Thursday evening in Millvale, Amy McCall, owner of McWalker Yarns hosted poets Sheryl St. Germain and her former MFA student at Chatham U, Michael Bennett.
The yarn store was a wonderful backdrop for Sheryl St. Germain’s reading. Surrounded by skeins and skeins of colorful yarn, Sheryl read her powerful essay (from Stitching Resistance: Women, Creativity and Fiber Arts edited by Marjorie Agosin). She told of the role crochet has played in her life since childhood, but focusing on how crocheting with yarn helped her cope while parenting a son who was in trouble with alcohol, drugs and the law. She also read poems about her son’s dying of a heroin overdose from her book The Small Door of Your Death. Her words touched the audience as she described the helplessness and grief, her numbness, as she centered herself every evening after a long day- crocheting an afghan for her son. The repetition of hook into yarn loops as a meditation, an ease from depression and the stress of hopelessness. A healing.
Pittsburgh native Michael Bennett read his poetry first and opened for Ms. St. Germain. Michael has worked for three years with Words Without Walls program, teaching incarcerated Juvenile offenders, teenagers being tried as adults.
Cellist David Bennett and McWalker Yarns supporter introduces the poet and provided delicious desserts by Millvale Baker Jean-Marc Chatelier
New Orleans native Sheryl St. Germain has published six poetry books, two collections of essays, and co-edited two anthologies. The Small Door of Your Death, a collection of poems about the death of her son from a heroin overdose, appeared in 2018 with Autumn House Press. A forthcoming book, Fifty Miles, is a collection of essays about healing that include a couple of essays about working with yarn. Sheryl directs the MFA program in Creative Writing at Chatham University where she also teaches poetry and creative nonfiction, and is co-founder of the Words Without Walls Program . She was named Louisiana Writer of the year in 2018. Sheryl is an avid and accomplished crocheter, and a much less accomplished knitter. See: www.sheryl-stgermain.com/ for more information.
Desserts created by Jean-Marc Chatellier French Bakery
It was a busy and happy weekend with the grandsons staying over two nights, the family wedding on Saturday and some generous neighbors/friends inviting Steve and me to accompany them to a Pirates Game at PNC Park.
It was good to have an activity and a place to go after the kids left, so I didn’t have time to be in a quiet, empty house on a Sunday afternoon or think about going to school tomorrow to finish the grades and end out the school year this week.
We had the luxury of excellent seats (thanks, Rich) and as the game progressed (Pirates lost to Brewers 1-zip which was unfortunate) we were asked if we would enjoy something from the dessert cart. Who knew there was a dessert cart in the suites section of the private boxes? Certainly not us. Steve and I are usually getting those fifteen dollar last minute, last row seats as high as you can go.
Our host treated us to lemon cake (although there was quite a variety to choose from. Tim (in the black shirt and gold tie) described each of the desserts with great flourish and he created sundaes for the kids and added a dollop of ice cream to a slice of cake.
I asked him if I could photograph him and at first there is a bit of awkwardness for about two seconds and then he relaxed and we worked together to get his result.
Thanks Tim. ( and Matt is writing up the check which our host graciously picked up) The desserts are baked on the premises. By Levy Restaurants. I asked!
Tim and our host Rich. You might remember Rich as the local man who discovered a new use for the newspaper sleeve on my 777th post
I tasted the root beer cake. It tasted like root beer.
and a couple of photos from the excellent seats
the rain held off although we got drenched from a cloud burst as we walked to the T (subway)
Great seats today, thanks Rich.
Can you spot the two birds on a wire, watching the game!
As we were leaving with some fellow baseball fans
I almost forgot One of my favorites to watch- the groundskeepers team.
Getting on the T I don’t think I have ever ridden it before but am trying to remember.
If you follow the blog for a time, you notice my friend, the top commenter, Sue Reinfeld.
Her daughter was married in a beautiful ceremony Sunday afternoon at Stone Manor in Middletown , Maryland.
Steve and I were glad we could share in the happy celebration. We left for home (Pittsburgh) as the sun was setting.
We made an evening run for me to pick up something at Target. Little plastic containers for soup.
On the way to the parking lot, Steve asked me if I could drive by his work so he could get something he left there.
Someone had brought two delicious French pastries from La Gourmandine Bakery as it turned out.
He brought out the box and opened it in the car and there they were. Two lovely pastries.
When we got home, I cut the raspberry one in half and ate it, intending the other half for him later. Ooops. I ate the other half too. Here is the description on their website
Tartelette aux Framboises
(shortbread crust filled with baked almond cream and topped with fresh raspberries) and the description of the
chocolate one courtesy of baker Lisanne
in the box so glad he remembered they were at work and they didn’t go to waste! Happy to swing by and pick these up.