OLD SPORT LOVED PEANUTS

Old Sport Loved Peanuts

The peanuts grew on the bank of a stream that gurgled through the south pasture of our farm at Tame Valley.  My siblings and I had to help pick the peanuts when it was harvest time. I hated pulling the vines from the clinging, dark soil. I didn’t like shaking the dirt from the plants.  So I complained a lot. Didn’t do any good. I still had to help.

I preferred playing with our dogs, Old Sport and little Brownie. But I couldn’t play until all the peanuts were harvested.  Mama told me not to let Sport eat the peanuts.  He liked peanuts. But I knew Mama thought our big family would need them for snacks. So I obeyed.

Later, that winter our family gathered in the living room when snow fell like goose feathers flying through the air.  Mama parched peanuts in a tin pan on the wood stove.  The peanuts tasted so good, warm and salted.  When Mama wasn’t looking, I was tempted to drop some peanuts on the floor for Sport.  But I didn’t.

And I regretted it because Sport died the next spring before planting time. When I got older, I knew that if Mama had known Sport would die, she would have given him her share of the peanuts.  And I would have given him mine also. © Freeda Baker Nichols
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A Poem to Honor Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni (1888–1970)

In Rosa’s Honor
(a Dorsimbra)

As poet laureate, Rosa was great!
October 15th marked her special day.
She gave her time and talent to our state,
encouraged poetry along the way.

Her poems still
speak clearly
as year after year
we think of her.

We meet to keep the torch she lit aflame.
We watch it glow when our own fire is low.
We think of her and write our best because,
as poet laureate, Rosa was great!

by Freeda Baker Nichols
From the brochure for National Poetry Day in Arkansas, October 20th, 2012.

Each year, National Poetry Day is hosted by Poets Roundtable of Arkansas in honor of Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni. (1888–1970) Marinoni was named poet laureate of Arkansas by the Arkansas General Assembly on March 28, 1953, an appointment she held until her death.  Governor Winthrop Rockefeller in 1969, proclaimed October 15, the date on which Poetry Day is observed in Arkansas, to be Rosa Zagnoni Marinoni Day.

The upcoming Poetry Day is scheduled for October 13, 2018 at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies in the Little Rock River Market area, 401 President Clinton Avenue.  Featured speaker will be Pat Durmon of Norfork, Arkansas. Pat is an accomplished poet and has just released her fourth poetry book–Women, Resilient Women.    ~~~

 

 

 

THAT BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL’S DESTINY

Tonight, it seems that I should write and yet I find I’ve nothing much to say. But I will begin with this paragraph in hopes tomorrow the words will flow, or perhaps the day after tomorrow . . .

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And so, this is tomorrow . . . “Call of the Cadron” is my first novel, published in 2012. The picture at right shows my well-worn, underlined copy of “The Basic Patterns of Plot” by Foster Harris.  It’s the book I studied through the University of Oklahoma’s Journalism Correspondence Course, some years ago. It was my guideline for plotting my first novel, and it’s still my guide as I pursue my writing goals.

Successful writing is many things–winning a poetry or writing contest, being published by magazines or newspapers, self-publishing, having your work accepted by a publisher or sharing your masterpieces on social media. And when a reader compliments your stories by saying, “When are you writing something else for the paper?” and then she continues to say that she clips your stories and saves them, that’s when you know beyond a doubt that writing is your destiny–and that’s all that matters.

© Freeda Baker Nichols