On September 30th, 2010 a very special person left this world. His name was Alton Powell. He was always kind, patient, and understanding with me. He made me feel like I was the best librarian ever. I will miss him.
Mr. Powell was a retired teacher who began his teaching career at the Geneva High School in 1966. I found a 1969 year book with his photo. He taught English and Social Studies.
He taught for forty years and then retired in 2006. Alton was the Chairperson of the Library Board in 2007.
I found the photo on the right in the 2006 Geneva High School year book. He taught Computer Science.
There were many things that made Mr. Powell an interesting and unique person.
He had extreme knowledge about Wedgwood. I love Wedgwood and to find and talk to someone who knew so much was a pleasure indeed. He even wrote a "book"! It is out of print, but... you can click here for more information.
Then at his funeral I found out that he was a POET too. His wife Mary Ellen put some of them in the bulletin. Then on the front was a picture of the beautiful window at the First United Methodist Church in Geneva. Mr. Powell took that photo September 11, 2002.
About his poetry: "Alton was a closet poet and when I found his folder of poems, I decided to share a few of them with you. His poetry was a part of him that few knew. I am going to miss my best friend and soul-mate. Mary Ellen"
Painter of the dreaming child,
Painter of the tropical paradise, of the noble savage.
Primitive, lustral and pagan,
Yearner after smooth nakedness and purity,
You have thrown off the bonds and seen, beneath the mask, the dark face of death.
Gauguin is one of my favorite artists and I really liked this poem. I really appreciate Mrs. Powell for sharing this with all of us.
The Memorial Celebration was sad but only because I know I won't see him again. It hurts to know that I won't see his little brown truck puttering around town. It hurts to know that I won't pick up the phone and hear his voice telling me about a book he has found, or an artist that should have their work on display, or telling me to meet him at the elevator door with a load of books to donate. My goodness it really does hurt. No one will understand the tears while sitting here typing this and I don't have the words right now to explain.
Some people say you have to let go. I say, "NO!" I will hold on to each little memory and listen to the stories from others who knew him much longer than me. I will laugh and cry and remember my friend.
In lieu of flowers please make your memorial donations to Geneva First United Methodist Church or Geneva Public Library.