by Stephen Woody
I see by the paper… Sheridan’s Jim Benepe got a dose of ink in Sports Illustrated two weeks ago. PGA tourist Russell Henley, 23, made news in winning the Sony Hawaiian Open in only his third PGA start. Big news, but……
Jim, as most Sheridan golfers and citizens know, won in his first PGA start, the 1988 Western Open, still the only PGA tour golfer to accomplish this — duly noted by the big time journalists in SI. Jim went on to win three professional tour championships before relocating back to his hometown.
The Notebook was treated to a copy of Treva Lannan’s book of poetry, “Can You Hear Me?” She stopped by The Sheridan Press last week and we talked of many things, including a mutual friend, Jon Kite, the longtime pianist in the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. Kite treats Brown Palace patrons to cabaret tunes, jazz and at night, he holds court in the Ship’s Tavern, a rowdier place which has singing by the customers, the penultimate “piano bar.”
Treva’s family had the paint store here for many years. Her book is a gem. She writes movingly of losing her husband in 2005 and the life they shared. They were married 57 years and she notes how writing this book was therapeutic, helping her move on with her life. Last year, she and I shared a family history writing class at the Sheridan County Fulmer Public Library.
After putting Treva’s book down Sunday night, as the snow fell outside, I recalled poetry and love letters and essays and how they were written on a typewriter that I still have. It is an un-electric, pre-war Royal, one of those indestructible types from which I wrote letters to my parents for money, term papers for teachers, resumes for employers, short stories sent to publishers that were returned with rejection letters and cheesy poetry for a college flame. The girlfriend informed me how typewritten prose of one’s affection was “cold,” in comparison to handwriting such professions of the heart. (Well, I did make hand-written annotations in the borders.) We didn’t stay together too long; I wonder what she thinks today of receiving an “I love you” via Twitter. Or a Facebook “poke.” The fanciest thing you could do with that old Royal was to make the paper go either double, or triple space. (Wow!)
Often, what poetry does — or what I’ve been taught that poetry does — is to push the soul or the greater id towards a better place. This is what Treva’s book did for me on a snowy Sunday night.
They Said It
“For ‘twas not into my ear you whispered;
But into my heart.
Twas not my lips you kissed;
But my soul.”
— Judy Garland, American singer/actor/entertainer, 1922-1969