The ghosts that I have come across are not the rotted out bodies dripping with blood rising from a grave in a mysterious, forgotten cemetery. They are more like people who loved their home so much that they couldn’t bear to leave it, people who didn’t realize they were dead, and sometimes people just saying good-bye to loved ones before heading toward the light. It can be a very comforting experience if you are open-minded without horror stories lurking in the back of your mind.
One house noted in Ghostly Spirits in Warren County & Beyond has many ghosts and spirits living there and also some just passing through. A while after our interview an invitation came for me to attend a tea party with the ghost children who lived there. It was an unusual experience but not as unusual as the request that came later for them to come visit me in my home! I thought about that a bit before agreeing. After all, they were gracious enough to invite me. They came, giggling and smiling, happy little kids, giving me their names this time. It helped me to look at death very differently.
The passion of history often has a lot to do with a person’s spirit being held to the earth plane, especially on a battlefield where so many died at such young ages.. I went to Gettysburg once, rising early in the morning, before sunrise during the off-tourist season. I sat in Little Round Top and felt the enormous sadness wash over me. I didn’t see any of the ghosts that many have seen. I thought of the cries of those shot down so senselessly. Many of those fallen had no true idea of what it was all about. Why they felt they had to march off to war because some politicians were afraid they would be losing money with the new laws. War is always about the money hiding behind ideals spoken aloud.
For those of you who may not know -Oakley Hall Antiques & Art at 119 N. Main St. in Warrenton NC carries our Warren Artists Market (WAM) anthologies, i.e. Inspirations (all about Warren County) and our newest anthology This I Know. Both have many Warren County writers represented. Stop in Wed. – Sat. to pick up your copy. They also make great gifts!
That’s what we at WAM (Warren Artists Market) do and have been doing it since our first gathering in 2012. In February 2013, we sponsored an Art & Poetry reception where we poets wrote poems about the art exhibited by hometown artists and read the poetry while standing next to the artwork. It was great! The art and related-framed poems remained in the library (by request) for 2 months!
The artists were the late Jay Person, Wheeler Smith, and Ronnie Williams. The poets were Thomas Park, Sherman Johnson, and me. And so it began.
We hosted FFP open mic nights at the Warren Food Works, moved a few times when they were closed, and came back again. Their crew was always helpful and encouraging, supplying us with food and great liquid refreshments. Special nights were held, sometimes honoring particular holidays, sometimes featuring live music, sometimes dancers performed. Singers performed a cappela. Other special nights were held sponsoring Book Release Parties & Signings. Sterling Cheston added music selections to our events. Guest readers were featured. Often it was standing room only!
We facilitated a writing group at the Senior Center resulting in Chapbooks published; hosted play readings, and held workshops.
WAM began publishing an annual anthology in 2013 with SITTING WITH A DRUNKEN SORCERESS Poems and Prose to invite you, to incite you, to delight you, followed by Life Preserved: Memories An Anthology and INSPIRATIONS, an anthology on Warren County, and THIS I KNOW an anthology. Presently we are accepting submissions for HOME an anthology.
WAM is a writer’s collective and offers after school creative writing-arts programs. It was founded by writer, teacher Thomas Haywood Park.
We continue to grow and improve, to draw participants from greater distances, letting artists and writers know that our door is open and the mic is on.
FIRST FRIDAY OPEN MIC NIGHT! AT 108 S. MAIN ST. WARRENTON NC 7PM–
Join us in an evening of readings and who knows what or who, may appear to perform? Gabe will be offering foods, coffee, tea & cold drinks. BRING A FRIEND. Keep our literary tradition alive! Come out to read or just listen!
on The Show: WARR RADIO 1520 AM Sherman Johnson Miles in My Shoes, Years at My Side, author Patrick James Smith will be interviewed by Sherman Johnson about his book and experiences with UFOs, ghosts, and other strange occurrences happening in his lifetime. You can tune in online to listen 10 am to 11 am this Wed. March 22. Exciting!
This collection of extraordinary poems tells the story of vivid, African-American characters who have passed through the life of the author in a small, rural town in the South. Sometimes they entertain and sometimes salty tears burst, overflowing the eyelid wells, for the terrible tragedy of a life. Park has reached deep into his soul to let you know that these people lived and died and mattered, without any judgment from him. If these characters were not noticed in life, they will remain with the reader for a long, lingering time.
In all his honesty, Park reports on events that happened . . . and didn’t happen. When dreams blossomed with hope for a community and were taken away leaving disappointment for many who worked hard, giving their all, to bring about ideal living. The author exudes love of his community. He shows this caring by continuing to encourage the arts, the love of words and writing to anyone who wants to participate. I love this book.