Mountaintop Poet Kay Baluta To Celebrate 90th Birthday

 

Mountaintop’s  Kay  Baluta  is  celebrating  her  91st  birthday  on  November  15th.

Normally  it’s  impolite  to  ask  a  lady  her  age,  but  Kay  is  an  exception  – in  fact

 she’s  exceptional  in  many,  many  ways.

One  major  way  is  that  she  often  expresses

 herself  in  poetry,  and  sometimes  lyrics;  that’s  how  she  interprets

 her  world.  “I’m  turning  91  and

 I’m  handicapped,  but  the  best  thing  about  me  is  my  brain,”  she  says  with  a  laugh.  “The  poetry  just  comes  into  my  mind,  sometimes  I  can  write  an

 entire  poem  in  only  20  minutes!”

This  gift  of  language  was  cultivated  over  a  lifetime  of  experiences,  some  of  her  writing  recognizes  the  everyday

 events  that  are  universal,  and

 some  are  drawn  from  Kay’s  unique  life.  “I’m  a  Navy  veteran  and  I

 served  during  World  War  II,”  she  relates  proudly.

That  service  puts  Kay  squarely  in

 the  midst  of  what  Tom  Brokaw  calls  ‘The  Greatest  Generation,”  a  segment  of  America’s  youth  that  answered

 its  country’s  call  and  will  carry  the  memories  of  that  honorable  cause  forever.

 The  only  girl  in  a  family  of  seven  kids

 to  feed  and  care  for  in  those  dark  pre-war  days,  Kay  says  that  her  chores

 as  a  child  started  at  dawn  and  didn’t  end  till  late.

“It  was  the  Depression,  and  I  was  Cinderella.  I’d  get  home  from  school  and

 make  five  beds  every  day.  My  mother  favored  the  boys.  I  wrote  about

 that  and  looking  back  I  realize  that

 my  mother  had  a  hard  life.  The  word  love  was  never  mentioned  in  our  household,  never.”

Kay  remembers  well  joining  the  military  and  warmly  shares  her  story.

 “I  tried  to  enlist  at  18  but  they  wouldn’t  take  me  until  I  was  21.”  She  says

 with  glee,  “When  I  was  21  I  flew  the  coop!”

She  and  some  other  girls  went  to  work  in  a  defense  plant,  they  all  roomed  together  and  she  says  that

 they  were  all  like  sisters  to  her.

  Eventually  the  group  decided  to  enlist,  “So  they  took  me  over  to  New  York  to  join  the  Navy.  The  Navy  sent  me

 to  boot  camp  at  Hunter  College  there  in  New  York,”  she  relates.  “We  were  Waves,  but  I  was  so  small  they  called

 me  a  ripple,”  she  says  with  a  chuckle.

See Poet page 4