There was a lady, a beautiful lady with her hair styled, a little dab of lipstick and I think she may have had mascara on….not unusual, but she is going to be one hundred-years-old in January. As I sat with her and talked, I figured she was about 80 not 100. I asked her if she had been an actress.
No, I guess I was what you call a thespian in school. They always wanted me to dramatically read poems. Would you like to hear one?
The Spell of the Yukon
I wanted the gold, and I sought it,
I scrabbled and mucked like a slave.
Was it famine or scurvy — I fought it;
I hurled my youth into a grave.
I wanted the gold, and I got it —
Came out with a fortune last fall, —
Yet somehow life’s not what I thought it,
And somehow the gold isn’t all.
No! There’s the land. (Have you seen it?)
It’s the cussedest land that I know,
From the big, dizzy mountains that screen it
To the deep, deathlike valleys below.
Some say God was tired when He made it;
Some say it’s a fine land to shun;
Maybe; but there’s some as would trade it
For no land on earth — and I’m one.
I was just in awe. She continued with several poems like the one above. And they were recited as if she was doing a Broadway play, with such flare and gusto.
I don’t know her name but I know she was from New Orleans. She told me all about her house and how it was furnished. I just know we would have been friends ……if we had gone to the same school. Hmmm, I am 60 and she is close to 100. Despite the age gap, we had a whole lot to talk about and I was so interested in everything she said.