Cooper County Historical Society was honored by a visit from Missouri's first official Poet laureate Sunday afternoon at the Westminster Presbyterian Church.Walter Bargen of Columbia was recently appointed by Gov. Blunt from among 100 nominations to fulfill this honorary position. In all the years of Missouri statehood this is the first formal recognition of the creative talent in our state. All those who attended Mr. Bargens' program enthusiastically approved his selection.
His visit and remarks came during the weekend River Rats performance of "Love Notes" the annual original musical playlet written and perfomed by local talent. "A community that can entertain itself will not fade away", Mr. Bargen pointed out. People will be less inclined to move on to find more excitement elsewhere.
His new appointment has brought almost rock star status as new people have discovered his books and been inspired to create. He explained "creativity" briefly and to the point.
The creative impulse comes "where one's imagination and memory collide with events". As an example of this he read several of his writings inspired by short items
used as filler in newspapers,local happenings,(when a tornado hit a parking lot in Fayette), a pre-historic stone discovered in a patio. By imagining or changing the point of view of who or what is involved he creates another point of view "too probable to be real". And often hilarious, sometimes somber. The writings of Mark Twain though not a poet come to mind.
Any in the audience who may have been indifferent to poetry before Sundays meeting were significantly transformed by the end of his readings.