Local poet in 'Who's Who in American Poetry'
Gretchen (Mrs. William) Huffman of Hillsboro has been recently published in “Who's Who in American Poetry,” by Eber & Wein Publishing of New Freedom, Pa. Her poem is one of 321 poems included in the new 2013 edition, along with nine other Ohio poets and others from across the country.
“I was really surprised when the publishers sent me two copies of the book, the only notification I received,” Ms. Huffman said. “There is my poem, on page 23. I was especially surprised because so many poems today are what I call prose; they don't rhyme or have iambic pentameter, and mine do.”
The following is her poem, entitled Reflection, not Regrets:
I thought that I was busy when I was rearing boys,
settling their skirmishes while I tripped over toys.
But here I am, years later, still living with disorder.
washing hubby's pants and thrilled to find a quarter.
It's not the money I'm seeking; it's the peaceful life.
Do men know they are lucky to be a husband, not a wife?
Now don't misunderstand; he's the lover of my dreams,
but I'm only a laborer, or at least that's how it seems.
I'm up each day before him. I shop. I clean. I plan.
My object is to please him; after all, he is “my man”
When it's all behind me, there's one thing I will know;
I'd surely do it all again. Dammit, I love him so!
Gretchen, who also paints in oils and watercolors, currently has several paintings on display at the Acme Art Studio on West Main Street. She currently concentrates on portraits and has received Best of Show Overall awards at both the Highland County Fair and the Putman County Fair in Florida.
In 2008, Gretchen turned Willa Stanforth's book, New Market Memories, into a three-act play, which played to standing-room-only audiences at the New Market Township House.
In the year 2000, she was named to the American Association of University's Women's Hall of Fame for her contributions to Community Service.
Her husband, Bill, was a building contractor and some of his homes (including some that Gretchen decorated) were featured on the Hillsboro Tour of Homes. He fondly recalls one local client who told him, in regard to the house Bill was building for him, “I don't care how long it takes – I just want it to be perfect.” Bill complied with that request. This home featured solid cherry floors and marble floors, as well as extensive landscaping and top-of-the-line plumbing fixtures.
The Huffmans reared two sons: Mark, the younger of the two, died in 2012 as a victim of melanoma cancer and Scott, who is a videographer with CBS News in downtown Manhattan, has earned nearly 30 Emmy Awards from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his work. The Huffmans have four grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Jase, who lives in Hillsboro and is the light of their lives.
She has been active in many social and civic organizations including Hillsboro Woman's Club and Towne Club, and was a charter member of Altrusa, International, of Highland County. She now divides her time between Hillsboro and Satsuma, Fla.