Monday, March 25, 2013

Cousin Henry

Cousin Henry came and went long before Cousin Brucey. In 1917 "Cousin" Henry Schenkofsky was named "Poet of the Pacific" by a group of ministers and educators. the title appears informal, but George Sterling was using the same title in 1922 so maybe not. Like many left leaning actors and writers of the era his star fell in the 1940s. He wrote 12 poetry pamphlets usually just over 4 pages.  Later some of these booklets like A Summer With The Union Men and Labor Problems were considered politically suspect. His other books less so, Seeing America First for example was half  Hemingway machismo and part John Muir the naturalist.

Cousin henry came to greater fame through radio than he did publishing. He began broadcasting in 1925 with a program for shut-ins which began airing around 1936. His collection of Selected Radio Poems was published by Sather Press in 1945. His short biography in the book notes that he was born in the west to pioneer parents. Another book notes he attended Berkley University.

I have not yet found a record of what station or station he may have broadcast on, but in the 1920s in and around the Bay area include KGO, KPO, KSFO, KQW, KLX, 6XAM and many others. Some history remains unwritten.