Posts tagged “creative writing” Categories

Spoken Word with James Hipsher

 The Spoken Word: Poetry Recitations by James Hipsher

Spoken Word with James Hipsher

July 23 @ 7:00 pm8:00 pm

Jim Hipsher is back to amaze us with his ability to recite poetry from memory. You’ll hear famous poets such as Rudyard Kipling, William Shakespeare, Robert Service, Emma Lazarus, Robert Frost, Ella W. Wilcox, and Anonymous, as well as some of his own creations.

To RSVP, please call 503.535.4004 or email deborah@cedarsinaipark.org.

Congrats to our LeadingAge Oregon Creative Writing Contest Winners!

We are thrilled to announce that several Cedar Sinai Park residents were selected as winners in the  LeadingAge Oregon Creative Writing Contest this year. Talented residents of Robison Jewish Health Center and Rose Schnitzer Manor have been participating in the program for many years.

“A written word is the choicest of relics.

It is something at once more intimate with us

and more universal than any other work of art.

It is the work of art nearest to life itself.”

Henry David Thoreau

Cedar Sinai Park is proud to announce the winners from our community who submitted entries in the LeadingAge Oregon Creative Writing Contest. Winners enjoyed a luncheon and presentation of their writings recently, along with other winners from non-profit senior healthcare facilities throughout the state.

Winners from Robison and Rose Schnitzer are:

Robison

Barbara Becker Donnner

Rose Schnitzer Manor
Sam Berry, Florence L. Blitch, Marion E. Gans,Martha M. Pomeranz,  Bob L. Lustberg,

Please take a moment to enjoy the winning entry of Bob Lustberg who introduced his piece by telling the audience “If you are under 80, please leave the room”…a bit of humor to set the tone for his take on “Sex Education in the 1920s”.

Sex Education in the 1920’s by Bob Lustberg11029529_1591555911081014_8097124486193437267_o

On July 5, 1925, when I was 5 years old, my mom gave birth to her second child, my brother, Arch. The big event took place at the Bedford Maternity Hospital, which happened to be located just beyond the right field wall of the once hallowed and now defunct Ebbets Field.

My father took me to visit mother in the hospital. I recall standing by her bedside thinking how wonderful she looked holding the tiny bundle of a baby. “Papa,” I asked, “where did the baby come from?”

Now, I should tell you that my father was not a very communicative person. For as long as I knew him, he rarely initiated conversation. In fact, he spoke only when spoken to. His answers to questions were always brief, and if a head movement or hand signal would suffice, he seemed to prefer that sort of response. The question put to my dad by his 5-year old son stopped him cold, and he was his usual silent self for the next few minutes.

Finally he said, “Let’s go up to the roof and watch the ball game.” Up on the roof, we had an excellent view of the game that was in progress.

“Bobby,” my dad said, “yesterday Babe Herman hit a home run. That ball came over the wall and through the window of your mother’s room and there was your brother.” This was the end of my sex education lesson.

Was the explanation thrilling? You bet! Did it make sense to me? And how! In any case, my question was answered, and from that point on, my father considered my sex education complete.

The General’s Son By Sam Berry

Today we honor our last resident winner in the  LeadingAge Oregon Creative Writing Contest.

Enjoy the winning entry by Sam Berry.

The General’s Son By Sam Berry

He died last year.  His death was featured on the front page of most newspapers and reported on all television stations.  Once again, I was reminded of a little incident that occurred in the summer of 1948 in which he had a part.

At that time, I was employed as a code clerk at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran. Our relationship with the young Shah, Mohammed Pahlavi, was good and our government sent a mission under the command of an American General to organize and train a national police force or gendarmerie, as it was known.

Film and ReelOccasionally, the General would get an American movie from the States and would invite his staff and the staff of the Embassy to his home for a cocktail party and movie viewing.  At one of these occasions, during the cocktail party of the evening, I stepped out onto the wide veranda of the home to smoke a cigarette.  I was alone, enjoying the cool air and quiet of the early summer evening, when suddenly four children came running around the corner of the house and stopped near me.  I do not know if they saw me standing there but they seemed to ignore my presence. 

The group consisted of two boys about 10 or 11 years old, one boy much taller than the two boys whom I judged to be about 12 or 13 years old, and one cute little girl who was about 8 years old. For a moment they were quiet while they caught their breath, then one of the smaller boys said proudly, “My father is a Major.” The other small boy then announced, rather disdainfully, “My father is a Colonel.” Whereupon, the tall boy stated in a level, very matter of fact tone, “My father is a General.”

U.S. Army Officer Cap Badge

The two smaller boys looked at the tall one with an expression of awe but kept quiet.  So this was the son of our host, the General, I mused.  I had not known he had his family with him in Tehran and did not know he had a young son.  My thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the little girl, who not to be outdone by these boys, announced in a loud confident voice, “WELL, MY FATHER.” And stopped. Then, in a normal less confident tone with a hint of hesitation, said, “My father.” And stopped. Finally, almost in a whisper she repeated, “My father.” And stopped again.

I realized she had no idea what her father’s rank was or what he did.  I melted and wished I had some way to assure her that her father was, indeed, a very important man.  Then, as if the show was over, with no visible or vocal signal I could discern, the four of them turned and raced back the way they had come, leaving me to finish my cigarette and rejoin the cocktail party. I never saw any of the children again, until many years later when I saw the tall boy, now grown into a large, self-confident man, on television. Although he was renowned as the Commanding General and hero of Desert Storm, I will always think of General Norman Schwartzkopf as that tall boy, the General’s son.

You Can’t Run with a Piano – by Diana Budner

Today we continue to honor our resident winners in the  LeadingAge Oregon Creative Writing Contest.

Enjoy the winning entry by Diane Budner.

piano

 

You Can’t Run with a Piano

My father played the violin

in high school, in WPA.

My father at home, with Mom on the piano

and Shelley and me singing.

My father and his girls

having fun making music.

violinYou can’t run with a piano

The violin found on the street

 

When the old man died my sister’s family

received the fiddle

When it was my love’s turn

With gentle coaching, music from the strings.

The prize, last chair in the community orchestra.

Sadly, his music struck down on New Year’s Eve

 

You can’t run with a piano

The violin found on the street

 

An empty chair, his silence noted

So kind, so reliable, so dedicated

We miss you already

Young grandson has it now

the violin resting in the dark

Perhaps some day he will play

his great grandfathers’ violin

Perhaps some day he’ll

pass it on, the next generation.

Perhaps some day the violin

will play last chair again.

 

You can’t run with a piano

The violin found on the street.

A Conversation with Tu Fu, A Great Chinese Poet – by Murray Kaufman

Today we continue to honor our resident winners in the  LeadingAge Oregon Creative Writing Contest.

Enjoy the winning entry by Murray Kaufman.

A Conversation with Tu Fu, A Great Chinese Poet

trail

TU FU, come visit our trail. We will show you

salal’ that sustained red men through the seasons;

the syringa shrub that arches over us,

performing the air with her white blossoms;

orange grape seeds that turn to purple.

See the cedar, maple, fir and hemlock trees

that proudly form our forests.

Tu Fu, do not lament your “withered bits of blown lotus

and chestnut drift”;

dear brother poet, “why so hurt, why these tears

falling like rain?”;

why do you sorrow at “fading riverside blossoms?”

Walk with us, our trail will sooth your aching heart

with elderberries and holly trees,

Come, Tu Fu, be our guest on this beautiful day,

and walk our trail, and experience bliss,

as we share nature’s kiss.

Congrats to CSP’s LeadingAgeOregon Creative Writing Contest Winners!

From left to right: Murray Kaufman, Marion Gans, Sam Berry (& Diane Budner – not pictured)

From left to right: Murray Kaufman, Marion Gans, Sam Berry (& Diane Budner – not pictured)

We were recently thrilled to announce that four Cedar Sinai Park residents were selected as winners in the  LeadingAge Oregon Creative Writing Contest. Talented residents of Robison Jewish Health Center and Rose Schnitzer Manor have been participating in the program for many years.

Marion Gans and Sam Berry’s short stories were read yesterday at a recognition luncheon honoring all winners at Friendsview Retirement Community in Newberg, Oregon. Today we are honored to share “Assisted Living” by Marion Gans. Stay tuned for pieces by Diane Budner, Murray Kaufman and Sam Berry in coming posts!

Assisted Living

By Marion Gans

She seeks the sunshine, shoulders sagging
Two wrinkled smiles say sit with us.
Escape was blocked. She sinks on the bench rim
Energy sapped, sighing self-pity—
Can they read me?

Warm comments, soft questions
Heads tip with sighs of compassion.
The need to connect, to be heard, consumes her—
Do they care? Do I matter?

Risking rejection, in a low monotone
Words tumbling lips trembling
She speaks without breathing—
Should I dare? Can I trust them?

All attentive, truly listening
Jaws relaxed and eyes a-glistening
Avoiding judgment, not correcting
Common themes and thoughts connecting.

Tactful touching, sympathizing
Nodding, knowing, empathizing
Sharing, smiling, weakens woe
Releasing rancor, spirits glow.

A lifeline is forming
With joy to impart
A hand on her hand
Its warmth fills her heart.

No need to hide nor run nor roam
At least, with friends, she knows she’s home.