Conway Writers Group
Members of the Conway Writers Group met during February at the Ola and John Hawks Senior Center in Conway on Friday afternoons from 2 to 4. Co-leaders Bob R. and Jean L. customarily begin each meeting with news about upcoming literary events in the Conway area, a welcome to newcomers, and then call on members to voluntarily read their current or previous work of poetry and prose in many forms.
This meeting began with discussion of appropriate media outreach efforts that could raise local public awareness of the group. Many members read aloud their work to the group. Cecil McD. read his moving poem “Our Son Came Home Today” about a family who received the body of their son – a soldier fallen in battle. Paula A. read her religious poem “Average Men” about the extraordinary impact of Christ’s disciples. Joyce R. announced she received a Storyteller Award Certificate from the University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture.
This meeting began with a report of contacts made to local media reporters and a news update about the emerging Conway Arts Council. Bob R. read his article recently published in a regional magazine about UofA/Fayetteville football standout athlete Bobby Burnett who later played in the NFL for the Buffalo Bills. Mike B. read his recently composed “The Passion and the Fray,” a poem written in the demanding format of a villanelle with a prescribed rhyme scheme and repetitive thought pattern. Sharon F. read an episode from her family history about how her mother met her father during courtship.
June S. read an excerpt from chapter seven of her book, now a work in progress. The chapter described the difficulty facing a rural school board when it tried to adopt a security policy amid divergent opinions. Michael A. read a chapter from his novel as a work in progress filled with medieval intrigue in a fictional kingdom. Mike M. read his often humorous, recently composed verses about a Lionel train layout he created and shared with his two great grandsons and hobby friends.
Although there was no prior collaboration, three members presented work on the somber theme of death and dying. Sharon F. read a poignant letter addressed to her late niece who died at age 23. Mike B. presented his poem “Who’s Bereft” with both serious and lighthearted lines drawn from his memory of the years shared with his wife who passed away. Cecil McD. read his poem “Should You Go First” which was written from the perspective of the marriage partner left alone by the death of the spouse. He recently submitted it to a national poetry competition.
Conway Writers Group meets weekly to support and encourage each other and improve the craft. Members view all writing as creative. Its goals are to encourage, assist, and celebrate writing in all its forms. Meetings are free and open to the public. Members take inspiration from the comment of author Isabelle Allende who advised, “Write what should not be forgotten.”
20th Century Club
20th Century Club held it’s monthly noon meeting on Friday, Feb. 16th, at the Hole in the Wall Cafe’.
Calling the meeting to order was President Jan Spann, followed by an opening prayer given by Debbie McConkie. New member, Carol Powers, was introduced and welcomed by club members. A delicious luncheon buffet of homemade vegetable soup, baked potatoes with toppings and a variety of desserts was enjoyed by all.
Next in order was roll call and reading of the minutes by Secretary Virginia Benton, followed by the monthly treasurer’s report given by Becky Vint. There were thirty three members in attendance. Jan thanked hostesses Nancy Henderson, Dorothy Westmoreland and Laurie Smith and asked for committee reports. A variety of membership matters were discussed and an updated roster of club member information was distributed.
Historian Sara Morgan stated that she is working with the UCA Archives department concerning the process of preserving the club’s historical scrapbooks. With no further business to conduct, February program chairman, Adair Howell, introduced Debra Robinson to the club as guest speaker on non-profits.
Debra, who serves as Director of the Faulkner County Senior Wellness & Activity Center, spoke to the club about all of the wonderful services offered. There are a total of six senior centers in Faulkner County with the Conway center located at 705 Siebenmorgen Road. Debra shared that you must be 60 or older to come to the center and outlined several of the services and activities that are provided.
Home delivered meals, transportation to doctor appointments, community meals, health and wellness events and weekly dances are just a few of the many programs that can be found at the center. Senior citizens are leading longer, healthier lives and the Faulkner County senior centers strive to make sure that this trend continues.
Debra invited all of the club members to come visit and take advantage of all that they have to offer! 20th Century Club’s next meeting will be held on Friday, March 16th with Jo Nell Lowery, Debra Jo Davis and Trudy Jordan serving as hostesses. Program chairman will be Sandy Adkisson addressing the topic of Life Experiences.
To conclude the meeting, Jan shared the following quote from Will Rogers: “The process of aging would slow down if it had to go through Congress!”. On that humorous note, the meeting was closed with the reading of The Collect.