictures once again

Decorate my walls

And the plaster on my ceilings

No longer cracks and falls

 

A big thick rug on once bare boards

Gives warmth to front room floor

While chintz and lacy curtains

Grace windows as before

 

There’s flowers on my window sills

A tiled kitchen floor

And a rug for wiping soiled shoes

Is by my busy door 

                                  

The musty smell of aging wood

Is now replaced, instead

By the smell of country cooking

And loaves of homemade bread

 

Six noisy children, with  their pets

Just love to laugh and shout

With youthful exuberance

As they run in and out

                                                      

And the woods that surround us here

Have come alive once more

As children play their childish games

On its thick leafy floor

 

A cottonwood holds a crude tree house

A mighty oak, a swing

Another tree, the tallest one

Is crowned with kite and string

 

A cow is grazing in the woods

There’s chickens in a pen

Little hatchlings trail behind

An old brown setting-hen

                               

A little boy plays in the sand

With tiny trucks and cars

And little girls pick wild-flowers

To put in old fruit jars

 

But that is not the best of it

For these are only things

My rooms are filled with happiness

And all the warmth that brings

 

My walls embrace this family

While sharing hopes and fears

And all the poignant feelings

Of their joys and their tears

 

And so I live, in joy again

A long awaited thrill

With time to make new memories

In this shack upon the hill

 

 

5/5/81            Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

 

This is the DeWitt Family of Griffith Indiana

back row: Edward, Sally and dad

front row: Patsy, Beverly, mom and myself – Phyllis

Brother Donald had died in the war.

Edward and Patsy are now deceased but Sally, Beverly and myself (Phyllis) will have a reunion, in October, in Tennessee.

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