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Maybe You Don’t Know Me:

finding voice in corona, childhood & place

Ruth Tonachel

Frederick E. Whitehead

From the book:

Reinventing Self

Reinvention has been the topic of the day

How Ronald Clyde Crosby of Oneonta, New York

became Jerry Jeff Walker of Austin, Texas

Peter Anthony took the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan

and became Pierre Antoine

Eliot Charles Adnopoz of Brooklyn ran off with

 the JE Rodeo, heard Woody Guthrie

  and became Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

And the master reinventor,

Robert Zimmerman up in Hibbing, Minnesota

also heard Woody

and became Bob Dylan

Sometimes it’s the leaving behind that is necessary

sometimes the going forward

Sometimes a new name is the only route

to becoming who you were supposed to be

When beavers build a dam,

a creek becomes a lake

and the forest becomes a swamp

Who knows what was supposed to be?

Sharp teeth cutting wood

Songs on the wind

Reinvention is an American tradition

Our roots are never far below the surface

quick to grab hold in new soil

Like beavers, we use it up and move on

Ruth Tonachel grew up in Greenwich Village and then moved 23 times and had drivers licenses in five states in the thirteen years after high school. Since 1986 she has lived primarily in rural Pennsylvania in a house her maternal colonizer ancestors built near Towanda Creek in the 1790’s.  She obtained American Studies degrees from Wilmington College (BA) in Ohio and University of Alabama (MA) in Tuscaloosa. She compiled a bibliography of pre-World War II country music resources for the Library of Congress (1978) and had several poems published in the 1970s in now-defunct magazines.  

A former reporter, editor, farm tax preparer, farmers market manager and folklorist, she has raised chickens, gardens and two daughters while writing about country music, sustainable agriculture, history and culture for varied local, state and national publications over the last 40 years.

As a child, her dream was to cross the United States in a covered wagon.  Some of the vehicles she has traveled in were not much faster. The pandemic of 2020-21 paused her travels and this book was the result….

Maybe You Don’t Know Me:

is a 40 page hand-stitched chapbook - $10.00

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Maybe You Don't. . .




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