For our 7th, Bill Pruitt offers “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TALKER ’22”

For our 7th, Bill Pruitt offers “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TALKER ’22”

[Talker of the Town is on the screen. Photo: David Kramer, see Happy Birthday Mom, we miss you so]

For the past six years, now seven, Bill Pruitt has kindly created occasional poems celebrating Talker‘s birthday.  Today, Bill continues the tradition. (SEE YEARS 1 – 6 AT END)


Happy birthday, Talker!
Here we are, connecting the dots
you’ve cunningly placed
for us to tease out!

The Spanish-American war eagle
On the Court Street side of the Genesee
You can’t miss it if you walk
along the river side of the War Memorial

By Jim Barclay. Commissioned and owned by David Kramer] From Happy 80th birthday, Spanish-American War Eagle, even if your wars were not just.

The irony of the plaque honoring Imperialism
which took away not only that freedom
we so value but also the lives
of untold numbers of children, women and men,
labeling the Philippine War for Independence
an “insurrection” (Neither plaque nor piece
references the Moro Crater Massacre)

Inscription on the sculpture: The City of Rochester And Monroe County In Honor Of Those Who Served Their Country In The Spanish-American War,  Philippine Insurrection, China Relief Expedition. 1898 – 1902 From  Happy 80th birthday, Spanish-American War Eagle, even if your wars were not just.

Sometimes to study History is just
to look around and take a breath
look at the Cobbler of upper Monroe

Mario with Singer 29K71 Cobbler Leather Treadle & Hand Crank Sewing Machine, approx 90 years old. From The cobbler of Upper Monroe

at the sconces in the Little theater

at the anchor that is R Community Bikes

look further, dig deeper, see James Fenimore Cooper
a young naval officer, hungry
when there was no parkway or 104
see him transform this hunger
into stories of our sacred local space

or just the other day
whatever happened
to Harriett Tubman
on the paper money
Will she be on it
by the time we enter
the zone of totality?
(Put it on your calendar!)
3:20 pm, four eight twenty-four!

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s alleged design for the Tubman Twenty. From What’s (Not) in Your Wallet?

David Cay Johnston connects a few local dots 
Turning over a rock to find how Brighton
School Board candidate Melaney Bernhardt

is not quite transparent about her platform 
But Johnston keeps
his eye on the big picture

David Cay Johnston with first copy of his new book The Big Cheat at his home. His shirt refers to Soquel High in Santa Cruz, Calif., where he attended. From The Big Cheat (December 2021) with Brighton’s Pulitzer Prize winning author David Cay Johnston

Donald is the third-generation head
of a four-generation white-collar crime family.
Instead of breaking legs, the Trump-Kushner families
break people’s finances with contracts.”

DCJ sees into causes

“Donald’s misconduct revealed weaknesses
in our constitutional system, which assumes
one behaves with at least a modicum of honor.”

We are still practicing the same gentility today!
Media still saying Teach the Conflict
Strive for Balance Can’t We All Get Along
While everywhere pockets of murderous cells are
arming themselves, claiming the second amendment
gives them the right to stage the Big Insurrection.
salivating over Jefferson’s bloodshed quote

(spewing the word freedom freely, but not Democracy)

“Now a host of wannabe dictators
are eagerly trying to subvert our democracy.
Hawley of Missouri, DeSantis of Florida,
Tucker Carlson of Fox. Cotton of Arkansas.
have endorsed the attempted coup on January 6.
made clear they want to Make America White Again
All show a belief that stoking fear
is the way to become our ruler.”

From the school boards banning books and teachers’ speech
to the right wing takeover of CNN, to the broadcast networks
colluding to ignore Biden when he tries to say What’s What
Nobody around here talks about it but Talker,
how long are we free to read the words of DCJ?
Do we have to have it taken away
before we know what we’ve lost?

You asked David Cay Johnston why he subscribes.

“Thousands of communities like Brighton
no longer have a local news service.
The Creative Destruction of the Internet
ruined the four-century-old model
of news financed with advertising.
The Talker of the Town Is an innovative effort
to address at least part of this loss of local news,”

He gives not only the data but the code

 “One of my fundamental principles in life
is that most of us just learn the mechanics of things.
If we learn instead at the level of principle and theory
we can always figure out the mechanics.”

Happy birthday Talker!
It’s not too late to learn how to learn 
to scorn talking heads and speak from the heart.

Bill Pruitt

YEARS 1 – 6

Bill Pruitt celebrates Talker’s sixth birthday with “Human News”

Bill Pruitt offers “TALKER’S BIRTHDAY:” Five years and counting

Our 4th birthday and Bill Pruitt’s “Happy Birthday Talker!”

Bill Pruitt’s Third Birthday gift: “What You Know If You Read Talker”

Happy 2nd Birthday Talker and “Talker Birthday Jeremiad” from Bill Pruitt

Happy First Birthday! Distinguished poet Bill Pruitt offers “Ode to the Talker”

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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