Thank you to Marsha, Phil, and to everyone who was involved with the project for putting this all together. Thanks to these amazing poets and storytellers, “Dear America: Telling the World We Lived,” can spread history and life lessons to a younger generation. I don’t think we’ll ever recover from the pandemic but sharing our stories and poems will help our experiences last forever. Today I am sharing the stories and poems of Eileen Fiori, Marcy Wingard, and Jerry Garcia. 

Eileen has always had a thirst for knowledge. After taking courses on women’s studies in mid-life; Eileen realized that she did not want to follow social norms. Up to this point in her life, it almost seemed like she was working/obeying her husband and she did not know how to escape or change her life. Eileen and her group of friends in college supported one another to achieve a better future. She fought for her education while also playing the role of wife and mother. When she finished her studies, she realized that her husband did not support her as a feminist. Eileen fought back hard and divorced her husband and became a teacher. The social norms when she was growing up did not encourage women to be anything else but “housewives.” Feminism has come a long way since. However, women are still fighting for equality; whether that means protesting for equal rights or making changes in marriage or personal life. It is very easy now to take higher education for granted. Eileen’s story was really inspiring, she fought for what she wanted and stood her ground. She built her own future, a future that would make her happy. 

Marcy’s poem was fascinating. She tells about moving to Denmark with her daughter and the man she fell in love with. She knew nothing about the cultural aspects of Denmark but after living there for five years, she was able to become a world citizen. Trying to blend into an unfamiliar culture brought a feeling of insecurity and made her feel out of place. Her husband reassures her by saying “your concerns don’t reflect reality, this culture is simply more formal.” Marcy got to learn about a different culture and it made her have a better understanding of life. A lot of people, myself included, don’t plan or even think about moving to a different country. What Marcy did was incredibly brave and even though she had to overcome many obstacles, she was able to look at life and people in new perspectives that helped her grow. 

Jerry is about to publish his second book Trumpets In The Sky. We get the privilege to hear one of his poems from the book, “Radiance.” It is about a car called the Studebaker Golden Hawk. Jerry says he uses imagery to express how he feels and I think that most poets can really relate. What really stuck with me is when he said “poetry is a craft that can be practiced anywhere.” This is really motivational, especially to people who are barely starting to write poetry. Jerry is an incredible poet, my favorite line from his poem was “Flames out and returns to my globe as a scorched hunk of steel. Earth no longer needs her exquisite beauty.” The language used in this poem was so beautiful and inspiring. 

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