“Fabulous! What a great audience!” That’s what I said when Ethan asked about my “Buzzards and Poems” talk at the Arkansas Audubon Society’s fall conference Friday night.
Starting with the two-hour drive from Springdale to Harrison, everything went beautifully. The Arkansas countryside was picture-perfect. Although I didn’t snap any photos myself, I saw rolling hills, farmland, chicken houses, barns, and roadside attractions. Most memorable signage was for an eatery called “Hog Trough BBQ.”
By arriving in Harrison early, I had time to get acquainted with AAS members who were setting up for the convention. To keep this account brief, I’ll only mention my two main contacts, Karen Holliday and Samantha Scheiman, but everyone was friendly, helpful, and interesting.
My keynote presentation led the evening’s agenda. Basically, it was a tribute to buzzards (and other undervalued things), with underlying themes of friendship and art. Afterwards, I gave out individual poems to the audience as takeaways. I’d intended to head home at this point, but a surprising gift to me (beyond some AAS mementos) changed my mind.
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During my talk, a young girl named Emma wrote a delightful poem, which she gave me. I was both impressed and pleased. When word got out about this, the group decided that she should read her poem aloud at the end of the meeting. That, for me, was icing on the cake of a wonderful evening. I have tentative permission to include the poem here on my blog once Emma approves my transcription. ♥ ~Jo
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Photo Credit: Arkansas countryside by Grafixar at morguefile.com (detail)