Michael Logue has sold cemetery plots, was a logger, a ranch hand, hosted a late-night avant-garde radio show for 3 1/2 years, served in the Navy and now works as a legal secretary.
“I’ve done a lot of strange things,” he said. “I was even the weird one in my school days.”
Now 33, he says little has changed. “I’m only being me and I’m different,” said Logue, who uses eye makeup, wears dangling earrings to work and binds his long hair in a ponytail. “I want to be honest with myself and honest with the world.” But he adds, “I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.”
For the time being, however, he said he has discovered a creative outlet in Poets Reading Inc. of Fullerton, which he helped form last year.
The founding group, all from Fullerton, consists of Logue, his fiancee, Tina Rinaldi, 23, a hair stylist; local poet Dean Hartley, a former professor at Cal State Fullerton, and a few volunteers.
The reading sometimes draws a standing-room-only crowd of 100. “They come to enjoy hearing the written word,” said the Fullerton College graduate. “I have the sense that people would rather come here and pay $2 than watch television.”
The group meets every other Saturday in a small hall at the Fullerton Museum Center to give poetry readings and that of other writing, sometimes in dramatic fashion.
Most of all, he adds, “A lot of people really want to read their poetry before an audience.”
Logue said he was “scared the first time I was a reader, because I put a dramatic flair into my reading. I felt that the greatest writers in the world can be boring readers and I didn’t want to do that.”
Now, he said, short story and one-act drama writers, as well as poets, are presenting their work in sometimes unorthodox readings. At times, the featured reader is a singer who sings his poetry, and some people with drama backgrounds give performances.
“The readings are not confined to poets,” he said, noting that 10 to 15 people of all types usually sign up.
“There are a lot more poets in Orange County than we think,” Logue said. “There are hundreds of them in the county and a lot of them are private writers who have never shared or published their work.”
However, he added, “not many of the poets are located in north Orange County, and that’s where we are concentrating our efforts.”
In contrast with poets in Los Angeles County, who Logue said tend to be competitive, there is more of a congenial atmosphere among Orange County poets.
“There is a different attitude in Orange County. They are not part of a clique,” he said. “It’s more of an open, cooperative spirit here.”
Logue said he hopes the group flourishes and is eventually able to provide scholarships to creative writers. On the other hand, it may not be something he stays with forever.
“I don’t see myself locked into any one thing,” he said. “I left home at 16 and never looked back. It seems the more creative a person is, the more easily they get bored doing the same thing.”
And he doesn’t plan to change his somewhat colorful exterior. “I remember sitting by a fire in a field and this old cowboy told me, ‘If you’re not hurting anyone, do anything you want to do.’ I’m not hurting anyone.”
Tat Shinno, who has taught, written books and worked as a successful flower arranger since 1936, figured it was time to start a new career (she was approaching her 70th birthday).
Now 73, the Newport Beach resident and native Californian has developed into a nationally recognized watercolorist, having won a nationwide award from the National Park Academy of the Arts and has exhibited at the Laguna Festival of Arts.
Artwork “was what I wanted to do since grade school. I’m finally getting into that after all these years.”
Acknowledgments--Tustin resident Ethel D. Reynolds, co-founder and chair of “Parents Who Care,” a group dedicated to education as a means to stop substance abuse, will receive the 1989 Woman of Distinction Award from the Tustin branch of the American Assn. of University Women. In 1985, Reynolds received an award from the National Council on Alcoholism for her efforts to stem drinking.