Friday Gretchen & John Treur share a bit about who they are and how they’ve taken advantage of their time during the Shelter-In-Place order, for the Museum of Ventura County’s “Stories from COVID-19” series.
My name is Friday Gretchen. I am the Visitor Services Lead at the Museum of Ventura County.
I am in that role, because I love people.
You are known for your role in Ventura’s poetry community. What got you started writing poetry?
What got me started writing poetry was having some difficulties in my adolescent years that I didn’t really know how to deal with. It helped me feel better about things once I was able to get them down on paper and give them another perspective.
Have you continued your poetry work during this stay well at home time?
My first book of poetry (Unkindnesses) was recently published by Old Hat Press. The founder of Old Hat, Christian Elder, told me that we were going to need to make some poetry videos to help promote the book… and then, the pandemic happened. John & I talked about it, and we decided that we would take a shot at it. So, I found a really old, very brief poem of mine and we created a poetry video in the kitchen.
My name is John Treur. I’m a filmmaker, writer, sculptor, photographer.
What have you been working on during your time at home?
Before the pandemic started, I was working on my film, Good Twenty. And, since the stay-well-at-home order was put in place, I have been spending my time fixing-up the house, doing yard work, and editing my film.
Did any additional creative achievements occur during this time at home?
The videos that are posted on our YouTube Channel of my poetry readings, were living in a lot of different places and my partner is a filmmaker. He made them all look professional, and now I have a nice collection that spans 25-30 years of my poetry readings.
What is your goal for your film Good Twenty?
My goal has always been to share this film with a live audience. I think that’s what keeps me motivated. For me, the best part of creating art, is using it as a platform to interact and communicate with people. There are so many different perspectives and personalities in the world, and when we share ourselves with each other, we gain a better understanding of this life. This situation is just a reminder that our way of life should not be taken for granted. I’m fortunate enough to have my partner by my side through this, and I’m grateful for that. I look forward to a time and place where it’s appropriate to share what I’ve created with others.
What have you missed the most during this socially distanced period?
I don’t think I have ever taken for granted, the importance of people in my life. The relationships that we have in this life are key. If we come back to a way where we don’t have to be socially-distanced, I look forward to more gatherings… it’s all about the human connection.