Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch with a real live Kansas author, Grant Williams. Our friends, Steve and Marjorie Swaim introduced Jay and I to Grant and his wife Bernice. What fun we had, sitting there long after the restaurant’s patrons were gone.
Grant is one of those people who has a zest for life and he definitely has a passion for storytelling. And that is how he sees himself – not as an author or a poet, but a storyteller who tells his stories in a variety of methods.
After a lifelong career in the corporate world, Grant has moved on to a career in storytelling. He is another example of someone who has retired joyfully. Grant actually started writing his stories about three years before he retired. But he’s been going full speed ever since.
Grant is actually the author of five books. He graciously brought me three of them. Here are the three I currently have: (Click on the titles for more info from Amazon.)
- Poems From a Connecticut Yankee in Kansas. This is a variety of poems on nature, love, sports, children and so forth.
- Pigs And Packinghouses is a collection of short stories and poems.
- Summer of ’59 is a story that grew out of Grant’s enormous love of baseball. He loves the games so much he once took training to become a professional umpire.
I asked Grant’s wife to tell me which of his writings she likes the best and she steered me towards the poems about childhood. I like his poems too. Here’s a good example:
The wind blows swift here in Kansas
The trees bend toward the north
They will grow stronger with the resistance
As life takes them slowly forth.
We plant them ten degrees to the south
So they will end up straight and tall
As the wind blows them so erect
Something very important to us all.
Our children should be given that same ten degrees
As we nurture them while we watch them grow
Resisting strong winds of discontent and wrong
The efforts of the defiance definitely will show.
Plant ideals in the children to last their life long
Then just like the mighty Kansas trees
Help them grow so tall and straight
By remembering to give them the same ten degrees.
In addition to writing, Grant is Vice President of the Kansas Authors Club. The club is a excellent way in which local writers meet with each other for education and support. Grant also visits local schools and retirement homes. He’s especially popular at the Veteran’s Home where they love him to visit and tell his stories. Grant has a gift and he’s willing to share that gift with others. I hope you enjoyed meeting Grant via this Literary Road Trip in southeastern Kansas. I sure did.
Most of Grant Williams’ books are available on Amazon.com.
Literary Road Trip is sponsored by Galley Smith.
UPDATE: You can meet Grant Williams at Varney’s Book Store, 623 N. Manhattan, Manhattan, KS from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, for “Poets & Perk.”