Earlier this week, a reminder popped up on my FaceBook:  “Conrad Balliet has a birthday today. Let him know you’re thinking about him!”  Had he not passed away last August, he would have turned 92.  I miss him a lot.  He hosted Tower Group meetings in his home and recited poetry on WYSO’s Conrad’s Corner for decades.  Local poets stepped
up to fill the gap.  Steve Broidy now hosts our monthly meetings; Lori Gravley and David Garrison have kept the Corner going.  Conrad’s old recordings are interspersed throughout the schedule, and it is always uplifting to tune in and hear his voice.

Conrad was a WB Yeats aficionado so I wrote this parody of “Where My Books Go” to read at his memorial service.  I think of it every time I hear him reciting Yeats on the radio:


All the verse he has uttered
on the radio each night
preserved for all eternity
through the magic of sound bytes
Our sad, sad hearts shall perk their ears
as his lilting voice recites
the works of Yeats and all the greats,
a comfort and a delight

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  1. murisopsis June 9, 2019 / 12:24 am

    He must have been a wonderful influence on poets. We all want to have our voices heard – he was one that succeeded!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan June 9, 2019 / 7:48 am

      Conrad was the best advocate poetry could have. He himself rarely wrote poems, but he loved reading and listening to them. WB Yeats was his main man. He’s been to Yeats’ home in Ireland, and built a Yeatsian tower on his house. He started Tower Group as a place for local poets to come together and share their work. His radio spot is only 90 seconds, but every WYSO listener knows his schtick, beginning with “Welcome to Conrad’s Corner” and ending with “Thanks for listening.” In 2016, we published an anthology in his honor: https://justjoan42.wordpress.com/2016/08/18/from-the-tower/. 🙂


  2. judyrutrider June 9, 2019 / 12:30 am

    Is there anything sweeter than remembering a dear friend? When I think of friends who are gone, it reminds me to be more genuine with those who are still part of my life. That’s the only way to be remembered.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan June 9, 2019 / 7:57 am

      True friends are born of authenticity; there is nothing sweeter than being loved for who you are. Apparently when you friend someone on FaceBook, you will be reminded of their birthday for eternity. I do love that the Corner’s new administrators have kept Conrad’s voice in the mix; hearing it is always a delightful surprise. 🙂


  3. Tippy Gnu June 9, 2019 / 7:11 am

    It’s one thing to write poetry, it’s another to recite. He must have been very good at reciting, to warrant a tribute like that. Happy birthday, Conrad!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan June 9, 2019 / 8:18 am

      Conrad doesn’t write poetry (he has, but it’s more the exception than the rule) but he’s a master reciter. He’s a rhythm and rhyme guy, so we got on well. Poetry was the center of his life, a source of great happiness. Having your voice on the radio in perpetuity is about as close as you can get to immortality. A few years ago, Tower Group put together a poetry anthology in his honor. Yes, Tippy, he was a special guy. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan June 9, 2019 / 11:42 am

      Thanks, Lori, for all you do to keep Conrad’s Corner going, and Conrad’s voice on the air. Your efforts are deeply appreciated. 🙂


  4. snoozing on the sofa June 10, 2019 / 8:48 am

    Sorry you lost your friend. But if anybody can get a birthday message to the Great Beyond, it would be Facebook.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan June 10, 2019 / 11:12 am

      Is there FaceBook in heaven? I hope not. I think you go to “the other place” if you exceed your limit of selfies on earth. 🙂


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