"On May 18, 1923 in Newark, N.J. I was born to warm, outgoing, American parents. Then, a year later, my sister was born. We lived surrounded by and occupied with family. There I knew 22 aunts and uncles and 17 first cousins. We were a very people oriented family, with much empathetic discussion of their doings and personalities, for understanding, entertainment and a good bit of laughter. Most of my growing up years were lived in Elizabeth, N.J., where the depression seemed only with money, not with people. The streets, from four-family houses, were alive with after-school kids and neighbors on front steps. In high school, Mrs. MacFarquhar, starting with Bobbie Burns, brought about my love with poetry. At graduation I read 15 minutes of rhyming couplets, including many classmates names and activities. I was not valedictorian. In 1941, Indiana University and ROTC and WW2. I joined the US Army, designated for the infantry and the front line, and there the truth of war. Suddenly war, outside of me, was done and I was alive. I pledge myself to know each day I am alive. Back to school, no longer pre-med, no longer how I will be categorized. Now, to know, to learn, after living wars inhumanity, what I am, what is me, what are human beings. Searching great writings to know. Beyond knowing, we must feel what we are. We know we are alive from our feelings. Poetry expresses feelings. A few of my poems were published and some war poems were read before veterans groups. So I live my life rich with people, and poetry helps to keep my pledge to know each day I am alive."