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Poet celebrates the 4th of July year-round

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Photo by Don Benjamin Cedaredge resident and prolific poet, Ann Houghton, loves America and she proudly decorates her home in red, white and blue.

Ann Houghton doesn't remember a time,

When she didn't write in perfect rhyme.

Recently Ann, who lives on Surface Creek Road in Cedaredge, took issue with professional athletes who refused to kneel for the national anthem, so she wrote a heartfelt poem entitled "Our Flag." Her closing stanza says it all: "Our Flag, long may it wave; and it surely will because of our brave. Sometimes we may just need to brag, for we are mighty proud of our American flag."

Some people display the flag on holidays but Ann is unapologetically patriotic year-round and her cozy home shows it. From the fireworks printed on her kitchen table cloth to her picture of Santa Claus unfurling Old Glory on a snow-covered lawn, there's no mistaking her enthusiasm for America.

"Notice that even the snowman is saluting," she smiles as she points out a detail in the Santa picture that visitors often miss.

Her friend and neighbor Linda Parks knows Ann well. "No matter what she writes, it rhymes," Linda said, "And, furthermore, if it isn't red, white and blue, it isn't coming in her house."

Ann started writing poems for their kids on their birthdays and pretty soon she was writing rhymes for grandchildren. She wrote her flag poem in part to honor her late husband, Fred, who proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1953-56. "She can't read that one out loud without starting to cry," said Linda.

Ann is less tearful and more exuberant when she sings the clever jingle she wrote for Coors beer. "Old man Coors loved that one," she grins.

She also loves to recite from memory the family poem she wrote for her granddaughter's recent wedding. Both newlyweds are hunters and they were married on Grand Mesa where Ann addressed the opening stanzas of their wedding poem to the groom:

"I went out today, rifle in hand,

To go out and hunt the high mountain land,

To get the trophy I've been hunting for,

And there in my sights was the girl I adore.

That's when I aimed and took my best shot.

Now we're here today, tying the knot."

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Surface Creek
Cedaredge, poet
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