The interview went terrifically

I so impressed with Karen Neurohr in how she conducted the interview with Bob. She came replete with state-of-the-art video & mike & whatnots. Her line of questions to Bob brought out the vintage performer he once was. She would request him to read some of the daughter of a dust bowl sharecropper poems. Karen did her homework. She found so much stuff on Bob’s relationship with this daughter Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel. Karen would ask Bob to interpet the poems he would read in the mike. Lo and behold! Right off the cuff, Bob, in a professorial and folksy vein, would extrapolate the poems with zest and insightfulness. He topped off this inteview reading his own poem to Wilma:

“Wilma, We Might Have Been


In overalls and straw hat,

chewing timothy, I’d amble

over. You’d fetch a jar of

frosty artesian well water

and draw me to the parlor

to hear new poems from your

five cent tablet, poems about

lovable (and not so lovable)

kith and kin. You were setting

up shooting gallery ducks–No,

that’s too facile: you embedded

folks in amber. Did you know

back then that poems were so

durable? Or that I loved you?”

After the interview ends, Karen begins to pack up her stuff and I offer her a slice of carrot cake.  Bob gets up from his seat, the warm blanket with two prideful lions printed on it that I covered his legs before the interview  falls on the floor, exposing his large catheter bag as he picks it up to go to the bathroom. It reminded me of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy’s dog Toto knocks down the Wizard’s facade and his warts and all were revealed.   Karen never batted an eye. This morning inteview was an utter delight for me to witness the finesse between poet and journalist. This conducted oral history will be integrated on Wilma’s Web.

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