Sunday, December 2, 2007

That First, Chance Encounter

Nash launched his legend by retrieving Spring Comes to Murray Hill from the wastebasket and sending it to The New Yorker.

In 1970 Ogden Nash was 68 and summering in Little Boars Head Island, NH. About 100 miles away I was an 11 year old camper at St. George's Hockey School in Middletown, RI. The summer dean, Mr. Baldwin, was a Nashophile and fond of sharing Nashisms with me. O.N. had attended St. George's and taught there too, so Mr. Baldwin certainly felt perpetuating Ogden's verse was within his mandate, even if the motley group of adolescent hockey campers were more prone to reading Street Rod magazine and the Sporting News than poetry. He found a willing ear in me as the 4 weeks of two a day sessions, led by the Cornell U. coach, droned on through August. I was open to poetry, as long as it was fun, as demonstrated by my having memorized and recited 'Casey at the Bat' aloud that spring in 6th grade for my ony 'A' of the year. Anyway, I stumbled upon Ogden Nash at a Nash historic site, while playing hockey in the refrigerated barn of St. Georges set above First Beach in summer. Which is an incongruous set of circumstances but one I'm very happy to have had.

No comments:

Poetry Blog Directory