For the November 30, 2020 KGUA radio Morning Writer’s Hour, we are asked to title a free write “Thanksgiving” and go for it in 250 words or less.
I am not a painter. No, no, no. Not a singer. And heavens, not a dancer. But I do like to write.
Remember Steven Weed? He was Patty Hearst’s boyfriend when she was abducted by the Simbionese Liberation Army in 1974. I n reading about that time, I learned that Steve kept a journal. The idea unknowingly began to take root in my soul.
Years later, in the early 1980s, I was supposed to teach writing to middle schoolers in Somersworth, New Hampshire. Figuring I should write myself if I expected my students to write, I began keeping a journal. Eventually, I wrote for more 2000 days straight. Do the math, that’s more than a five year streak.
That commitment made me realize that I was indeed a writer. I felt that if I wrote, then what I had to say mattered. In fact, that I mattered. Heavy, man!
After 20+ years as a public school teacher, I was as burned out as burned out could be and decided to try the university game. You remember the old dictum, publish or perish for college professor wannabes.
As a prof, I published just enough, but such writing did not feed my soul. Once retired, I had the freedom to write what I wanted and that turned out to be my over60hiker blog.
In March 2020, my buddy Scott introduced me to Mark Gross of KGUA radio in Gualala, California (150 miles north of San Francisco) and his free write Mondays. Yes indeed, I am so thankful to Mark for the weekly challenge to create, self-explore, and tell my story in a world that can’t stop talking (Shout out to Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts).
Let me say, Mark came through in the clutch.