Rex Reid pens the stories of generations
Everybody has a story to tell. Truckee patriarch Rex Reid has more than his share, many of which have found themselves penned in thoughtfully reflective poems.
Reid has written more than 100 over his nine decades of life, beginning with one for his mother on the first Christmas he spent away from home.
“I’ve learned quite a bit about life, and sometimes it strikes me,” he says. “So I sit down and try to make it rhyme.”
Reflections on a lifetime of hard years and deep love, Reid’s poems talk of forgetting life’s differences and appreciating its gifts. Remembrances of family and thankfulness for the wisdom of past generations flavor many of his pieces with a sense of nostalgia.
“It’s just a part of me,” he says.
Reid’s words are woven together with rhythm and rhyme that the poet says he learned as a child singing songs from his mother’s hymnal.
Many friends and family have never read his work, but the president of the United States has. And for the poem he sent to President George W. Bush, he received a thank you letter in return ” a souvenir Reid is proud to flash.
A true Truckee old-timer, Reid has lived in town for 55 of his 90 years. He was part of Truckee’s discussion to incorporate ” or rather to incorporate Donner Lake with Truckee. And he was part of the airport debate ” as in the decision of whether to build one.
He started the first successful snowplow service around Donner Lake, and read the Sierra Sun when it was still the Truckee Republican.
His wayward white eyebrows and glassy blue eyes show little variation as the stories he tells shift from Truckee’s history, to his family’s poverty during the Great Depression, to brushes with death.
“My mother and father had an attitude that ‘This is the family and we’ll make it together.’ We saw some real hard times,” Reid recalls.
Born the second of 10 children to a couple of strong-backed ranchers, Reid experienced first-hand great struggles and great success.
As the owner of Creative Interiors at Donner Lake, Reid still works full time at the furniture shop to stay busy. His Jeep Cherokee sits parked outside.
“Yes the wind sings a song / for all who will hear,” reads his poem “The Singing Wind.”
“It sings of life’s beauty and memories so dear.”
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First there were the funnies, color on Sundays! My little sister and I shared them while our dad, lying on his stomach on the punee, read the rest of the paper remarkably undisturbed by one…