Monday, April 1, 2013

From Tre to Killmey (with an assist from Nita Johnson Brenner)

I found a sheet of folded paper tucked away inside a 1966 staplebound souvenir booklet titled "The Silversmith in Eighteen-Century Williamsburg, An Account of his Life & Times, & of his Craft."

Written on the front of the paper is the name Killmey. Inside, there is a short piece of verse, followed by "Good Luck" and "Tre."

It turns out that the poem was written by Nita Johnson Brenner and had been published in the February 12, 1966, edition of the New Castle (Pa.) News. Tre must have like it so much that he (or she) used it to convey a heartfelt message to Killmey (but without attribution).

Nita's poem appears on page 4 of the aforementioned issue of the New Castle News, in the Poet's Corner.1

Here is the poem as it appears in the newspaper:
An old friendship
Full of tears and cherished memories
Is an old friendship,
That asks no pledge,
No loyalty
No any assurance...
Save to be aware
That the friends be alive
And happy somewhere.
Nita Johnson Brenner was mentioned in a few other issues of the New Castle News over the years, always for her poetry, according to Mentions of her that I found span the years 1946 to 1973.

Even though she didn't receive attribution, I think that she (or her descendants) would like knowing that one of her poems was used for this note between friends.

1. Poet's Corner featured "Selected verses" that came "From our readers." Here's an excerpt from the guidelines:
"Poetry submitted to publication in this column will be reviewed by a panel of judge who are not connected with The News. Rejected poetry will not be returned to the sender. Neither will there be criticism offered even if requested by the author. All poetry must be limited to 20 lines and signed with the name and address of the author. Selections will be published Saturday as space allows. ... The editor reserves the right to make minor changes to poetry submitted to this column."

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