A poetry reading and Irish eyes are smiling

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, March 30, 2022

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Leila Case

It was a treat to see and talk to Gabriel Stauf of St. Petersburg, Florida, a former resident and professor emerita of Georgia Southwestern State University who was in Americus last week. A devoted and talented poet, Gabriele read from two of her poetry publications at Lake Blackshear Regional Library last Thursday and at Calvary Episcopal Church Friday where she is a long time parishioner.

Among the poems she read at Calvary were several regarding the church including a stirring poem relating to the late Rev. Reginald Gunn, a former rector there. It was delightful to see Gabrielle again and hear her read her beautiful poetry.

Many of Gabriel’s admirers gathered in the church parish hall for Gabriele’s reading and book signing. Among those I knew were Karen Kinnamon, Blue Argo, Kay Sassie, Mary Beth Rogers, Joni Woolf, Sam Peavey and Julie Megginson, Mark and Anne Barrett, Laura Bauer McConnatha, Mike Saliba, Mara Durham, Bill and Charlene McGowan.

Meanwhile, Irish eyes were smiling on the group of southwest Georgia residents including Americus during their weeklong visit to Ireland. In fact they celebrated St. Patrick’s Day, Ireland’s patron saint, when they were at the Cliffs of Moher and enjoyed a medieval dinner and entertainment at the Bunratty Castle that evening. Afterwards, everyone enjoyed the rest of the evening in the town of Ennis.

The trip was a travel opportunity through the Office of Alumni Affairs at Georgia Southwestern State University, said Angela Smith, who with her husband Rene Smith was on the excursion.

They flew from New York to Dublin where they spent a couple of days touring the city. Highlights there included  Christ Church Cathedral, Trinity College, sightseeing tour of Dublin, Guinness Storehouse and Gravity Bar that has a 360 degree view of Dublin and they topped off the day with a traditional Irish night of music and dance,

Then it was on to Killarney where they spent two days seeing the Irish countryside with stops at Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle and touring the gardens and them all took a turn at kissing the Blarney Stone. They toured the Dingle Peninsula, Gap of Dunloe and coastal landscapes.

The trip concluded in Staffan where they spent the day and toured Kilbeggan Distillery and overnighted in Barberstown Castle before returning home.

Enjoying the splendor of Ireland was Rusty and Pam Autry, Tommy and Nancy Brumbelow, Heather Gomolak, Anne Hobbs, Jonathan Hobbs, Hailey Henderson, Wes and Shannon Ross, Don and Sybil Smith, Rene and Angela Smith and Dave and Kathleen Tucker.

Elsewhere, Americus will be popping with fun events this weekend.

Thursday the Malpass Brothers return to the stage of the historic Rylander Theater three years after their first performance here, the brothers and their band are bringing back the classic country music favorites and original songs their audiences love. The performance is presented by the Friends of the Rylander Theatre as part of the 2021-2022 Centennial series. Curtain is 8 p.m. For tickets or more information contact the Rylander’s box office at 229-931-0001 or rylandertheatre.com.

Friday brings Friday First that will revolve around the theme “Artsapalooza” and feature area artists creating their work at participating merchants in downtown Americus. The event, presented by Downtown Main Street, is from 5 to 8 p.m.

And Friday is the kick off of the fun filled Hot Glass Craft Beer festival at Rylander Park. So let’s get April started with lots of fun festivities. Wave when you see me.