Welcome to The Vachel Pages

dedicated to Vachel Lindsay, poet, artist, prophet, of Springfield, Illinois


This page was most recently updated Monday, January 9, 2012

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Pictured left: An oft-printed perspective of the man distributed in a media kit by the Vachel Lindsay Association. Note how it was taken from a color publication (artwork fragment on the right) suggesting the negative is lost. Color film was just beginning to be used by premium periodicals at the end of Vachel's life, and it's unfortunate that no color pictures of him exist.

Pictured right: This portrait of the artist by Ted Keylon of Springfield, Illinois arrested me in my tracks when I discovered it on exhibition in a mid-town Springfield coffeehouse. I have known Ted for years as a talented artist and Vachel enthusiast, but this superb take on him tops any effort I've seen to capture the heart of the man. The colors of head and shoulders remind me of the hand-colored portraits of decades past. The vivid colors of background elements symbolize elements Ted considered essential in this production and make the  presentation as modern, and for THIS age, as the morning State Journal-Register. Ted is working with a professional to produce top-quality reproductions of this portrait, and I recommend every Vachel fan contact him -- eted@tedkeylon.com to learn more about how to purchase one when they are produced.

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Unless stated otherwise, all pictures at this and other Vachel pages produced by this webmaster were taken by Job Conger. Visitors to this site are welcome to copy pictures posted here for personal use. For larger, higher-defunition versions of these pictures, write the webmaster, Job Conger - jobcongerat@eosinc.com  

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Vachel urged his friend V.Y. Dallman to create a lake to supply the growing city's water and to serve as a recreational area. Lake Springfield was dedicated in 1934 less than three years after he died. Pictured here is Lindsay Bridge which spans the lake near a public boat launching dock.
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Two schools have been named after the "Prairie Troubadour." The first, Vachel Lindsay Elementary School, built almost on the shore of Lake Springfield is now used for administrative purposes. The second Vachel Lindsay Elementary School, pictured here is located on Springfield's southwest side.
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This is the headstone of Vachel Lindsay's grave, located on the family plot at Oak Ridge Cemetery.  More pictures of the site are posted elsewhere here at the Vachel Pages.
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 Pictured above in the famous poet's home in 2007, is your humble webmaster, Job Conger, like Vachel, born and bred in Springfield, Illinois.   Besides authoring and publishing Vachel Lindsay, Strange Gold, a concise biography and compendium of his poems and Lindsay lore,  I recite Vachel's poems "at the drop of a hint." I have addressed high schools, civic organizations, literary clubs and special events, sharing as much as time will permit. For information about how to arrange a presentation for your special event, contact me.  I also welcome correspondence with anyone who has questions about his life and poems, or has expertise about his life and work to share.  
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This picture was taken in Dr. Tom and Kate's bedroom in the ground floor, northeast corner of the home.
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The nameplate pictured here in a glass display case along with empty medicine bottles was likely mounted on the entrance door of Dr. Lindsay's practice when it was located next door to the west of the Lindsay home.

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VISIT VACHEL LINDSAY HOME STATE HISTORIC SITE
603 S. Fifth Street, Springfield, Illinois


Since its renovation by the State of Illinois, the home has focused on the history of the Lindsay family with less focus on Vachel the poet. This re-direction has come at the suggestions of surviving Lindsay family members. The "look" of the place resembles its appearance when Vachel was growing up, but there are exceptions to that approach throughout the house.

Visitors successfully completing the ascent up the stone stairs to the front door should ring the amazing, mechanical door bell to alert site director Jennie Battles and her crack team of volunteer guides that you have "arrived." You will be invited to visit a former boarders' room, now brightly decorated in Vachel motif, to watch a video about the life of Vachel, narrated by his son Nicholas Cave Lindsay. It's an excellent presentation, well worth your time. Then, your guide will escort you through the house. All guides know their Lindsay history and will amaze and delight you with their enthnusiasm for the family. They will even talk about Vachel's  poetry.

To learn how you and your organization may  hear his poetry, visit Vachel Lindsay: The Poet Speaks. To read some of webmaster Job Conger's favorite Vachel poems,  visit Favorite Poems by Vachel Lindsay.  Links from here to both sites and more are included further down this page.

                      C  o  m  i  n  g

Job Conger, creator of this page, is sharing the story of Vachel and reciting some Vachel poems in 2012 at the following:

Friday, January 27 --The Retired Teachers Lifelong Learning luncheon meeting at Cafe Moxo in lyrical downtown Springfield. Job will speak and recite and answer questions following his presentation.

Saturday, March 3 -- The monthly dinner meeting of the College of Complexes in Chicago
. Visit their website www.collegeofcomplexes.org for more information. This will be a magnum opus presentation, about an hour's worth, and Job looks forward to making many new friends in the city where Vachel studied art and was a stock man at Marshall Fields before becoming a nationally acclaimed poet.

Thursday, April 12 at a women's club in a private home on Springfield's west siide, not open to the public. This will be a short presentation (less than 40 minutes), but Job is as eager to share Vachel with them as he is to the pride of Chicago.

If you would like to arrange for Job to speak to your organization or "perform" (recite and sing) Vachel's poems and story, call him: 217-544-6122 (home) or 217-331-3661 (cell). He requests an honorarium appropriate for the occasion, but he has never declined an opportunity to share when none was promised. Job may be reached by writing him c/o AeroKnow Museum, 900 Capital Airport Drive, Springfield, IL 62707, or writer@eosinc.com and "friending" him at Facebook. Please mention Vachel Lindsay in your friend request.


NEW TO THE VACHEL PAGES --  



Vachel Poems: poems about Vachel, the Lindsay family and the Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site. If you have written a poem about the afore-mentioned and care to share it, send it to webmaster Job Conger - writer@eosinc.com     To visit the new page, click here



Favorite Poems by Vachel Lindsay
      To read some of Job Conger's Vachel Lindsay poems accompanied by commentaries and information, click here

Celebrating 125 birthdays at Vachel Lindsay Home State Historic Site November 6, 2004, several distinguished visitors were on hand, including Catherine Blair, daughter of Joy, Vachel's younger sister. Visit this page by clicking here








 
Vachel Lindsay Association (of which I am a dues paying member held its annual meeting on November 7, 2004 . On hand were three generations of Nick Lindsay, Catherine Blair and Roland Cross. View pictures a plenty from this event by clicking here 

Visit A Chronology of Books Written about Vachel Lindsay by clicking here

Visit  A Chronology of Books Written by Vachel Lindsay  by clicking here    


An essay: Lady and the Tramps, Job Conger's response to Tara McClellan McAndrew's September 10, 2004 State Journal-Register column may be read by clicking  here


 Pictures from the December 9, 2006 Christmas Finery open house may be viewed by clicking here


A few years ago, a group of students at Springfield's Lanphier High School produced a comprehensive web site about VL. It's well worth a visit.        http://www.springfield.k12.il.us/schools/lanphier/projects/lindsay/


NEWS and  Chit-Chat

Vachel is not the only Lindsay poet.
   
Discovered at the Southeast High School library:   Primate Behavior by Sarah Lindsay, published by Grove Press 1997. Another Sarah Lindsay is the current women's speed skating champion of Great Britain. I can't say much about this Sarah Lindsay's poetry, or even if she writes poetry, but if you encounter a Sarah Lindsay wearing speed skates at your local ice rink, you would be wise not to bet against her.
    The American poet Sarah was born in 1958. According to the blurb about her at the Fishhouse  website, she lives in South Carolina.  The book is dedicated "to Mom and Dad who gave me books." On the back cover is a review excerpt:: "As a poet, Sara Lindsay is fearless." She also published Mount Clutter in 2002. I enjoyed reading several of her poems from Primate Behavior while I monitored a group of freshman English students during the library visit. She's a modern voice with a great imagination and sharp sense of humor. I would love to know if Sarah knows about Sarah Teasdale, a talented St. Louis poet who was a MAJOR heart throb of Vachel before he settled down with Elizabeth Connor. If you find her name on the binding of a book at the bookstore of your choice, you will do yourself a favor by reading a few of her poems, and taking her home with you.

GOOD NEWS about the doctor's office and apartments to the west of the Lindsay home built by Dr. Vachel Thomas Lindsay in the early 1900s and the two apartment houses to the south. The three properties have been purchased by an Illinois developer and will be renovated as apartment buildings in the months ahead. This is sweet news!

Recently I was shown a microfische print of part of a page from the March 19, 1904 issue of the Illinois State Register which contained the obituary of Benjamin Ferguson. After reading the obit, I noticed in the lower left corner of the page, under "Matrimonial," an auspicious engagement announcement. It read,
          "Wakefield-Lindsay

 
"Dr. & Mrs. V. Lindsay announce the engagement of their daughter, Olive Catherine Lindsay to Dr. Arthur Paul Wakefield of Uram, Ohio.
   "Dr. Wakefield is the son of President Wakefield of Hiram College. He has visited this city many times and is very favorably known to many Springfield people. The marriage will take place in June."



VACHEL LINDSAY -- The Poet Speaks
                                                                                             a one-man show in poetry and song.
                              Now booking appearances.  For more information, call 217-544-6122


   If you would like to be added to my mailing list of extraordinarily good looking and erudite hummin' beans who are notified  when changes have been added to my web pages about Vachel Lindsay, e writer@eosinc.com


RESEARCH IN PROGRESS

In researching my family's genealogy, we found a link that shows Mr. Lindsay used our unusual family name in one of his poems! Do you have any idea of where he got the word "skootsky" and what he may have meant by including it in his poem?
          -- Seth Skootsky
            seth@skootskyder.com

  I will be writing an article for the Bookplate Society  ( www.bookplate.org ) about the bookplates(exlibris) drawn by Vachel Lindsay.
  So far, one he did for Clark Walker Cumimings has been located..I would hope he did others and perhaps had one for his own use.
  Do you have any information which would help me in my quest.?
                       Cordially,
                         Lewis Jaffe
       JaffeMMS1@cs.com  

(from Colleen Lavin) I am interested in trying to obtain a print/poster or other copy of his artwork "The Potato's Dance" which is pictured on your site. If there is anyone out there that can provide me with some information, please email me:

         lavinc@aol.com    or
       
olavin13@yahoo.com 

A visitor to this page recently asked if I had a recording tape copy of the wire recording (perhaps it was a 78 RPM  record; I'm not sure) Vachel made in New York City in 1930.
     Even though I explained I didn't, the truth is that I do. It was given to me several years ago, and I have never listened to it. For some nutty reason, because I have positive but mostly general memories of his son Nicholas Cave Lindsay reading his father's poems at a school assembly when I was in high school, I don't want to hear Vachel at this time. So the point of this digression is that I couldn't help the inquirer.
    I did check with the Sangamon Valley Collection, on the third floor of Lincoln Library. I was told by City Historian Ed Russo that they have a  33 1/3 RPM record album of Vachel, produced from the earlier recording. This album may be heard by visiting the collection -- 3rd floor of Lincoln Library, 326 S. 7th St., Springfield, IL -- but it is not available on inter-library loan and may not be copied.
    I was told that the Vachel Lindsay Society had the album made in the 60s, but none were available for sale. If YOU have the album, and you will sell it for a fair price, please email  writer@eosinc.com  


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