The Mad Houstonian had arrived in Houston in September, from southern California, jobless, but a writer with creative hopes and dreams. On this day, as he celebrated his 53rd birthday, a lot had happened in the intervening 6 months, but his confidence in the rightness of his relocation remained unshaken.
In California he had performed at open mic poetry readings in several venues, including the famed Ugly Mug Cafe, in the city of Orange, and hoped to do the same in his new home. Having begun to become familiar with the poetry scene in Houston he finally decided to take the bull by the horn and venture forth.
His first choice might surprise the natives, but he felt it was the right thing to do, and so he soon found himself wandering down a dusty lane, ancient, single, two and 3-story wood frame homes, some dating back to the turn of the previous century, some still in use, some long abandoned, surrounding him on all sides, all situated on what had once been, partly, a civil war era cemetery, from what a resident had told him.
He had come to perform before men known simply as George, Stephen, Sam, and Abraham. The biggest, most impressive, audience in town.
As he proceeded to introduce himself he couldn't help but notice how silent they were. Maybe they were meditating, he thought, or maybe mesmerized by the passing traffic on the nearby freeway, or train tracks. Maybe they were stunned that someone had actually come to pay them a visit!
As he proceeded to read some of his work, they just stared at him, not budging an inch, refraining from giving any sort of feedback, positive, or negative. They didn't even call the constable on him for occupying their space, and ruining their day!
Finally, at his wits end, he begged, and pleaded, for any of them to say something, anything...
Just please, stop looking at him so stone faced, and coldly.
They just continued to sit there looking at him stonily, refusing to respond in any way...
Finally, he packed up, said good-bye, and left the gentlemen to their own devices.
A tough audience, he thought, as he made up his mind to try a less demanding bunch of poetry lovers, of which there surely had to be a few in this town somewhere.
American Statesmanship Park - aka "Mount Rush Hour"
“Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind, than on the externals in the world.”
“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.”
― George Washington
"Whatever you are, be a good one.”
“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.”
“The best way to predict your future is to create it”.
“Those who write clearly have readers, those who write obscurely have commentators.”
“Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”
“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end.”
― Abraham Lincoln
All quotes found on http://www.goodreads.com