Niagara Gazette —
I know him as an environmental activist and I admire his passion to save us all, despite ourselves. It’s hard work, mostly because we won’t listen to him on matters such as ripping out the Robert Moses Parkway all the way to Lewiston to let Niagara’s nature stretch out into the community. He can get rather cranky and unbending when it comes to saving the Earth.
Because I really admire his passion for our world, I promised to try and read his poems. When I couldn’t do it, I emailed him and asked for help.
We met at a mutually favorite place - the Book Corner on Main Street - which, by the way, is a city treasure. Among the stacks on the second floor, in a building filled to the brim with words, Bob and I walked through his poetry.
I said, “Tell me your process, so I can try to understand.” He threw his head back and barked a laugh. Then he said, pointing to my notebook, “I’m laughing. Write that down.”
The experience took me back several years, when he and a couple others gave me a tour of a flat of land — at the edge of Artpark in the village of Lewiston — which he helped to reclaim as a preserve for Mother Nature. He never got much credit for that, except in the story I later wrote about the sudden appearance of long-gone plants and creatures, which the trio pointed out to me as we walked along, things I would have never seen without the help of those who’d studied nature for a long while.
“Why don’t you just write stories,” I asked him, my tone a little aggravated as if his poetry was a personal affront to my time. We sat on a couch in the Main Street store’s gigantic book-lined upper room. My question made him smile. Then frown.