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Sheridan , Oregon
March 1, 1989     The Sun Paper
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March 1, 1989

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16 The Sun,' Wednesday, March 1, 1989 poems, I in wor', By Linda Flnk Most people who know Clarence Wright know him as the gray haired man sporting a mustache and a beret who works at The Strawberry Patch, painting signs that advertise oranges and grapefruit and potatoes, and traveling from Washington to California to bring fresh produce to the roadside store. Few people know that Clarence Wright is an artist, a sculptor and a poet. Clarence has always been a traveler, was trained as an artist, but the title of poet has come more recently. Born near Eddyville, Clarence was sent to boarding school for most of his school years and hated it. For his senior year, he was able to attend South Eugene High and take art and writing courses. "I found out I wasn't dumb. I had teachers who cared." Clarence credits one of those teachers with giving him the confidence to write. Clarence has written on and off ever since, including one un- published novel and "Visions," his just-published book of poetry. But for a young man in the 50's, the army was the most common step after high school, and Clarence enlisted. Later, he served in the Air Force as a jet engine mechanic. His 12 service years took him to Labrador, Korea, Japan and Europe. "I've been in most countries in the free world." Few years were spent in the U.S. But even when be was state-side, he was being introduced to cultures totally different from the con- servative one he'd grown up in. While serving near Provincetown, R.I., Clarence spent weekends attending poetry and jazz festivals. "P Town was to the beatniks what San Francisco was to flower children. I was a weekend beatnik." But not until the Vietnam War did his "soul wake up to reality," as Clarence puts it. "I woke up one morning and said, 'This is a hell of a way to make a living.' So I got out." He lived in England for four months after his discharge. "I learned to pick the kidneys out of the beef-kidney pies. Every meal has peas and chips (potatoes). Marma- lade is the only jam. England is a very basic country." Clarence liked Germany better-- thought it had the best beer and best food in all of Europe. And he loved Ireland--green and pretty like his home state of Oregon. Back home, Clarence went to Lane Community College in Eugene and studied drawing, painting, sculp- turing and psychology, the Vietnam War was in full swing then, and Clarence was sympathetic to the anti-war demonstrators. "I made a sculpture in a park on campus of hands reaching up for a dove. Somebody shot it. I realized some people didn't want peace-- didn't even want to talk about it." After college, Clarence sold all his paintings to raise money to sail for Australia, stopping at all the South Pacific Islands on the way. He landed in Queensland on a Friday and went to work the following Monday in a stationery store at Queensland Institute of Technology. During his two years in Australia, Clarence visited Tasmania and New Zealand, but not the outback. Crocodile Dundee notwithstanding, Clarence considered the outback a dangerous place--' 'lots of poisonous snakes." Clarence returned to the U.S. "so I could see robins nesting on the fir trees again." Also, he explains, "I wouldn't want to live (in Australia) forever because you're always a foreigner. I would always sound American to the Aussies." He made a lot of good friends and was sad to leave~ but "I had no relatives there. Even though you sometimes get upset with relatives, you kind of need them." Home again in Oregon, but not for long--he and a friend took a five month tour of the U.S. Then Clarence settled in Valley Junction, where he built a cabin in brother Estelle's woods and "lived like a hermit" until going to work for Lyle Buswell at The Strawberry Patch 12 years ago. Clarence still travels, picking up produce from Washington to California. And his surrealistic paintings cover the ceiling of the small trailer house where he now lives. ("I don't like realism. That's what the camera is for.") Abstract sculptures decorate his yard. But mostly, now, he writes poetry. "I think I got burned out on painting. And art supplies are messy, hard to carry around. I like the idea of poetry because I can say what I want to say without taking so long." Clarence laughs at that. He laughs often, as though afraid the listener will take him too seriously. Jeanne Easterling saw one of his poems and gave him the announce- ment for a poetry convention in Anaheim, Calif. Clarence submitted Clarence Wright has published his first book of poetry. He's well known at The Strawberry Patch in Grand Ronde for another one of his talents--finding just the right produce for customers. --Photo by Leslie Newberry. a poem, was accepted, and, in unknown poet, so I decided to do it August of 1988, attended the World myself. It was fun and that's what of Poetry convention, life is all about." Chehalem Printing "Anaheim pushed my 'on' but- in Newberg printed "Visions" for ton," says Clarence. "During the him. convention was the first time I was Some of the poems in "Visions" willing to admit I was a poet." are about the other side of death. "I Phyllis Diller gave a presentation deal more as the next journey rather on believing in yourself. It inspired than as anything bad. In my him. Two thousand poets from all philosophy, death is a new over the world were there---' 'you beginning." Life, for Clarence, is the could feel the electricity." journey between the drama of birth "Poetry, to me," explains and the drama of death. Clarence, "is listening to what the Clarence Wright's many trips soul has to say, and writing it down. I within that journey of life are also don't credit the poetry to myself. My frequent subjects of his poetry. Some subconscious mind gets on a roll. of those journeys are spiritual ones, When that roll is over, whenever the taken in dreams. "I think my better object has come into view and done poems are about my dreams." its thing, it's over. If I try to say a Others, though, are simple little more, it doesn't work." paintings of memorable scenes. For He adds: "I try not to rhyme, example, Clarence writes in "The because it sounds dead to me. Fields of March:" Without rhyming, you can get more The green fields of March emotion.., find teardrops that lie Laced heavywithrain deep in the soul. One reason I quit Adorn themselves openly painting is, after I've visualized it, I With the golden magic don't need to paint it. With poetry, I Of shimmering daffodils have to write those first words down Beneath the dark clouds before the rest will follow." Of a not yet Since that electrifying convention, Spring day poem has followed poem until "Visions." By Clarence Wright. Clarence decided to compile the 40 pages. Softcover, self-published. words from his subconscious into a $3.50 from Clarence Wright, 27755 book. "I knew a publisher wouldn't Andy Riggs Rd., Grand Rondo, OR look at a book of poems from an 97347. tion overuse you can treatment of: Pain Chronic Fatigue Allergies Infections Depression Diseases Or stop smoking in one effective 25 minute For complete individualized treatment for any health problem call 434-6515. If you're saying no to drugs or trying to avoid prescrip- choose a healthy alternative for treatment. BRUCE DICKSON. N D I h~siciml I I Registered Representative Financial Consulting * Retirement Plannlng * Investments Insurance IRA's McMinnville Office (503) 434-5292 Securities Transactions Through MartlnlPenton, Inc. Registered Broker/Dealer Member NASD Member SI PC 9498 SW Barbur Boulevard, Portland, OR 97219 , , I I I .... IIIIlll RDNDE fr Police re Sheridan Feb. 18: Theft of N.E. Van Ostram. Feb. 18: Cassette 347 N.E. Oak. Feb. 21: Theft of covers at 323 S.W. Willamlna Feb. 25: Two tires 3rd St. Feb. 25: Four tires St. Feb. 25: Warrant Hattensty for failure to probation violation ! By Miekey Barber Roy and Joyce Zimbrick, her sister The Grand Ronde/Fort Hill Carol and Ron Sigler of Portland Extension club will meet March 8 at returned Thursday from a week in 9:30 a.m. at the Willamina senior Mazatlan, Mexico. They enjoyed the center. As last months meeting was sunshine, and Roy went fishing and cancelled because of the weather, duck hunting. there will be two lessons on March 8: Martha Mercier is in the McMinn- sewing notior/s by Tomi Wooden and ville hospital for a few days having Louise Smith and intergenerational tests for an inner ear problem. strength by Elsie Werth. The women Manuel and Karen Silveira and who attended the special classes at two daughters of Salem visited the Rickreal on Feb. 24 will report on Jim Lindberg family Sunday. what they learned. Anyone is One of Dakota Engelke's Ambulonce welcometo attend. American Nubian goats, Gentle During the month of February our Spring, had five kids, a rare event, Willamlna Feb. 20: Severe local school started a program for the on Feb. 23. They were able to save One to Valley youngsters "Reading at Home" fourofthem. Dakota is willing to sell Feb. 21: Chest which is supported by some of the one doe and one buck. Her phone is ville. One to VCH. local merchants. They earn rewards 879-5384. Feb. 23: Stiff neck at that are redeemed at the Grand Congratulations to Dan and Kathy la apartments. One Ronde Mercantile, Agency Store, or Coblentz who celebrated their 2Sth McMinnville Sea-Way Market. They can receive a wedding anniversary Feb. 21. Feb. 24: Baby fell free item or a discount on other Ila Burger is announcing the birth One to MCH. of a great-granddaughter. Mia Feb. 25: Chest pain. items. Elizabeth was born Feb. 18, Feb. 26: A A breakfast program starts today weighing 7 lbs. 1 IA oz. to Sonia and gers of Salem collided at our school. There will be a Positive John Gesei of Keuka Park, N.Y. van by Westley Fields of! Action Assembly on March 2 at the Mia's grandparents are Anita (Bunn) Highway 18 at Boyer school, and Gary Carlson of New York. was pronounced dead Visitors on Saturday at Pete and Michael, 12-year-old daughter of Fields and his Adhrine Petite's home were Henry Ken and Edna Bunn, celebrated her Hardy of Corvallis, were Petite and son Peter of Salem. The birthday with the family on Sunday but serious condition, family celebrated Adhrine's birthday in Salem. Oregon State Police. on Monday when Alice, Henry and Earl and Jeannie Newberg of prevented him from curve and he crossed into t Phillip were there with a birthday Nehalem visited Elwin and Edith Field's car, according t cake. Littlejohn Sunday afternoon, ports. The accident half-mile west of Book review ant. "IShallLive" I read the book in a single day. I Fire reports ~ JIB Henry Arensteln found it so compelling it was hard to Willamina I shall live is a poignant and put itdown. Feb. 20: House fire at deeply moving testament to the This book will remain for ages to Creek Rd. One human spirit and to ferocious come. chimney lost. courage in the face of hopelessness. Sharon Doran Feb. 24: Truck fire on No reader can be left untouched ' Feb. 25: Trailer fire milepost 29. Want to Buy WANT ID BUY 3 bedroom house. Low down. Call 843-3773 days or 32%3045 eves. 12g assi DO YOU WORK swing shift? Need a WE BUY USED GUNS. Coast to Coast, 136 S. Bridge St., Sheridan. babysitter? I have a fenced yard and a 3 year old for your child to play with. Call 843-3242. Irc 876-2245 after 1 p.m. References. 12w I. Child Care . For allyour I I steel needs and ligl HOME CARE 3 years & up. Drop-ins or pick-up & drop-off. Call Angle IronProducts: 843-4410. 10s Tubing Channels Shafting Appliance Repair lVKIlliER OF ONE will babysit in my home 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. Call 843-4972. los BUI S OI/IVlI ] Buy, sell, trade. Service all models. 142 E. Main St., Sheridan. 843-2534. lrb Pmlamg tam rml slhpm tg. s 4 Wlk4d Aglple (Ihedmles Skims) 44.95 Fret Eml SELL IT IN THE CLASSIFIEDSI CALL 843-2312 22.9S 35.9S 35.95 80.95 109.95 ULTRA oAs 14.95 ,.. 19.95 ,.. ULTRA GAS SUPREME 19.95'-. 24.95'" GAS TRAIL 30.95 BUSTER 25.95,.. ~.e.i ..~,.=..q.i GAS RUT 111.00 ,, cAm,ooE) 76.00 ,, GAS STRUT ON SALE ON SALE Coil for yew Coil for your ASSEMBLIES t p,k. ,if. p,,. Hwy. 18, GARAGE SALE advance. Please stop by! 249 S. Bridge Street or with payment enclosed P.O. Box 68; Jn Los The Les Ask about the L.S.