Keehn’s 95th celebrated with poems, stories

May 25, 2017

Terry Wooten, creator of the renowned Stone Circle performance venue in Elk Rapids, subject of a soon-to-be-released documentary film nominated for many awards around the world, and author of Michigan Notable Book Award winning The Stone Circle Poems (Parkhurst Brothers Publishers, 2015), celebrating his aunt Ruby Wooton Keehn’s 95th birthday by telling her stories through his poems.  Photos from the birthday party by ArtistonDuty.com

L-R: Sherry Wooten-Krchmar, Ruby Keehn and Terry Wooten

L-R: Sherry Wooten-Krchmar, Ruby Keehn and Terry Wooten

WAR AND CLOSE FRIENDS
When Pearl Harbor was bombed Orville and I were coming up from Eaton Rapids.
We were staying at Mom and Dad’s when the war broke out.
They announced it over the radio.
Orville got drafted,
but didn’t pass his physical. He had ulcers,
and was farming which helped.
Orville was serious and kind with a dry sense of humor.
He drank a little, then didn’t drink at all, except a beer when he was haying.
We were always close to Bontekoes.
Old Pete and Orville
liked to hunt and fish.
Once they broke
the front wheels off a tractor chasing an injured owl
across a hay field.
Orville would get up 
at 5 o’clock in the morning, milk the cows and go fishing, or go fishing and come back and milk the cows.
Young Pete and Ben
were close friends too.

SADNESS AND JOY
Oh gosh, I’ve had a lot of sadness in my life. Joy and sadness.
Ben was a little turn, and a year older than Terry.
Ben didn’t like bugs.
He hated June Bugs.
And he could swim.
God, Mona was so nice to me after Ben drowned.
Man, she helped.
June 26 is still a hard day.
Jack came to us in February 1956.
We just had typical problems with him.
Jack and Barb and their family have been joy.

Ruby and Gary Brock

Ruby and Gary Brock

MEMORY MUSIC
Dad always had a horse
and a tour buggy.
He’d strap big bells
around the horse’s stomach, and we’d go for rides
around the block.
We’d sing and have a good time.
Dad was always humming.
When Dad owned that land over by Park Lake
on the curve after Charlie Fisher’s…
we went hunting with Orville.
Orville walked back in the woods and sat down
an hour or two.
He said to come back
and make noise on the way.
That was easy.
We left the road singing.
By the time we reached Orville there wasn’t a deer
in sight.

L-R: Faye Dague and Gloria Goetsch

L-R: Faye Dague and Gloria Goetsch

THE DEER
I was married to Orville
forty-seven years. He’s been gone thirty-three. I’ve never liked being alone.
After Orville died if I’d see a deer I’d have a good day.
The days I didn’t were buggers.
I can go back to that old trailer we use as a deer blind… and I can feel Orville. I don’t see him,
but he lives in the spirit of the deer.
Jack thinks so too.
This doesn’t give us any trouble with hunting deer.
That’s what’s funny.
Seems like you wouldn’t
want to hunt them.
Orville isn’t a deer.
He is the deer.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY
AUNT RUBY!

L-R: Arlene and Dick Swiler

L-R: Arlene and Dick Swiler





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