The old man and the book

Colonie man’s poems and vignettes a slice of life at 84

Gordon Jevons writers about his life in “Grandpa Gordon’s Book of Light Hearted Poetry and Anecdotes."

Gordon Jevons writers about his life in “Grandpa Gordon’s Book of Light Hearted Poetry and Anecdotes." Photo by Zan Strumfeld.

— “They’d go, ‘Well, Johnny was in school today.’ ‘Well, our records say Johnny wasn’t, would you check with Johnny?’ They’d come back and say, ‘Yeah you’re right, he didn’t go to school,’” Jevons said. “They knew they couldn’t get away with it anymore so they started coming to school. I was no miracle worker or anything like that.”

Some of Jevons’ anecdotes reflect his days at the schools, where he recalls interactions with students. Growing up around kids, Jevons said he always loved working with them, though he did admit he preferred stricter teaching methods and decided to stop teaching when calmer policies were put in place.

Jevons has seven kids of his own, 19 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. His family trickles into his pieces and one of his grandsons, Sam, did the eccentric cartoons that are speckled throughout the book. As a grandfather, Jevons prefers to be called “Grandpa Gordon,” mimicking Grandma Moses.

Many of the poems in the collection have been written over the years, and Jevons said he enjoys using his “poetic license,” though he sticks to using a rhyme scheme.

“The other forms never made sense to me. Maybe (they’re) too deep for my simple mind, I don’t know,” Jevons said.

Jevons also has a number of political pieces in his book, showing as he got older, his political views changed. On the back of the book, he warns liberal readers to “please be tolerant of my senior citizen views.”

Jevons said he is already working on his next book, which he said will be more organized, and will feature his “musical claim to fame,” when he brought Louis Prima to SUNY New Paltz.

Although he’s unsure whether people will buy “Grandpa Gordon’s Book of Light Hearted Poetry and Anecdotes,” he hopes he can spread some of his stories and moments in time.

“I’ve had some pretty good critiques on it. I didn’t think it was that good myself,” Jevons said. “I just want to give people a little laugh and a little lightheartedness.”

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