• Bil Minor pens — and Composes — an Ode to Pacific Grove

    The Welsh singing bard, poet Dylan Thomas, attached a “Note” to his Collected Poems, regarding work he wished to “preserve,” and incessant revision: “If I went on revising everything that I now do not like in this book I should be so busy that I would have no time to try to write new poems.”

    I’m no Dylan Thomas, but I understand and share his sense of trepidation when it comes to “finished” work. As a “tease,” I have posted two work-in-progress portions of a song I wrote (words and music) that has now reached a state of completion (I hope) as a YouTube video. The song is called “Pacific Grove,” and it’s a celebration of the town my wife Betty and I (and formerly our sons, Tim and Steve) have inhabited for 46 years—since 1971, when we came to the Monterey Bay area so I could teach at Monterey Peninsula College (which I did for twenty-five years; and now enjoy “retirement,” just writing and composing and playing music—which I love doing).


    I want to thank three people for making this video possible: First, Patricia Hamilton of Park Place Publications, who is at work on a forthcoming 444-page book: Life in Pacific Grove, a “collection of stories by and for residents and visitors of PG that we’re publishing to benefit the Friends of the Pacific Grove Public Library.” Patricia asked if I might be willing to write a song in connection with this project—so I did!

    I want to thank my good friend and very fine poet, Kent Leatham, for his astute sound work and cinematography—and his gift of time spent filming. We might have spent more time than we did, but I was painfully aware, early on, that as far as the vocal went, I am no Nat “King” Cole (a nasal Tom Waits may be more like it!), and I would just have to accept that portion of the video for what it is (or what I am)—although I’ll confess I am pleased with the piano accompaniment (he said, immodestly).

    And I want to thank–again and once again–my good friend Bob Danziger, for his skill, his genius, the magic he can work when it comes to the final “product.” This is the third video we have worked on together, and my respect for his many talents, his insight (when it comes to editing and enhancing), and his good will increases with each project. Thanks Bob—and thanks Patricia and Kent!

    So, with no more disclaimers–and no longer just a “tease”–here is my song “Pacific Grove.” I will post the lyrics here (they are also included in the video). 


    Something familiar brought us together
    In this quaint small place we call  
    The last home town in America.

    We cherish the weather and trees in a grove  
    And peace our ocean bestows–  
    Plus daily bread Grove Market provides.

    We are only as much of what surrounds us
    As we truly need; so praise for the village
    We carry in our hearts and heads.

    Embracing like otters the shells on our bodies,
    We find the life we have enough
    To keep us continuously in love. 

    Slick as seals, we honk our horns at night
    And make joyous music—but alert  
    To curfew time, we seldom go too far.

    Not overly attracted to wanton success  
    Or failure, we simply abide within this
    Pacific place, to savor the sea and trees nearby.

    We flit about like Monarch butterflies
    On streets named Laurel or Walnut or Pine,
    Learning to be at home with ourselves.

    Here, we ride bicycles, floating contented,  
    Or hike down a trail embraced by the sea.
    For this is the very first place in our lives

    We never wish to move from.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on April 26, 2017

    Topics: Front PG News


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