The Poets and Patrons has lost one of its best poets. Patricia Gangas. Pat was a beautiful lady with a flair for unconventional appearance. She often wore a hat over her raven-colored hair. Her makeup and hairdo were unusual and suggested she was a creative soul. Whenever she attended the P & P workshops, her poems were startling and poignant. I was privileged enough to take a class with her at College of DuPage. The teacher was Mardelle Fortier, and many of the students were poets who repeated her class every summer. Pat did not discuss her personal life, but I remember a poem that described going gambling to forget about the loss of a loved one. Those two ideas were juxtaposed in a work that described precisely how difficult it is to cope with loss.
Our group has also lost Gert Rubin, who wrote beautifully and was as encouraging a mentor as I have ever had. We have lost Maggie Cantrall, who wrote beautiful sonnets and made me feel like an honored guest at the nursing home in which she spent her last years. While I plan to write after retirement, I am becoming painfully aware of the passage of time and the precious lives that have been beacons for me in the fog of my uncertainty. For you, ladies, I will give it my best.