Jan Fowler

is author of the best-selling book, “Hot Chocolate for Seniors”(winner of national & international awards); winner of Gold Halo Award from the So. California Motion Picture Council for Outstanding Literary Achievement; winner of First Place Excellence in Journalism Award (SPJ –Southern CA); Town & Gown “Phenomenal Woman” Award; former television host & KSPA radio host of “Senior Living at its Best with Jan Fowler”; speaker, contributing author for “Savvy Women Revving Up for Success”; founder of Starburst Inspirations, Inc. 501(c) (3) nonprofit which supports Redlands Drug Court. Jan welcomes feedback and comments about her columns and invites you to leave her a message on her website.

Dear Readers, It’s a known fact that love and romance are among the most favored topics of all time, and so it is that the greatest gift that one can receive for Christmas may very well be the gift of love.  Here then is a touching real life story with words to warm your heart and inspire you with beautiful passionate love.


I was twenty-one years old, had just graduated college, and was still filled with the wonder and fantasy of romantic idealism.  For me, the world was merely an artist’s canvas inviting me to splash it with a rainbow of color.  Except that my idea of applying color was to paint with words rather than brush and easel.  My passion was poetry – beautiful, inspiring, wondrous poetry.  I wrote it, read it, spoke it, dreamt it.

One afternoon, while relaxing after a day of teaching at my first job in suburban Philadephia, I was so captivated and swept away by a lyrical ove poem I’d just read in Ladies Home Journal that I tore it our, pressed and preserved it in my wallet, and have carried it with me ever since.  The lovely poem that dazzled and bewitched me so was “Night Song” by Pegasus Buchanan.

AS time moved on, I eventually fell in love, married, raised a family, and led a joyful family-centered life, but one that never allowed time for writing poetry.  Decades later, however, as I approached retirement, the poet’s muse whispered in my ear again and beckoned me to enroll in a poetry-writing class at a senior center in Claremont, California. I was thrilled to finally have the time to reconnect with my passion!

One afternoon during the second week of class, our instructor noted that since we only had a few remaining minutes left till the end of the hour, perhaps someone who’d brought a special poem that day might like to ready it aloud right now.  Eagerly, I raised my hand and was delighted to be called upon.

As I reached deep down into my purse to pull out the worn, torn, and tattered poem that I had indelibly preserved in both my memory and wallet for more that three decades, I began.  “I would like to ready a lovely poem that I’ve deeply cherished and have carried with me every since I was twenty-one.  It’s called “Night Song” by Pegasus Buchanan.”

I had barely finished my sentence when I became uncomfortably aware of a stunned silence that had fallen across the room.  Embarrassed and bewildered, I couldn’t imagine what on earth I had said that was wrong.  Why in the world were all twenty-five students – including our teacher – suddenly staring at each other in wide-eyed confusion, then at me, then back at each other again?  Eventually I heard the soft whispers “Pegasus..Pegasus..Pegasus..”.

Mercifully, someone finally spoke. It was the teacher who managed to find her voice.  “Jan, Pegasus is a member of this class!  She’s not been here because she’s on a trip to Europe, but will be back next week.”

“Oh my gosh! You mean you all know Pegasus?  And she lives here in California? I asked incredulously.  AAnd you are tellinig me that Pegasus is a woman, not a man as I’ve always believed?”

“Yes, we know her very well,” the teacher excitedly nodded.  “She’s been a member of our class for years and is also president of our Tumbleweed Chapter of the California Chaparrel Poet’s Society.”

I was absolutely tingly with excitement and couldn’t wait to meet Pegasus!  The following week, I was awestruck when I was introduced to an unexpectedly beautiful, stately, stunning woman in her senior years. Her glowing elegance was enhanced and accented by a flowing silk scarf stylishly knotted across her classic pink sweater.  So graceful, so beautiful.

She embraced me warmly and lovingly smiled.  “Jan, I am Pegasus.  I’m so happy to meet and know you.  Is it true you’ve carried my poem in your wallet all these years?” I nodded wordlessly.

“Well, I’ve brought you a present – my newest book of poetry,” she added. Then she held up a purple bound book filled with more haunting love poems.  Smiling eloquently the entire time, in it she penned the following inscription:  “To Jan, who remembers how the fiddle played.  Cheers and love, Pegasus.”


Since then, I’ve read many beautiful poems written by Pegasus, but the one that always thrills and enthralls me the most is… NIGHT SONG

Oh, I remember how the fiddle played,

And how we danced like wild grass in the wind,

And how the night birds joined your serenade,

And how the stars came sprinkling to rescind

The vagrant dark. And I remember love
That mingled with the laughter in your eyes,
And how the pumpkin moon hung close above
The purple hill, and how the fireflies

Fell winding through the trees and skipped among

The river reeds, and how the fish leaped up,

All silvery with night.  We were so young,

I have forgotten how we filled the cup

Of youth’s delight with fragile plans we made…

But I remember how the fiddle played!


Pegasus has since died, but I will always remember the thrill of our first meeting nearly twenty years ago.  I remember her cherished gift book to me, which I affectionately renamed “Pegasus’s Book of Passionate Purple Poetry”. I remember the essence of her beauty and grace.  I remember how her words danced right off the page.  But most of all, I remember how the fiddle played…

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