Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 16, 2014

Lifelines: Destiny found in library

I’m slightly dyslexic and can’t read out loud very well. Still, I fell in love with books at an early age.

Marion Public Schools had a library, but it didn’t compare with visiting the dead pioneer lady’s house. Mrs. Alice Chapin had dedicated her home to the village to be used as a public library after her passing.

From fourth grade on you could get a permission slip during lunch hour to walk to 217 Pickard St., to check out a book. With a buddy I visited there every week. I still remember entering through the jingling door into the late Mrs. Chapin’s dining room, kitchen, utility and living rooms full of shelves packed with books.

I loved the smell of the books, the feel and sound of books when you opened the hardbound cloth covers into the crisp pages. The house felt like church, only more relaxed.

In seventh grade I started taking girls to the library, and continued the cheapskate practice in college. On the first date with my wife, I took her to the old Traverse City Public Library on Sixth Street. I read her some William Butler Yeats and Ezra Pound. Then we went dancing. This weekend is our 40th anniversary of that date.

March is reading month, and tonight is a full moon. Here’s a poem I wrote in the words of Richard Walker, 82, of Kalkaska to celebrate. It has some great moonlight in it.

Poet Bard Terry Wooten has been performing and conducting writing workshops in schools for 29 years. He is also the creator of Stone Circle, a triple ring of boulders featuring poetry, storytelling and music on his property north of Elk Rapids. Learn more at

The Turning Point

I went to school after The Great Depression.

Text Only

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Associated Press Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot