71-Year-Old's Memories Capture Attention

Article excerpt

Byline: Eloise Podraza

"It's amazing how much you accumulate," said Angeline Lopatka, 71, of Villa Park, about her habit. She writes things down, keeping years of thoughts and reactions on paper.

"I began writing my viewpoints, or the way things struck me, for my own pleasure, never thinking it would go any further than that," she said, sounding surprised that her words have caught others' attention. During the last year, she's earned an award of merit from the International Society of Poets, and the National Library of Poetry presented her with its editor's award.

Although Lopatka has kept journals for many years, she waited until retirement to spend time sifting through mounds of personal writings to see exactly what was there.

"I'd get a feeling about something, write a poem, put it aside and was fulfilled because of having done it," she said.

However, Lopatka attended a three-day Society of Poets Conference in Washington, D.C., last summer, and the ball started rolling.

"I went to the conference to get insight, and I enjoyed it so much. It was wonderful and motivating. I submitted some of my poetry, then received the editor's award from the National Library of Poetry for being in the top three," she said, her voice bubbling with pleasure. …