Steve Meador is the author of Throwing Percy from the Cherry Tree, a poetry book that was an entrant for a National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in poetry. He is widely published in online and print journals. He has been a real estate broker since the early 1980s and currently lives and practices in the Tampa, FL, area.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

40 Year Class Reunion

Another high school class reunion, my 40 year gathering, has come and gone. I worked on the committee, which consisted of a good friend from the old days and me. After months of phone calling and web searching, the event was over in about six hours. Had a great time and I think the other 80 or so did, also. I am always sad to have it end, because the slice of life we know as the high school years was very delectable for me. Not that those days were all perfect and good, but because, very simply, they were what they were, fit into a slot of our history and lived within the context of the time. I think of my past often, with all the good and bad, but I do not compare one time to another, that would be unfair. I do not judge what I did in one time against the values and expectations of a different time. In short, it was what it was, just as the current is what it is. Sure, I carry baggage from the high school days, who doesn't? But, I am beginning to think I am one of the few who opened up my baggage, heaved out what was not needed and brought forward anything I thought might be of value.

This is a difficult post to write, because, as many people know, I got involved when my cousin, Jimmy Floyd, passed away and I don’t want to be sappy or maudlin. I didn’t want to do this, but he hounded me, as he always could, to perfection. It was his goal and dream to be at this reunion, and I think one of the reasons was that he wanted the two of us to touch again that golden time when we lived together, during our freshman year, when we were Lewis and Clark, Boone and Crockett, Butch and Sundance.  I have become a hard person to sell to and only agreed after his death—although, truth be admitted, I would have given in to his pestering ways. It worked out great. Eric handled the physical duties, because he lives in Defiance, while Cheri and I (mostly her) handled updating the class list. We had a fair number of classmates who were not interested and will not be in the future. She ask one about being listed as “Not Interested” and the reply was, “You can put be down as dead, for all I care.” All that stuff is okay, because each person lives as they wish and it is not for me to finger point or name call.

Technology has made the process much easier and I will likely stay connected and work on the next one, for 2017. Thanks to all who came, to all whose baggage was loaded only with the clothing and personal items they needed for the visit to our hometown. I know if my cousin were still here, we would have sat at one of the tables, after all the people were gone, had one final drink and nodded to each other. We would have stood and hugged, because we have come to the point in life where handshakes are passé.  Then, the last one out would flip off the light and lock the door.

There are three photo journals to view, the Friday night events, the attendees and the actual reunion on Saturday. Click on the caption below the photo of the group you want to view. I am an equal opportunity offender and make no apologies!  If you get lost while viewing, just come back to the blog and start again.

Friday concert, gathering at Jerseys, setting up the hall

Attendees identified

Photos of the fun evening

Sunday, July 22, 2012

 The Valentine Theater

 I was in my hometown recently and for the first time since the 1970s I went inside the Valentine. It is a church now. The screen is gone, replaced by a stage. The projection booth is now a small meeting room. The clickety clack of the projector having been silenced by technology, low profits and soft talk and prayer. The smell of popcorn is missing, as is the buzz of a couple hundred folks waiting for a movie to roll. But, all in all, the feeling of the building is much as it was nearly forty years ago.

 The Valentine Theater

The air in the balcony
lugged the thickness of puke,
the sting of piss and the belch
of decay to the top of the stairs
and heaved it against every face.
It punched like the old usher’s glare.
It was a sideshow,
with its booger-crusted arm rests
and, if rumors were to be believed,
soggy puddles on stiff velvet seats
waiting to be sopped up by the ass
of your  favorite blue jeans.
It was a main feature
of willing lips and anxious tongues
and fingers climbing the rungs
of love, to the beat
of a clicking projector.
And as a parting gift, a wad
of  Kleenex  for young men to stuff
over their noses and try to separate
the smell of perfume from the sweet
odor of boob.

The Valentine Theater originally appeared in Clapboard House literary journal

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Front Range

I have not submitted very many pieces in the last year or so, call it lazy or uninspired, but here is one that did well. It was the 2nd Place poem, so you might have to scroll down a little. Thanks.