One Night in Walnut

 Posted by on August 12, 2011  Add comments
Aug 122011

I’m possibly as computer illiterate as a person can be and still be a functional adult in the United States in 2011. It’s not that I don’t like computers, and of course I see their value, but I was never enamored of them enough to put down a novel or what I was working on and learn about them. That was probably a mistake on my part.

Okay, it was absolutely a mistake.

I should have been developing my knowledge, and I’m working on that now, but as I was letting those skills slide, I was working on other things. I’ve entered into the world of literature as much as I can, and I’ve been teaching, always teaching.

What I’ve gained a lot through teaching, reading and writing, and I brought all of those skills and knowledge to the opening organizational meeting last night which we held at my house. But of course, I wasn’t the only person who brought a knowledge base with me, and it was inspiring to see what a group of intelligent people dedicated to a single vision could bring.

I gave some introductory remarks, but soon passed the control of the meeting to Scott Creley. Scott is my former student and is taking a co-equal role in the development of the program. It became immediately apparent to me and everyone in the room that for this stage at least, Scott is in control. He’s not only a great writer, speaker, and teacher, but he worked in Internet advertising for years, and right now, our role it to develop interest.

You’ll be hearing a lot from Scott in the next months and years, and what you see co-ordinated on the Internet will be a result of his initiative.

Ann, my wife, is also taking a co-equal role. Anyone who knows her is inspired by her. I’ve been running programs now for years, and she has always been there, not just for support but because those gaps in my knowledge are always filled by her exacting brilliance. We make a great team. I’m an exceptionally extroverted person who feels energized in front of a crowd, and she’s an introvert who is able to understand both grand concepts and the details that make those concepts real.

You probably won’t hear a lot from her, but her influence will be everywhere.

And the room was filled with brilliant people. My old friend Elder was there with a broad business and literary knowledge along with Michelle and Doug, a married couple who both teach and inspire. There was Michaelsun, Jeffrey, Monica, Michael, A.J.,  Jeff, and Dylan. Everyone who has met them has been moved by their ingenuity and energy. For a Luddite like me, it was great having their knowledge of young people and technology there.

I hope they too will be posting here. They are the face of the San Gabriel Valley International Literary Festival too.

And there were so many people who wanted to be here and couldn’t. We did this on the Wednesday night before summer school finals, so there was any number of good and great people who couldn’t make it. As we get closer to opening the festival and making our cultural arts center, we are going to bring in more and more people. That’s what we want: Collaboration without exclusion, art without attitude.

— John Brantingham

  2 Responses to “One Night in Walnut”

  1. This is a great thing you are doing John. This is not only important for San Gabriel Valley, but for Southern California and for Art in general. SGV and the Inland Empire are (in peoples minds) the New Jersey of LA – yet there is great beauty and great art there. Although I don’t live there now I am from there. I know many great artists, writers & musicians there. Maybe the world will know now.

    Of course I don’t compare the region to New Jersey – we know shich area is greater.


  2. Sorry I wasn’t there, but I’m incredibly excited. I’m a Luddite myself, John, I’ve barely broken down in recent years to learn more about the computer’s possibilities. I love what I’m reading so far! I hope I can make the next meeting. My regards to you, Ann, Mr. Creley and the whole team of creative geniuses you’ve got on hand.


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