Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, February 13, 2021

MVNews this week:  Page 3


Mountain Views-News Saturday, February 13, 2021 


 by Deanne Davis



 As a companion event to Sierra Madre Public Library’s One Book One City pro-gram, 
encouraging the entire community to read A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering Amer-ica on 
the Appalachian Trail by travel writer Bill Bryson, Sierra Madre Playhouse, in a col-laboration 
with the Library, is presenting a virtual reading of the short story Back Porch by Chris Offutt .


 Back Porch is included in the anthology Appalachia Now: Short Stories of Contempo-rary 
Appalachia (Bottom Dog Press, 2015).


 Ruby decades ago fled Kentucky to live in the desert of New Mexico, where she lived on 
her own terms. Now elderly and infirm, she finds herself called back to her child-hood home in 
the Appalachian hills. She is of the hills. She is drawn to return. She is driv-en from the airport 
by Charley, a local who has never left the area. Charley is in for some surprises. Ruby is keeping 
an appointment with destiny.


 Ruby and Charley are portrayed by two Sierra Madre Playhouse favorites: Anne Gee Byrd 
(The Final Tour; Winner of Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for All My Sons; I Never 
Sang for My Father; Four Places) and Jackson Kendall (Tuesdays with Morrie; A Christmas 
Story). Narration is provided by the author, Chris Offutt.


 Offutt was born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1958. He has written collections of short 
stories (Kentucky Straight; Out of the Woods); novels (The Good Brother; Country Dark); and 
memoirs (The Same River Twice; No Heroes: A Memoir of Coming Home; My Fa-ther, the Pornographer). 
He has also written for television (True Blood; Weeds) and for comic books. He is 
visiting faculty at University of Mississippi.


 Back Porch is adapted and directed by Sierra Madre Playhouse Artistic Director Christian 
Lebano and produced by Catherine Adde.


 The virtual reading of Back Porch will be presented via You Tube Premiere on Monday, 
February 22, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. PST, followed at 7:30 with a live Q&A with the au-thor, director 
and cast via Zoom webinar. Admission is free, but reservations are re-quired, and space 
for the Q&A is limited. You can register for the reading and talkback at https://ci.ovationtix.



 Although the event is free, donations are gratefully appreciated. You can donate at https://

 Sierra Madre Playhouse is a non-profit arts organization, and donations permit us to con-tinue 
providing artistic programs.


 Back Porch is part of an ongoing series of literary adaptations by Sierra Madre Playhouse 
called Off the Shelf. There will be more about Off the Shelf in a subsequent press release.

“All you need is love. 
But a little chocolate 
now and then doesn’t 
hurt.” Charles M. Schulz

“Oh, if it be to choose 
and call thee mine, love, 
thou art every day my 

Thomas Hood

Valentine’s Day is 
tomorrow! I know all 
my dear thoughtful and 
considerate readers are 
totally prepared with a 
card and maybe a flower 
or two. Yes, ladies, you 
can give your favorite 
guy flowers and he’ll be 
pleasantly astonished. 
In days of yore, dinner 
reservations someplace 
intimate and dark where 
you could look into 
each other’s eyes and 
talk about wonderful 
memories of your past, 
like the first kiss you 
shared were a definite 
possibility. Now, you 
can have something 
delightful delivered. 
Put your dinner on the 
good plates and prepare 
to enjoy a little time together. Do not talk about the children, bills or anything to do with 
what’s wrong with the house. Enjoy that dinner with a glass of something adult and then 
go ahead and share a dessert. Think of chocolate… think of chocolate and champagne. 
Or sharing a slice of cheesecake. Nice.

“One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving.” Paulo Coelho

“Love grows more tremendously full, swift, poignant, as the years multiply.” Zane Grey

Question for you: When was the last time you read Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s famous 
love poem? Probably not since you were in high school. Well, here it is and it’s pretty nice:


How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

Sonnet XLIII from Sonnets from the Portuguese, 1845 (published 1850) 

I never actually said anything like that to my Valentine, the adorable, ever-patient, John, 
who is now residing in heaven where every day is Valentine’s Day, and love abounds 
all over the place. No, I never quoted Elizabeth Barrett Browning to him, but I wrote 
about love and I’m sure there are a few of you out there who haven’t really prepared for 
Valentine’s Day yet so you’ve still got time to write a note or a letter to the person who is 
your own personal Valentine. Not to say I’m anywhere near Elizabeth, but I wrote about 
love like this… “The Best of Marriage”

“I sit at your desk and look out your window at the sky.

And I think of you and how much I love you.

So many years we’ve spent together, mostly sunny with just a little bit of rain.

I treasure these years which have flown by us.

I’ve grown to love you, respect you, admire you, need you more with each one.

There is so much about you that makes me want to be the best that I can be.

It makes me smile each time you walk into a room.

How many thousands of times have I watched you enter the space where I am?

And each time I feel pleasure, delight, at just the sight of you.

You make me laugh. You make me think.

You make me challenge myself. You make me want to be the best me I can be.

You even taught me to enjoy college football... Go Trojans!

I love just to talk with you, to exchange the ordinary stuff our days are made of.

Conversations that are the flour and salt of life.

You are ever in my mind. 

You are the other half of my heart.

You are, very simply, the one person selected by God to be my lover, my friend, my 

I have known you for more than half my life. The best half.

We have shared all there is in life:

Joy, sorrow, laughter, tears, death, birth, pleasure, misery, poverty, not quite so poverty, 

Pride in our children, and absolute disgust with them, 

And always, always we have had each other to hold on to.”

My Valentine has been in heaven for almost four years now, but I am so very glad I wrote 
that piece so many years ago and he read it and knew my heart. Today’s picture is of my 
Valentine and me on our last Valentine’s Day together. 

Tomorrow or any time at all this coming week, tell your special Valentine how much he 
or she means to you. Kisses and holding hands are good, too…maybe even better than 
chocolate. Even if you totally scoff at Valentine’s Day, there’s never a wrong time to say I 
love you. And you can never say it enough!

“Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other, 
and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they are even better 
with each other.”

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear friends and neighbors!

My book page: Deanne Davis

Easter is on its way and “The Crown”

My story about what happened to that crown of thorns

Is now a real book in addition to a Kindle! Also available on

If you want to check it out, here’s the link where you can see a short video:



Join Us for a Month of Socially-Distant Events! 

The Sierra Madre Public Library is honored to present this 
years’ One Book One City line up, featuring A Walk in the 
Woods by Bill Bryson. This community reading program invites 
everyone in Sierra Madre to read and discuss the same 
book during February 2021 and participate in exciting and 
socially distant programs and events. 

On Tuesday, February 2, join Dr. Bill White and Pete Siberell 
for a virtual presentation on the History of the Mount Wilson 
Trail Race, and enjoy a Facebook Live event on Saturday February 
6 at 11:00 am to learn about the Mt. Wilson Trail Race. 
Other family events will include a community scavenger hunt 
with prizes, Storytime with Librarian Leila and much more. 

Bill Bryson introduces the reader to the history and ecology 
of the Appalachian Trail and to the myriad of interesting 
people and experiences he has during his personal journey 
along the trail. Entertaining and captivating, Bryson delivers 
the majesty of the mountains, forests and lakes with breathtaking 
imagery. A Walk in the Woods brings the splendor of 
the outdoors right to you and may just inspire you to begin 
your own journey. 

Check out your copy of A Walk in the Woods at the Library, 
and join us for a host of engaging socially distant programs 
related to this One Book One City selection and are free and 
fun for the whole family. Call the Library at 626-355-7186 for 
more information and to register for the virtual fun. 

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: