Friday, August 5, 2016

NCWN-West's Coffee with the Poets and Writers will feature poet Don Long, on Wed., August 17, 2016 at the Moss Memorial Library, Hayesville, NC

Coffee with the Poets and Writers meets monthly at the Moss Memorial Library, 26 Anderson Street, Hayesville, NC. On Wednesday, August 17, 2016, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Don Long of Cherokee County will be the featured North Carolina Writers' Network-West member who will read his poetry.

Long was born and raised in Sebring, Florida even though his Mother’s family hails from West North Carolina, East Tennessee, and North Georgia. After two years of college, Don enlisted in the army as a private. He was later commissioned and earned the chance to fly helicopters in Vietnam for two one-year tours.

He was the recipient of numerous awards including the Silver Star, Meritorious Service Medal, three awards of the Bronze star, the Purple Heart, two awards of the Valorous Unit Award, three awards of the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry w/palm, the Expert Infantryman Badge, and Master Army Aviator Wings.

While work situations prevented participation, based on his aviation expertise, he was invited by the state department (People to People program) to go to China (1987) and later, Czechoslovakia (1988), to help those countries improve their air traffic control system.

After retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1988, Don worked with the Federal Government as a Safety Professional. He retired again in 2000 and began splitting his time between Winter Park, FL and Murphy, NC.

Starting in his teen years and all throughout his entire adult life Donald Long has written poems, mostly for his own enjoyment, but on request he sometimes wrote poems for special occasions. For a short while after retiring from the Army he had a business called “People Poems.” He wrote poems for others for a fee after they provided him pertinent information. The business was doing well, but he obtained a time-consuming position with the Government which necessitated closing the business.

Publication has not been his goal and he has made little effort to publish his poetry except in local newspapers. He writes poems for personal reasons and enjoys the challenge of using rhyme. One of his poems, “I’m Glad It’s Mine” has been used during citizenship swearing-in ceremonies in central Florida and for central Florida Flag Day ceremonies. Also, one of his combat stories was published in a compilation called “The Harsh and the Heart” and “Vietnam Helicopter Crew Member Stories, Volume 2”.

Don’s long and illustrious career includes earning a BA in Psychology, MS in Personnel Counseling and Human Development, and a Commercial Pilots license for airplanes and helicopters.

Recently, while in Washington, DC, his poem about Vietnam Veterans and the Flag was accepted for the Army Historical Archives. A veteran friend had told some at the Pentagon about the Vietnam Poem and the Pentagon asked for one. While at the Pentagon he also presented a copy of each to the Secretary of the Army.

Don Long has been married for 31 years to his wife Marti, and they have children and grandchildren spread out in Central Florida, California, Pennsylvania, and North Georgia.

Everyone is invited to hear this reading and to participate in the Open Microphone session that follows. A short discussion on publishing poetry will follow.

Writers and readers and those who like to listen to poetry will enjoy this program. Glenda Beall, a Clay County Representative for NCWN-West, facilitates this event each year from March – December. Join us for lunch after the meeting at Angelo’s on the square where we continue to socialize and talk about writing.

NCWN-West appreciates the Moss Library staff providing a room for us. Coffee with the Poets and Writers is sponsored by North Carolina Writers’ Network-West, is a program of the North Carolina Writers’ Network.

For more information contact Glenda Council Beall, 828-389-4441.

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