Monday, September 18, 2017

An Artsy-Poetry Rocker to Remember a Special Reader

We love you, Papa...
My father loved books. During his lifetime he read on average a book a day. When he wasn't reading, he was listening to a book! His dream was to retire to his hometown Port St. Joe, FL, and build a library to house his thousands and thousands of books.

He died before that could happen, so, as a way to make his dream come true, our family commissioned June at Poppy Cottage to create an artsy memorial rocker to be housed in the children's department at Corinne Costin Gibson Memorial Public Library in Port St. Joe.
Eric, me, Mama, Lynn, MicaJon (& foster baby Brianna)

At the "Blessing of the Rocker" ceremony Fr. Tommy Dwyer of St. James Episcopal Church offered a blessing, and then we read some of the poems that we asked to be incorporated into the artwork:
"Invitation" by Shel Silverstein
"The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls" - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"O Captain, My Captain" - Walt Whitman
Mermaids... and blue toe nails. :)

Yes, you might notice a sea theme! Also featured in the artwork were two mermaids (my sister and me) and a surprise on the center knobs: R E A D.  Perfect!
R  E  A  D

 We also each took a turn sitting in the chair! Our hope is that many a reader finds comfort and joy in the poems and stories they discover in the arms of that chair. Big thanks to librarian Nancy Brockman for being our partner in this venture!

me keeping the seat warm for my Papa...
... and here we are, three of the five sibs posing for the newspaper photographer:

LTG, i, MJ


  1. The rocker is so very special, Irene. Your day together must have been a good one, feeling satisfied that you brought your father back to spread his joy of reading for a long time. The rocker is beautiful, and I love seeing the pictures of you all.

  2. What a beautiful, magical tribute to your book-loving Papa. So many souls, old and young, will read and rock, feeling loved by a man they never met. I hope to one day sit in his special rocker and think about him. Hug. xxxx

  3. Love these pics of the rocking chair and family members. What a blessing to give this tangible reminder of your papa to the library! There's nothing better than a rocking chair and a good book.

  4. What a great tribute to Mr. Dykes. That rocking chair is gorgeous! So happy for you and your family. His love of reading lives on in his children, grandchildren and beyond!


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