Saturday, July 15, 2017

a poetry reading at studio b on sunday, july 23 at 1 p.m. to introduce volume three poems.

four special, featured guests will be a part of the upcoming poetry reading for this project at studio b in boyertown on sunday, july 23 at 1 p.m.  spread the proverbial word.

this is the first new poetry reading of 2017 to introduce poems from the third and final book in the labors of our fingertips: poems from manufacturing history in berks county.

betty seifrit and ernie haas worked at boyertown auto body works. richard koch worked at bally ribbon mills, while his wife, mary-frances koch, worked at great american knitting mills, inc., the original home to the gold toe sock factory. below are some eye-scenes of them, and betty is pictured with her fur kid sophie who has two beautiful and different colors of eyes. everyone here other than sophie the dog will be a part of this upcoming poetry reading, ready to share more about their memories after answering questions from the audience.

and here is an excerpt of betty seifrit's poem.

betty seifrit, union township | born: 1940

i left some sewing place on first street in birdsboro after
i heard boyertown auto body works had openings, and not 
just for men—my grandmother, maude reinert, worked there
long before me. i wish i knew what role her hands played
in prepping trucks for highways, local roads. maude left 

us, this world, by 1953, after first opening her infant eyes
in the oley valley in 1899. back when we had contracts
with the government, i built just the left-hand side doors 
of u.s. army trucks. somebody else in our plant managed 
the passenger’s sides. we handled our shifts in the building

next to the hookies, a firehouse where those who live
for bingo bring ink-ready dabbers to win cuts of london 
broil, full chickens, ground beef, pork chops. bill wiles, 
some call him butcher bill, supplies the meat from burt’s 
farms along route 100 just outside of bechtelsville. with 

those truck doors for the grips of military drivers behind 
the wheel, i secured spongy insulation, fitting it tightly into 
the frames. i practiced the art of adding hinges, gave door
handles their purpose, shined it all up with a final protective 
coating. a crane-like machine above moved doors along once

i’d finished, maybe 5 or 6 a day. next stop—paint shop.
then they moved me back to the building on south walnut 
street. i became a woman of more electrical energy, running
wires from tail lights. i’d maneuver underneath, hooking up
brake lights. a clamp in my palm helped. some of the trucks...

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