Seniors Express Their Creativity, Feelings in Poetry

By Waller, C. L. | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), February 12, 1998 | Go to article overview

Seniors Express Their Creativity, Feelings in Poetry


Waller, C. L., Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: C. L. Waller Daily Herald Staff Writer

Don't let the wheelchairs fool you.

There are residents at Winchester House in Libertyville whose creativity is still very much alive. And they proved it recently as poets.

Winchester House librarian Mary Purnell held the contest in which residents submitted original poetry of their own or favorite poetry of others.

Poetry submissions were judged by members of the Friends of Cook Library and Purnell provided winners a particular category.

"I was really happy when people came in with their poems," Purnell said.

The winners were Emma Fish in Best Overall; Barbara Pardee in Published Poetry; Estelle Faulkner in the centenarian category; Bob Hudrick in Best in 55 and under; Betty Klema in Recently Written; Lillian Krah, first runner-up in Recently Written; and the late Lillian Fyfe in Family Submission.

Writing poetry since she was in high school, Klema said writing about Rose, a resident service aide at the county-run nursing home, was a natural.

"I was always impressed at how she's always working," Klema said. "She travels about 12 mph."

The subject, Rose Jones, said she was unaware the poem was about her and found it puzzling that Betty was unwilling to give it to her to deliver for the contest.

"I thought she would be embarrassed," said Klema, who at 74 finds poetry writing a good release.

"I think of words that rhyme a lot," she said. Jokingly, Klema added, "It could be a vice as far as I know."

Estelle Faulkner, who is 103 years old, submitted a poem she remembered writing in 1914 when she attended high school in Gurnee. Called, "Thanksgiving," the poem is also a favorite of her family and she recites it on the holiday.

"I thought about doing one for Christmas, but I couldn't come up with one," Faulkner said.

Bob Hudrick's poem, "I Remember, I Remember," was something he also originally wrote when he was in his teens.

"It's something to add a little humor in my life," said Hudrick, who enjoys reading Edgar Allen Poe's works.

Hudrick made up the story set in a first person focus about digging out of prison with characters, Lefty, Moe and Dave.

Lillian Krah said the story drew her curiosity.

"When he was dictating it to me, I wondered where it was going," Krah said.

After saying he had written another poem, Purnell asked how long it was.

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