Editor's note: Lyn Gardner and her father, Delbert, shared a love of literature and writing. Lyn keeps here father’s legacy alive by continuing to share his work. She offered these words by way of introduction to the poetry we feature from her and her late father's estate this issue (Cities, March 2011). - Meagan Dye, Editor
“Some of my first memories of my father include his excitement as he'd read us a poem or story he’d just completed on his big, black manual typewriter in the little study that would later become my brothers’ bedroom. My father’s enthusiasm for reading and writing taught me to love and appreciate literature and the creative arts. I knew from the time I was four that I wanted to be a writer like my father, and he encouraged me at every age, providing advice that suited my development and interests, practical training in the submission process, constructive criticism and the ability to respond to it, and most important of all, an appreciative audience. On many occasions, we would sit together to write, sharing a smile or craft-related conversation across the table.
We both shared a love of the small villages of upstate New York where I spent my early years; but Dad also appreciated larger cities, particularly for their cultural opportunities. He loved hearing live jazz and attending literary events, museums, theater performances, and baseball games. While I shared his love of live music and baseball, it took many years to get over my longing for upstate New York. Dad had the knack of feeling at home everywhere, perhaps in part because he could so readily sympathize with and see the points of view of people in different walks of life—many of which he’d experienced himself. For my part, while I always took joy in living near my family, it wasn’t until recently that I embraced Dad’s attitude and realized what a great place he’d discovered.” – Lyn Gardner
RETURN TO POETRY BY THE GARDNERS (Status Hat CITIES issue; March, 2011)