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Jim’s Jottings for February 9, 2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

Sad but glad: If you have been in our two writing or stories classes, you’ve heard me read something from a piece I’ve worked on about “My Three Fathers.” Whaaaat??? I know this sounds preposterous but I did have 3 fathers. Number one conceived me with my mother, number two adopted me at 8 when my mother married him, and number three adopted me in 2004, right here in Morgantown, years after mom and stepfather were gone. The sad part is that PapaJack Held passed from this life last Monday afternoon, very peacefully. The glad part is that JP, as any friend would call him, had a wonderful, productive 91 years as the best teacher I ever experienced and was responsible for mentoring me for 53 years, not to mention a few others he mentored over the years. He had been telling Bonnie and I that he was ready to make his transition to Spirit and move on to the next adventure.

I am NOT looking for sympathy, folks. It’s just that this event so clearly demonstrates what a positive impact such a person can have on the younger generation. I will miss him deeply, but all that he taught me is so ingrained in me by now that I reflect his teaching back to others with every class I teach and every student I have mentored. A fine legacy, no? It fills me with wonder that I hope you will share as you think of those who have mentored and loved you.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a  different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or fat away. [Henry David Thoreau]

Opera: Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore will be presented in live simulcast tomorrow at the Regal Hollywood cinema at 12 noon. Note the earlier time! It features Bartlett Sher’s direction and stars Pretty Yende, Mathew Polenzani and others. This will be the second time it has been on the Met in HD series but with a different cast. It’s worth seeing again just to see and hear Pretty Yende! Delightful!  (PLEASE NOTE: This opera begins at 12:00 p.m. It was originally announced as a 1:00 p.m. start time. The correct time is 12:00 p.m.)

And, oh, my goodness…the Olympics are now upon us so all other activity will cease for the next couple of weeks! See you then.

As I write, it is sleeting outside. When I interviewed to come to WVU, I asked about the winters and was reassured that, except for the ice storms of February, this was a fine place to live. Hmmm…I think we have experienced ONE moderate ice storm in 38 years. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…bon hiver!

Just Jim