Thursday, April 24, 2014

Charles F. Selkirk, Poet and Friend of Poets

Charles F. Selkirk was born in Sandusky, Ohio on May 15, 1866 to George O. Selkirk and Anna Maria Alden. Mrs. Selkirk was a direct descendant of the Pilgrims John and Priscilla Alden. After graduating from Sandusky High School in 1884, he worked for the New York Central Railroad for forty five years. He wrote many poems, some of them published in the Sandusky Register under the pen name Solkirke. Mr. Selkirk was a personal friend of poets Edmund Vance Cooke and Strickland Gillilan. It was through Mr. Selkirk’s friendship with these two men that they gave public presentations in Sandusky. When the humorist Strickland Gillilan gave a program at the Congregational Church on November 21, 1923, Charles F. Selkirk wrote the following verse which was printed in the November 12, 1923 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal.

Strick’s Comin!
Get out your laugh protector,                                      
Wear nothing that is tight,
Inspect your waistcoat buttons
Before that coming night
W h e n Gillilan the mighty
Comes on from Baltimore
To agitate your every rib
Until it’s “good and sore.”

This warning to the men folks
Is given for their heed,
While woman, formed from Adam's rib,
May extra caution need;
Forewarned they always told us,
Meant forearmed quite as well,
We’ll leave it to the ladies
All chances to dispel.

 W h e n “Finnegan’s” Creator
Starts “Off Agin” to listen
Not “Gone Agin” to pout;
Keep well in mind his comin'
He’s good when at his worst,
'A confidential confab'
November twenty-first.

Charles F. Selkirk passed away on April 23, 1931, after a lengthy illness. He was engaged to an elocution teacher, Charlotte Atwater Devine, at the time of his death. His obituary is recorded in the 1931 Obituary Notebook at the Sandusky Library.

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