Twenty years and still running

... I heard it through the grapevine

by Betty Rossi

I first joined the Melrose Mirror, because I heard through the grapevine that the group was thinking of disbanding. I couldn't bear the thought, because I had fallen in love with Natalie Thompson's poetry and Steve Johnson's tales of our old neighborhood and I was one of their biggest fans.

I was still working at that time and got permission to attend the Silver Stringer meetings to hopefully try and change their minds about stopping the Mirror publications.

I would attend the meetings and then make up my time at work. I instantly fell in love with the whole wonderful group. At that time, we filled about three tables. Tom Dillon, Russ Priestley, Dorothy O'Connor, Joan Alcala, Carole Tate, Carol Nelson, Dr. Ed Boyd aren't at the meetings any longer. John Averell and Jack Driscoll have been our Tech Support and "go to guys", but they are getting tired.

We have dwindled down to a very faithful and precious few. Kay McCarte, who's been there since the very beginning, Florence Shea, who I've known since recruiting her for the Looking Ahead group, Don Norris, who's out there trying to get healthy again, Joe Sullivan, who stopped eating his "meeting apple" and now loves cookies, Shirley Rabb, who tries to keep me in line, Louise Fennell, who drops in when she's not on television or working and Debbi Collar, our newbie.

Most of us are like the walking wounded and aren't getting any younger. We need new blood and new writers. People today are into texting and computers and don't "write" anymore.I wonder if people are afraid that they can't write. When I joined the group, I never thought that I was going to have to write anything. My granddaughter Joslyn had written a poem that was published in an Anthology of Poetry of young school children and was my inspiration. Once I started writing, the words just kept flowing. I've never thought of myself as a writer, but I do love the written word and just keep writing down my thoughts. It is much easier than when I started, that's for sure.

Now, almost five years later, the group is back to thinking of disbanding and I'm back to fighting to keep it alive. I love the Melrose Mirror now more than ever!

December 4, 2015

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