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3694Don Blanding the cat

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  • keith2draw
    Oct 20, 2004
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      Here's an interesting antidote about Don Blanding by Zula Bennington Greene from her
      unpublished memoirs. Greene was a newspaper columnist for the Topeka Capitol-Journal
      for over fifty years, and she met Don sometime in the thirties:

      "Don Blanding, the popular vagabond poet, came to town to make several appearances
      at the Woman's Club, and whether he arrived by riding the rails or hitch hiking, he
      presented himself before the ladies scrubbed and brushed and elegantly handsome in a
      tuxedo and carried them out of their every-day lives by tales of far places and exotic
      primitive feasts on food that was not on any grocer's shelf in Topeka. He talked about the
      blue seas and sunny skies of Hawaii -- few in his audience had ever seen Hawaii -- of
      beautiful girls in grass skirts dancing to sensuous rhythms. Not since I heard the Hawaiian
      guitar player back in my teen days in Colorado had I been so enchanted. I interviewed him
      and wrote a poem about him for the column.
      "A few mornings later I went into the yard for the newspaper and out of the early dusk
      came a little gray kitten, a homeless vagabond who was taken in and named Don Blanding,
      Blandy for short. He bore another similarity to the poet, his fine capacity at a feast. A year
      later Blanding gave birth to a single kitten, which died. Summer came and we went to
      Colorado, leaving Blandy with a neighbor. When we returned he, I mean she, had moved
      on, leaving no address."

      --Keith
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