An Anniversary Affirmation

Thursday, January 10, 2019

My parents got married in Los Angeles on this day, 1945. Both of them were enlisted in the U.S. Navy “for the duration.” World War II was over within nine months, but they did not spend any time together until 1946. The delay involves a fairly dramatic story, but that is something to be addressed in another genre.

Yesterday, I went down to UC San Diego to visit the Special Collections Department of its library. During my intermittent visits to the campus since attaining my Ph.D. in 2004, I noticed a steady increase in new buildings, but the pace of construction seems to have quadrupled almost overnight. UCSD was regarded as a primary economic engine in San Diego County at the end of the last century. Given the expansion’s goal of accommodating yet more students, UCSD may well become of the leading employers in Southern California.

The Archive for New Poetry continues to be a resource for scholars, and my hope is that I will be able to place my literary archive there, alongside my editorial archive. Many of the Los Angeles poets whose work I have admired and anthologized have their archives there: Paul Vangelisti, Leland Hickman, Dennis Phillips, Harry Northup, Holly Prado, and Bob Crosson. Doug Messerli most certainly would have been in “POETRY LOVES POETRY,” but he arrived in town just as the book was being published. Other poets or editors who have archives there include Donald Allen, Ron Silliman, Clayton Eshleman, and Paul Blackburn.

One of the things I asked about is whether my mother’s handwritten memoir of her life could be included as a document in my archive, as a contextual account of the childhood and youth that led to my undertaking of a literary life. It was agreed that that could be included, and I cannot think of a better way to commemorate this wedding anniversary than to have this knowledge. My mother, still alive, does not remember having written this memoir, though she still recognizes me, at least.

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