Trains, airplanes, art and love; it's like a poetry salad for a Memorial Day picnic.
In early March some Brethren students and I finished up another Elders Project sponsored by SEEDS.
Since then I've been polishing up the kids' poems and writing a few myself.
All the interviews were conducted by middle and high school kids.
The Elders Project reaches deep into the primitive origins of history, storytelling and poetry. At right are three samples of the folk poems culled from the event.
I'm always amazed at how much more alive the landscape becomes when you hear the tales intertwined with the surrounding area. I'd never given a thought to how High Bridge Road got its name. Now I know.
So all aboard the memory train. If you hear some little ghosts giggling in the bathroom, after the first poem you will understand.
Don Stewart (83) High Bridge
If you drive down High Bridge Road
south of Brethren
headed north"¦on the corner of River Road
and High Bridge,
you can see an old trail
coming through the woods
at an angle.
That's the old railroad grade
going up the side of the hill.
If you look east from the road
about ninety feet,
that's where the bridge was.
The High Bridge
crossed the Manistee River Valley.
If you wanted to go places
you took the train.
There weren't any roads,
One elderly lady told me
a story about that train years ago.
Riding the passenger cars
across the High Bridge
she said looking out the windows
you couldn't see the bridge.
It was like flying.
They were just kids,
and would go in the bathroom
and flush the toilet.
There was no tank under the bowl.
The water poured out on the tracks.