He is President Emeritus and charter member of the Tuna Camp Coalition formed to investigate, memorialize and make public the story of the Japanese relocation camp in Tujunga which was formed to incarcerate Japanese during the three years of World War II, 1941-1943. Nancy Oda, President of Tuna Canyon Detention Camp Coalition stated about Dr. Hitt: “He told us that his motivation to make a difference came when he faced death during the Korean War and promised to make a difference if he survived. Indeed, his life has been one of service to his community as a pharmacist and activist.”
Marlene and Lloyd Hitt, Grand Marshalls of the Independence Day Parade, 2017
Village Poets will have a very busy summer. First, we will appear in the Independence Day Parade on 4th of July 2019. Joe DeCenzo will be carrying the Village Poets banner. The Poets Convertible will include Poets Maja Trochimczyk and Susan Rogers, and friends, Elizabeth Kanski (President of the Polish American Film Society that organizes Polish Film Festival in Los Angeles) and Barbara Nowicki (volunteer for the Polish Film Festival and member of Helena Modjeska Art and Culture Club).
2017 Parade: Joe DeCenzo, Maja Trochimczyk, Dorothy Skiles
Then, on July 28, 2019 at 4:30 pm at Village Poets Monthly Reading at Bolton Hall Museum (10110 Commerce Avenue, Tujunga, CA 91042) we will present the award to Dr. Lloyd Hitt and Marlene Hitt, who recently retired from their roles in the Village Poets, as co-founders of the group and organizers of monthly readings at Bolton Hall. There will be some time for open mike readers and refreshments will be served. We hope all poets that benefited from the Hitts’ generosity will be able to come and thank them in person!
Marlene Hitt is a Los Angeles poet, writer and retired educator with local history as an avocation. She has served for many years as Archivist, Museum Director and Historian at the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga. She is a native Californian and a graduate of Occidental College. She also studied at CSUN, USC, UCLA, Glendale College and Trinity College in Ireland. As a member of the Chupa Rosa Writers of Sunland for nearly 30 years, she has worked with this small group of poets from whom has sprung readings at the local library, the Poet Laureate Program of Sunland-Tujunga, and the currently popular Village Poets. Her poetry received several first place prizes in annual competitions of the Women’s Club, San Fernando Valley, and many awards from the John Steven McGroarty Chapter of the California Chaparral Poets.
Ms. Hitt, elected Woman of Achievement for year 2001, served a Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga in 1999-2001, at the turn of the century. She has published several books on local history, including Sunland-Tujunga From Village to City (Arcadia, 2000, 2005) based on columns written for the Foothill Leader, Glendale News Press, North Valley Reporter, Sentinel, and Voice of the Village newspapers since 1998. Over the years, she taught in elementary school, worked in a pharmacy, chaired committees, tap-danced, and played English handbells, autoharp and ukulele. She dedicates her successes to her husband, Lloyd, her children and grandchildren, her biggest fans.
Her work appeared in Psychopoetica (UK), Chupa Rosa Diaries of the Chupa Rosa Writers, Sunland (2001-2003), Glendale College’s Eclipse anthologies, two Moonrise Press anthologies, Chopin With Cherries (2010) and Meditations on Divine Names (2012),Sometimes in the Open, a collection of verse by California Poets Laureate, and The Coiled Serpent, anthology of Los Angeles poets, edited by Poet Laureate, Luis Rodriguez (2016). She published chapbooks Sad with Cinnamon, Mint Leaves, and Bent Grass (all in 2001), as well as Riddle in the Rain with Dorothy Skiles, a stack of poetry booklets for friends and family, and most recently a critically acclaimed poetry volume, Clocks and Water Drops (Moonrise Press, 2015).
Clocks and Water Drops
Poetry Collection by Marlene Hitt
Published in May 2015. 118 pages. ISBN 978-0-9819693-5-0
This collection of poetry is the work of Marlene Hitt, the first Poet Laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, former Museum Director at the Bolton Hall Museum, organizer of readings, community events, editor and author. The book includes 73 poems divided into sections on: Children, Marriages, Portraits, Neighbors, Seasons, Small Things, Passages, and Farewells. The title captures the poet’s fascination with the flow of time, as relentless and powerful as drops of water that can shape rocks and move mountains.
Clocks and Water Drops is a book of treasured gifts packed in memories and reflections as tasty as homemade bread, fanciful as a rose petal salad and healing as warm camphor oil on a child’s skin. Marlene Hitts’ astute and thoughtful voice paints a world as gentle as lamb’s wool and precious as a girl’s first pony. Open this cedar chest of poems, don its knitted socks and prepare to chase the moon through love and time. ~ Jack Cooper, Across My Silence.
That old threadbare word – love
flows in a fabric patterned
with shades of crimson colors,
whispers of mauve and the yellow of dry sun.
Chopin wove love into the air,
Monet stroked it onto canvas.
That word so often patched
nearly falls apart, its meaning frayed –
until a newborn cries
or a daughter becomes a bride,
until the lace of fifty years together
fully knits. Love unravels
until a friend perceives and cherishes,
until there is an ear ready to listen,
a shoulder to cry on. Love is repaired
with the consecration of all the threads.
Then, there is delight in love’s stitching,
the worn word renewed
into the One Love.
Marlene Hitt, published in Clocks and Water Drops, 2015
Dr. William Lloyd Hitt: A Californian, born in 1932, graduate of Verdugo Hills High School, 1949; graduate of University of Southern California School of Pharmacy with a Pharm D degree, President of the School of Pharmacy;U.S. Sargent and recipient of the Purple Heart (Korean War);Pharmacist and manager of Hobers Pharmacy, Sunland, CA 1959-1995. For nine years he served as President of the Little Landers Historical Society that manages the Bolton Hall Museum in Tujunga.
Dr. Hitt received many awards and honors for his tireless and dedicated community service, including the titles of the Grand Marshall in Sunland Tujunga’s Independence Day Parades. He belonged to poetry groups Chupa Rosa Writers and was a key member of the Village Poets, helping to organize monthly Village Poets Readings at the Bolton Hall Museum. More information about Dr. Hitt may be found on the Tuna Canyon Detention Camp Coalition site.
The reading by Melissa Studdard was outstanding – June 23, 2019. Here are some photos from this event.