Seventy years ago, electric streetcars were an important means of transportation in the community where I was born. A network of tracks ran all over the county. The photo above shows the streetcar passing down the hill in front of my old High School. By the time I went to school there, the Street Cars were a thing of the past. A brand new brick building sat where the corn field is located, just beyond the tracks.

Streetcar comes clanging

Riding rails of yesteryear

Past my old High School

Students and teachers rode by

Old gentleman stops to watch


Photo Source: Ed West

What is Normal


Our free range playgrounds of childhood have died.

We no longer live connected, but rather side by side

We know each other by first name only

Some live isolated and feel quite lonely

Gone are the days of front porch swings

Where friends may gather as evening begins

And lovers sit swinging hand in hand

It was wonderful // Life was grand

Our doors never locked and curtains seldom pulled

Kids ran free and no threat while at school

Played in the woods // climbed trees without nets

Disappeared all day and played with their pets

And if we ever needed help from a friend

We knew who to call // that neighbor round the bend

Seems the new normal arrived long before Covid

As life had already changed  // no matter what we did

Photo: Dwight L. Roth


This poem came to me after reading Reena Sexons poem:

A Classic Pair

Ford Coupe Delux - Stacey StrawnA Classic Pair

Shiny Model A preserved for the future

Spoke wheels and wide whitewalls

Green the color of money

Costing more to restore

Than the eight hundred dollars

It cost when new many years ago

Ford grill

I’ve heard we are only as old as we think

Well preserved just like his car he smiles

With a beauty like that he must be quite young

Remembering days gone by

With a sweet lady riding beside him

Motor purring just like his

Ford Engine

Days at auto shows nights of cruising

Proud to show off both the lady and the car

Riding together behind the marching bands

Christmas Thanksgiving and Fourth of July

What stories they both could tell

But then again some are better left unsaid


Classic Pair Photos: Stacey Strawn

*This poem is totally fiction and not intended to depict anyone in particular


This Old House

Old House

Oh the stories this old house could tell

Of days gone by and of people who lived there

When the roof was painted and boards were white

Of children laughing on the porch with delight

Screen doors slamming as the spring stretched back

Of naughty little boys who got their bottoms smacked

Old dog barking at the squirrel on his tree perch

New kittens born each year right under the front porch

Running through the yard as day turns to night

Catching lightning bugs to watch their tiny blinking lights

Cool summer evenings as the old folks gather round

Playing music on banjo guitar and mandolin

Thanksgiving turkey shot wild from the woods

Steaming on the table and it tastes so good

Mashed potatoes brown gravy yams and garden peas

Pumpkin pie with whipped cream and hot coffee and  tea

Young lovers sit together at dusk swinging

Holding hands and kissing with hormones tingling

Snowy winter nights all tucked in the bed at last

Waking to find ice crystals growing on window glass

A young mother in labor whose time has come

Water broke cramps and the doctor from town

Sharp pains and joy bring a new baby boy

Another mouth to feed and to share the toys

Grandfather grown ill in the upstairs bed

With a blood clot floating inside his head

Tears and memories accompany his passing

As others carry on to live out his passion

So many memories happened inside these walls

This house has been there to witness them all

Without intervention this house too will pass

All memories will be lost for there’s no one left to ask


Photo: Dwight L. Roth







59 Chevy

1959 Black and White

Back then things were pretty much black and white

The TVs the schools and our 59 Chevy

Two little guys not a worry in the world

Cousins at play and pose for me today

One a redhead the other a blond

Rosy cheeks and full of giggles and hats that match

Great friends together sharing a common bond

It was a slower time no cellphone or computers

Just High School football cute cheerleaders

poodle skirts  Elvis and April Love

How fast we grow old as we look back and sigh

Remembering 1959 when we played outside

Batman and Robin were in black and  white

Superman and cartoons and  Jetson’s flight

Dick Tracy was a comic strip so was Ally Oop

Lone Ranger and Tonto gave us all a big whoop

Had so much fun as we screamed and shouted

Running through the woods with wild abandon

Daniel Boone Davy Crockett and coon skin caps

We learned just as much we were still just as smart

In our black and white world where we played all alone


Photo: Dwight L. Roth



A friend of mine asked me to paint a picture of the family home for his aging father. It was torn down a few years earlier after he sold the house to a developer. All he had to show me was a photo with a  lot of bushes and trees growing in front of the house. By using that photo and asking him a lot of questions about details, I recreated his family home.  A few weeks ago his aunt called and wondered if I would do one for her. I finished it this week.This is house #2.


What would you give to go home again

Back to the house that no longer stands

To the yard where you used to play

Nostalgia pulls on our heartstrings

Plays enchanting melodies of good times

Digging in the dirt with friends

Biking down the dirt road

Running barefoot on the wooded pathways

Playing Cowboys and Indians

Building forts in the woods

What would you give to be there again

Just as they once were many years ago

Some of us can go home again

But for many home is just a memory

A picture in the mind

A photo in the album

Or a painting on the wall


Photo/painting: Dwight L. Roth