When I moved to the remote outpost of Newtown, Connecticut back in 1977, one of my first friends was Allen Gary Palmer. Allen’s younger sister Barbara and I were in the 6th grade. One of the more popular girls, she had very graciously invited me, the new kid, to a party at her family’s home. Four years my elder, brother Allen sensed the need to rescue me. Of course when Allen tells the story, he generally uses an expletive which decorum does not allow here.
We’ve been friends ever since, have shared some pretty outrageous experiences together in countless states, and on three different continents. In fact, Allen and [ex-wife] Sylvia were the only ones to make the trip to Japan when Taka and I got married.
Fast-forward to Friday, April 22, 2011. All at once Good Friday, Earth Day, Shabbis, and ‘BarnStorm 2011’. From the perspective of a teenager, the concept of our evening might have seemed dull, but to us it was perfection: a great hike through the woods to the top of the hill behind his lovely West Redding, CT home, followed by a poetry/guitar jam, punctuated by some pretty fabulous cooking.
Allen is one of the most renowned Family Practice Attorneys in the country at this point. I won’t bore you with all the abbreviations after his name or the average income of his client base. What’s important to this narrative is how after so many years with the Written Word as his Instrument, he indulged a creative urge to explore poetry. Turns out he’s got a gift. (His artistic adventure began at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts summer session in Deer Isle, Maine.)
The guitar of choice for this occasion was the new, yet unreleased Walden Signature 12-string. I’m a musician, not a wordsmith, so I’ll let Allen take over from here. Below is a short sample of our efforts. Enjoy…
The Great Escape [mp3]
The Great Escape [pdf]
A Run-On Sentence [mp3]
A Run-On Sentence [pdf]