Don Coldsmith at Town Crier’s Author Extravaganza on June 6, 2009
February 28, 1926 – June 25, 2009
News comes tonight that Emporia author Don Coldsmith has died.
Just to list his accomplishments as a writer would be a long obituary. But he was much more than an author. He was a mentor to many fledgling writers. He founded the Tallgrass Writing Workshop 23 years ago, giving advice, showing the way, presenting opportunities for writers to develop and to publish.
On a personal note, he gave me encouragement when I attended his workshop some years back. His evaluation of my writing gave me much hope – because praise coming from Don Coldsmith meant something. It meant a lot. And later, in 2006, he invited me to be on that year’s Tallgrass faculty.
Don loved telling stories, especially funny ones. He had a great sense of humor. His tales came from being a preacher’s kid, from being a medic in World War II, from his 30 years as an Emporia physician, as a family man, a rancher, and as a speaker on the Humanities circuit.
I’ve heard Don tell countless stories in person, so each week as I’ve read his Horsin’ Around column in The Emporia Gazette, I could hear his voice, the inflection, I knew where he’d pause, and how he’d approach the ending or deliver the punch line. He just had this way of turning a story.
Don Coldsmith was a man with many talents. And he wasn’t afraid to say that he respected and loved his wife and his daughters. He was a good man who gave much to many.
Here’s a script from when Don Coldsmith appeared on “Sunflower Journeys” on KTWU.
Pat Kelley has posted an online story for The Gazette: Acclaimed Author Don Coldsmith Dies.