A Spy Moment: Gilbert’s Birthday and Henry David Thoreau’s Attic


At the annual birthday celebration to honor the Chestertown-born Chesapeake writer Gilbert Byron, friends gathered to read and share stories at Pickering Creek Audubon Center, the home of Gilbert Byron’s cottage.

Guest readers included: Jim Dawson of Unicorn Bookshop; Nancy Andrew of Habitat for Humanity; Dave Harper, Associate Professor of English, at Chesapeake College; and Kelley Malone, retired Easton Town Council member, poet, and friend of Gilbert Byron.

The Spy was able to capture Jim Dawson’s tale of taking Gilbert to Walden Pond, the home of his hero, Henry David Thoreau before his passing. It was on this trip that they also visited the Thoreau family home where Thoreau wrote most of his work in the attic. Jim concludes with the poem Byron wrote as a result of their journey.

This video is approximately four minutes in length

Letters to Editor

  1. As a footnote to this video, Henry Thoreau from Concord, Mass and Gilbert Byron from St. Michaels, Md. not only shared the same birthday of July 12, but each man devoted his life to writing prose and poetry while living the simple life on small bodies of water in tiny houses they built with their own hands. A friend and I took Gilbert on his only trip to Walden Pond and Concord, Mass for his 81st birthday in 1984. This trip inspired Gilbert to write two poems “On Walden Pond” and “Thoreau’s Attic” which is the poem I am reading in this video. Jim Dawson

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