Welcome to my writings!


Steve Robert Simmons

Steve Robert Simmons

…and though it be my story                                                                                                                    it will be common,                                                                                                                                    though it be singular                                                                                                                                it will be known to you…  (Mary Oliver)

I will be occasionally posting some of my personal essays on this site for the benefit of friends and family–and their friends and families–and their friends and family.  I welcome comments about the pieces, and especially ‘resonances’ that might give an idea of what you find to be meaningful about a piece of writing.

My greatest desire as a personal essay writer is to offer stories and ideas that others find relevant to their own lives.  I trust that there will be meaning for us all in this site.

Thanks for taking time to read my work.

Steve Robert Simmons

About steverobert

Husband, father and grandfather, retired professor, X-country skier, bicycle rider, and writer.
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22 Responses to Welcome to my writings!

  1. Clem Nagel says:


    This blog site you created is exquisite! The name, the set up for it, and the inviting (and simple) request for folks to read and comment. I will pass it on to others to call up! Isn’t this fun!


  2. Pamela Enz says:

    Thank you for the invitation to watch and read your blog! I’ll be checking in frequently. I’m looking forward to starting one soon, but alas, I’ve got a couple other things on my list before that one hits #1!

  3. Steve, are you also writing more poetry? Hoping so. Springtime graces to you and family. How great a cloud of witnesses.

  4. Ted Mellencamp says:

    Sorry to hear about the Colonel passing. He was a wonderful man and I really enjoyed his company. He was very good to Deb and I when we first got married. He will be missed.
    The other day when visiting Seymour, I drove by Aunt Ruth’s and Uncle Jimmy’s old farm house and noticed that it was for sale. I hope someone buys it and turns it back into a home before it falls down. I too have fond memories of them. I was online looking for an obit of John, couldn’t find one
    Ted Mellencamp

    • steverobert says:

      Thanks for leaving your comment, Ted. Yes, the loss of my uncle, John Rapp, leaves a huge hole in our family and in all of our memories of times spent in Jackson County. His obituary is being prepared by the family now and should be distributed to papers within the next week, including the Seymour Tribune. I trust that all is well with you and your family.

  5. Donna Elftmann says:

    Hi Steve Robert Simmons,
    I enjoyed last evening at the coffee shop. It was inspiring and encouraging to me to be there amongst friends and fellow writers. I have lost your email address as I would like to forward you some attachments of my recent writing adventures.
    Donna Elftmann

    • steverobert says:

      It was a delight to have you in the audience last night for the “Readings and Rhythms” event that Jeff Kidder and I did at J. Arthur’s Coffee. I’ve sent you a note with my e-mail address and I will look forward to reading some of your recent writing efforts, Donna! I’ll likely see you again soon at a Christos event.

  6. Gayle says:

    Would you mind if I quote a few of your articles or blog posts as long as I provide credit and sources
    back to your webpage: https://steverobert.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/hello-world/.
    Please let me know if this is ok with you. Thanks

    • steverobert says:

      I, of course, do regard my writings and photographs on WordPress as intellectual property and they are under copyright protection. But if the quotes you intend to use are reasonably short and faithful to the intent and purpose of my original writings, I do not have a problem with your quoting from them with attribution. Inclusion of the link to my WordPress site itself is a good way to assure that your readers can gain access to my original writings for context should they choose to do so.

      All the best in your future writing, Gayle, and thanks for informing me of your interest in referencing my creative work. Sincerely, Steve Robert Simmons

  7. Hey there.
    I’ve been following your site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good work!

  8. Hello Steve,
    I was born in 1952 and taken home to a house in Rockford, where I grew up amid families named, Spray, Lahne, Gallion, Findley, Weasner, McKinney, Engelking, Schmidt, Knot, Ripley, Lebline, Hirtzel, and my own maiden name, Beineke. As I was reading your story, “Good for Nothing, I learned a lot about some of Rockford’s history. Unfortunately, since both of my parents were first generation Rockford inhabitants, there was not much history about Rockford known to us. When I was a very little girl, my babysitter Patty, whose real name I later found out was Clara Steward, used to take me for walks up to an old farmhouse where Betty Lebline lived. I think maybe her husband had already passed; if not, I don’t remember ever meeting him. My dad still lives in the same house he, my mother, and brother moved into sometime around 1949, I believe. In my 18 years growing up in that house, I had heard the names Rapp and, of course, Lebline, but I never knew of Hemphill Hill, or the re-routing of the river, and certainly had never seen maps of Rockford or pictures of people who had lived there before us. Most of all, I would love to see pictures of what Rockford looked like when it was a real town. I’ve asked Charlotte Sellers, with whom I used to work at the library, but she hasn’t really found anything for me. Do you have any kind of recorded history of Rockford, with or without pictures? I would love to know more about the area in which I grew up. I loved it when I lived there, and still love it today, but know so little about what it was once like. Thank you.

    Best Regards,
    Brenda (Beineke) Phillips

    • steverobert says:

      So good to meet you via this WordPress link, Brenda. Your mentioning of so many names from Rockford past is wonderful. I knew Betty Lebline well before she died. She started and owned the original Betty’s Townhouse Cafe in Seymour. Her husband George was my Grandmother Christine’s cousin and worked as the hired man on her farm in Rockford. Josephine and Katy Knot were also relatives and lived in Rockford for a very long time. I was born in 1946 but came to Rockford often from 1952 to 1968, which is probably when you lived there. Do you remember small Spencer’s store (before it became a hobby center)–or the tiny store in the heart of Rockford on Redding Road–during the 1950s? Good memories of those times. Perhaps we’ll meet in person sometime and can recall others whom we knew in common from that time.

      • steverobert says:

        The store to which I referred on Redding Road, Brenda, was run by a man named Hirtzel, one of the names you mentioned from your Rockford days. I also know Delores and Gary Gallion. They were a wonderful support to my great-aunt Matilda Lebline during her final years of life in Rockford during the 1980s.

    • steverobert says:

      Brenda: I spoke with Delores Gallion and she remembers you well as a friend of her daughter Candi. She, of course, still knows your father too. She told me a funny story about a time you and Candi put water into some strawberries that had been prepared and pretty well saturated them. I’m sure you have lots of good times to recall from your days in Rockford. I don’t have any good histories of Seymour with pictures. I expect that comprehensive history of Jackson County that Charlotte Sellers would know about is probably as good as there is. I do have a drawing of Rockford that was made in the 1860s and I’ll e-mail a copy of that to you. Perhaps that will be helpful. Thanks again for your interest in my “Good for Nothing” essay. I hope to have a chance to meet you in person sometime when I am back in Jackson County. Steve

  9. Jessica says:

    It was lovely to meet you and your beautiful wife today! We enjoyed your blog very much, thank you for sharing it with us! -The Sock Barn

    • steverobert says:

      Meeting YOU was a highlight of my day, Jessica. Thank you for so generously sharing your time with my wife and me. Your Sock Barn is one-of-a-kind. We are bringing our daughter back to see it tomorrow! 🙂

  10. dovelake says:

    Hey, what’s the name of your essay that deals with golf? I’d like to read it.Enjoyed your essay about mussels and Rockford. I live in Bloomington

    • steverobert says:

      I actually have several about golf. Here are four that you might like: “Sweet Blindness,” “A Good Land,” “A Sense of Place” and “Links.” Happy reading!

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