Barbara Lawlor, Gold Hill. When a newcomer to Gold Hill asked former resident Edie Eilender if she knew any poets in the small mountain town, she became inspired. She wrote poetry and she knew people who wrote poetry and all of them, being typical mountain, atypical city folks, were kind of misfits and the poetry club was born.
It was 2000. There was no meltdown. The words flowed.
The first Miscellaneous Mountain Misfits meeting took place in the Gold Hill Store on March 2, 2000. By July, there had been five meetings and Eilender said, “I didn’t know it would go this long. It’s all about sharing a community building thing.”
Resident Virginia Schultz read about the birth of her daughter who was six then and who is now out in the world on her own.
Steven Arney, Virginia’s husband, read a poem about the needless death of Ponderosa Pine, saying they “held tree memories of the last Wall Street Heyday.” Ironically, he also read a poem about cutting down a pine beetle infested ponderosa and hugging it before the teeth of the saw took a bite.
Eilender recounted a trip down the Grand Canyon. Everyone agreed they wanted to continue the poetry journey.
Two weeks ago, the MMM met again at the Gold Hill Store. Not much has changed in the past 15 years in Gold Hill. Many of the poets are the same, 15 years older, and many are newcomers. The Misfits have met in 18 different locations in the town, with people taking turns hosting the gathering.