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Remembering Sally Benson

by Marshall Jamison

I got lost on the Boston Post Road
It’s a lonely coast road —
But it led me home.

My old friend, Sally Benson wrote that fragment of verse, and as a New Englander born, I have held it in my memory for over forty years. Brilliant, star crossed, tragic, but oddly magnificent, she hurled her challenge to the world:

If you can, come on and knock me down

and it could and did!

As one of her last courageous and rewarding efforts she adapted an F. Scott Fitzgerald story entitled “Josephine” for Broadway, retitled there, “The Young and Beautiful.” When reviewed by the distinguished Herald Tribune critic Walter Kerr, he described it “a perfect production.”

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Now overcoming my fear and trembling, which if you had known Sally you’d understand, I’m presuming to preface those three remembered New England lines with three of my own.

Tall pines lined the empty highway that stretches along
the rock bound shore.
My little grey mare whinnied shrilly when she heard
the rough surf roar.
As the evening dusk quickly darkened into moonlit night
I got lost on the Boston Post Road
And it’s a lonely coast road
But it led me home.

A Matter of Pride in Nebraska

by Marshall Jamison

Longfellow and Lowell and Stephen Vincent Benet
Penned many a stirring roundelay
Of the glorious days of our nation’s rise
And leaders they chose to aggrandize.
Down misty corridors of time
Our poet, John Neihardt, celebrates in rhyme
Heroic men who dare to share a dream
Giants in the earth answer to his theme.
Those gallant, resourceful mountain men
Whose like we’ll rarely see again
Jedidiah Smith and brave Hugh Glass
Who found real splendor in the grass
Were two whom he wrote of with deep respect
When you read his poems you recollect
That he followed travelers on these great plains, high
Where far horizons meet the sky and he sang
Of warriors and wanderers through this vale of tears
Who met with, fought and overcame their fears
Of lonliness, failure and bitter strife
As they worked to fashion a better life
Who saw the world as they’d have it be
Where every man is strong and free
And believes in his heart that he can do
Something to make that dream come true.

PageNet Pages the Net!

by David W. Boles

PAGENET
The PageNet Motorola Gold FLX alphanumeric pager is simply the best service and pager you can buy today — that’s a mouthful to read, but as you take in an eyeful of it all above, you’ll soon understand how the secret to screening the world can rest in the palm of your hand.

Continue reading → PageNet Pages the Net!

Don's Heritage

by Marshall Jamison

Editor’s Note: Don’s Heritage was written for sportscaster and pledge drive host Don Gill’s retirement from the Nebraska Educational Television Network in December of 1996.

Boy, will we ever miss his magical happy touch!
His never failing gift with words, enriching us so much!
For I’ve seen it happen every time Don Gill gets up
to speak.
You listen, we listen to his words, well chosen and
unique,
with a thoughtful touch of humor that always makes
us smile.

Yes, this master Storyteller spins a magic to beguile
and his simple, selling spiel always seems to appeal
to reluctant viewers who often are hedging at
pledging.

Like Frank Gifford, Red Barber or Mel Allen, he seems
to heighten the attraction
when describing graphically the action of football,
baseball, basketball
for you all!

With a flare that he’s demonstrated for all of
his life
that may even have helped to attract his wonderful
wife!
Don, you’ve lifted our hearts with your cues for
laughter!

We’ll take a breath, pause, and wish you and Donna
a happy ever after!

On Climbing the Stairs

by Marshall Jamison

Listening for the sound of a well remembered
rhyme,
my father always whispered aloud as he paused
before the climb
up the stairs to the attic, to wish me soft
good night
and say the prayer he taught me by the candle’s
flickering light.
I recall well it promised joy and sweet
relief of pain
and it answered all my doubt as I heard it
again and again.

For I knew if he believed it surely must be so
and for sixty years its message has shown
me how to go —
Up the attic stairs to the memories
of my youth
to give my little grandson my father’s
living truth.

PoetPourri

by Marshall Jamison

Our father loved the gripping verse of poet Alfred Noyes
and often read The Highwayman to us as little boys.
We shivered as we listened to the rough night
rider’s plight.

Were excited and enchanted by the poet’s clear
insight.

John Greenleaf Whittier shared with us Blessed
Inward Joys.

Quickly Ere They Passed Us, Laughing Barefoot Boys.

Then in what we thought a happy circumstance
our family moved a block or two from the tall
yellow manse
of the former Cantabridgian,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
for whom All Was Ended Now, The Hope,
The Fear and The Sorrow.

And so although the Master Poet was no
longer there
it seemed that he had left for all
treasures we might share.

Share them we did with widening eyes and
an eager new found store
of knowledge of a mighty ship built in
those exciting days of yore.

It sails on even now, so independent
strong and great,
triumphant, immortal, the Union,
our own Ship of State.

That dream realized, first nurtured and shared
by our gallant forefathers, country folk
who somehow dared
to answer the challenge of Freedom’s call
From Behind Each Fence And Farmyard Wall
as reported by the poet who described
it all
for those of us who still hold dear
the midnight message of Paul Revere.

And find in such rich and glorious rhyme
reading joy to grace a lifetime.

A Mother's Challenge

by Marshall Jamison

A cool sea breeze blew softly across the
field of fresh cut hay
inviting me to breathe deeply the Bay’s
salt spray.
The scent cut sharply into the sweetness
of the new-mown clover
reminding me these glad Maine days
would soon be over.

My two little boys, in white sailor hats,
khaki clad, tan and wide-eyed,
fished for flounders, pollock or
tomcod on the rising tide.

They can’t recall now just what
they caught
or how long and hard their catches
fought,
but I remember, I’ll never forget!

For me, what nerve it took
to take the ugly sculpins off
the hook.