Bestest Friend and I are doing a blog project. Each day we will write a blog post on a pre-determined theme chosen by a random noun generator. The theme for the twenty-eighth day of the month is "Meaning."
I am not a lady who reads poetry very much. But I enjoy very much how much our community has embraced this aspect of our history and identity. I don't know what it means that our school children are surrounded by snippets of modernist poetry that showcases a history that is long gone. I don't know what it means that I have repeatedly looked up photos of mergansers to visualize the image in on one of the snippets I see on my own daily walk. I don't know what it means to us as a community that we are perpetuating the fame of a woman who was notoriously introverted and purposefully isolated.
But here we are.
Who is your local celebrity that no one outside of your town has heard of?
I am not going to lie; I had to look this up. I live in Oakland and there are a lot of celebrities who people DO know about (Tupac, Steph Curry...) but I just learned that Tom Hanks, Clint Eastwood and Mark Hamill are also from Oakland! Who knew! We also have some lesser knowns in our area, like Alice Waters, who started the farm to table movement, who to me is a big deal but may not be as well known outside of those circles.ReplyDelete
I love that mural, even though I am not really a big poetry buff either and sometimes it baffles me!
I should take a photo of one of the murals that's painted by the same artist, but is really hard to read and it makes the somewhat opaque poetry even more challenging. I am not sure if that mural is hurting or helping the cause of getting her poetry out there in the world.Delete
Interesting that so many people are from Oakland. I guess if you have a relatively sizeable population, you'll get lots of famous (and semi-famous) people!
I'm from Lorain, Ohio, and we are very proud of Toni Morrison. I don't live there anymore, but I was lucky enough to meet her and briefly chat with her while I was doing my student teaching at her alma mater. She was there for a special assembly. A lesser-known author--who actually lived on my street!--is Bruce Weigl, who was known as the Vietnam War Poet. He won many awards and was nominated for the Pulitzer. I took a seminar from him, and many of my students took his classes. He told me he could always tell which students came from my Creative Writing classes because they were way ahead of the rest--a very nice compliment, for sure.ReplyDelete
Bestest Friend is from Lorain! She went to the high school where you student taught! We had a little back and forth about your comment, but she doesn't think she knows you.Delete
I went to Bowling Green for undergrad and our freshman book was "The Bluest Eye" from Toni Morrison. We were reading it because of the Ohio connection and I found it such a heavy book and I sometimes joke that I'm traumatized from reading it!
Another writer from Lorain is Sophfronia Scott, who is my colleague! Wowzers!Delete
NGS--Wow, what a small world. Lorain High School was torn down, as was my own high school in south Lorain. They built a new school on the site of the third high school, Admiral King High, and called it Lorain High.Delete
I, too, went to BGSU for undergrad. What a strange coincidence.
I had no idea Lorain was such a hotbed of writers! Bestest Friend is an English teacher!Delete
Wow! A fellow Falcon! How did I not know this about you? I loved my time at BGSU and I'm due for a trip back to see how campus has changed. They tore down the dorm where I lived, so I'm actually not sure I'd even be able to navigate campus anymore.
I don't know of anyone famous from the town where I grew up, Winchester MA, but Wikipedia assures me there are many. I was surprised to recognize several NHL players (once a hockey fan, always a hockey fan), but had to laugh at this name: Brutus Beefcake! Apparently he's a wrestler.ReplyDelete
OMG! You're not going to believe this, but I remember Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake from when my father and sister watched WWF. He was in a similar era as Hulk Hogan, Randy "Machoman" Savage, and Mr. Perfect. I am laughing at myself for how many memories I have of this man!Delete
My husband references Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake ALL THE TIME.Delete
Elizabeth, how on earth does Brutus "The Barber" even come up?! I want to know what these references are?!Delete
So...we make up ALL sorts of crazy names/nicknames for our kids. It's part of our family culture?!Delete
And a few of them come from pro boxing/wrestling. For example, we call our son "Hector" regularly, and he actually answers to this...from my husband referencing Hector Camacho the boxer. When he was in utero, our daughter decided his name should be "Screensaver" (I have no idea where she got this, but suffice to say we did NOT name him Screensaver), so this name thing runs deep.
My husband loves all things pop culture (our son's middle name was sourced from an action hero). And in addition to sometimes calling our son Hector Camacho Jr., we will also call him Brutus the Barber Beefcake!
It feels very bizarre typing it out, but it's a running form of endearment in our family.
This is SO. AMAZING. What a lovely little family story. I mean, your kids are going to have some old skool sports references as they get older! Thanks for sharing this with us.Delete
Strangely enough, I just posted of our local, historical celeb today — Roy Brown.ReplyDelete
We are obviously on the same page since we tend to write about similar things! Twins!Delete
Meh. Google tells me that we've got some sports folks that I've never heard of and that's about it. It looks like the field is wide open for a local poet.ReplyDelete
You should definitely mention this to the boys. There's an opening that needs to be filled and one or both of them could fill it!Delete
Hmmm. A famous Canadian artist - Alex Colville - spent a lot of time in the town where I now live. I can't think of much beyond that. More generally, hockey superstar Sydney Crosby was born and raised about an hour from where I live (Cole Harbour, NS), so that's the biggest celebrity from the "localish" area.ReplyDelete
Yes, somehow I feel like famous sports people shouldn't count. I don't know WHY I feel this way because athletes have to be from somewhere, I guess, but I just feel like your hometown hero should be...less about good hand-eye coordination? Hm. I need to reexamine this bias I have. It seems kind of mean.Delete
Lots of famous people from my birth city, Madras, which is a huge metropolis. But I learned from Nicole's reading list that the Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi went to my school--that blew my mind. In other places I have lived there have been famous people you've probably heard of... but my favorite snippet is that in Yellow Springs, OH, Coretta Scott, then an Antioch College student and later to become Coretta Scott King, babysat John Lithgow when he was a kid.ReplyDelete
Oh, wow! I can't imagine Coretta Scott King and John Lifthgow as young people hanging out together! What a weird coincidence of timing that they were at the same time and place.Delete
Well, I love that the school kids are getting exposed to modernist poetry! I can imagine reading things like that as a kid, not having any idea what they meant, but just understanding the vague notion that words and poems like this are a possibility. And I love that mural!ReplyDelete
I love the public art projects in our town. It just makes the place seem vibrant!Delete
My home town is the Marigold capitol of the world (LOL) and home of senator Everrett Dirksen and astronaut Scott AltmanReplyDelete
Wow! Marigold capital of the world - what a claim to fame!!!Delete
Oh gosh, I don't know who ours would be! That mural is beautiful though! I should drive by it the next time I'm in Edgerton!ReplyDelete
I don't think there actually is anyone even semi-famous from the tiny town where I grew up, so it seems possible that there isn't anyone!Delete
I wish I was into poetry, it seems like it would be calming, peaceful. But nope.ReplyDelete
I don't know anyone famous who was born in our area, as we're full of transplants. But we have a lot of famous people who live here currently; Larry Bird, (saw him in a red convertible Lamborghini-subtle) Mike Ditka (saw him at the grocery store) Judge Judy (hope to run into her at Target one day) Donna Summer (RIP) & Bob Seger.
I wish I were into poetry, too. I just don't understand it most of the time.Delete
So many famous people! As far as I know, there's no one famous who live in my town, so you'll have to get those star sightings for me.
That mural is beautiful but it took me forever to read it...something about the colors, I think? Anyway, where I grew up is bizarrely famous for the band Live. From the 90s. They were briefly popular/on MTV. Even more bizarre? The bass player moved in next to my parents for a few years.ReplyDelete
Told ya it was weird. ;) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_(band))