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Park's Larks

Serial Literature

Several successive issues of our Newsletter, beginning in Autumn 2018, carry instalments of a poem by our member Wendy Benson telling the story of Mr Park and his family as they come to terms with a Parkinson's diagnosis and its consequences.

Such serializations have a long history, but were catapulted into the public's awareness by Charles Dickens' immensely successful Pickwick Papers in 1836. More recently, Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street still attracts daily readers in The Scotsman. We are proud to keep up the tradition!

Park's Larks: The Story So Far

Here you can find all of Park's Larks published to date. This page will be updated as each new chapter unfolds in successive issues of our Branch Newsletter.

Chapter 1 (September 2018)

Mr Park was beginning his life's work.

Until now he had just been alive.

But this morning the postman had brought him a letter

and now he had purpose and drive.

The letter was really quite shocking.

It told of a slippery slope

Which he, unawares, was already embarked on

and now he could see 'twas no joke.

He felt strongly that Fate was against him,

a poor little victim of sorts,

but then his innate good sense rose up and kicked him

and made him determined to fight such sad thoughts.

He had put something by for a wet day,

for years he had saved bit by bit,

and now he had nothing to lose but his pride

So he took a short lease giving him leave to quit.

He needed a name for his business.

It had to be cool, and sound new;

A name that was trendy, respectable, friendly,

Unusual, short, and yet meaningful too.

His head was beginning to hurt him.

The kids had lost interest and gone,

When Sparky, his wife, voiced a simple idea

That had been in his mind all along.

A name with a certain gravitas,

A name which would ring all the gongs

It would stick like infection, and carry conviction,

It just had to be
PDS Park & Sons.

Chapter 2 (January 2019)

Sparky knew that her husband was ailing

She'd been watching the symptoms for weeks.

Just last month she'd noticed him missing his turn

On the rota at Darts, where his week reached its peak.

He was eating quite well, but his waistline

Seen from side view was now shrunken in.

If she had time to think, she'd have been worried pink

“He's beginning to look rather thin.”

The business would have to be easy,

and almost self-regulating.

Of course she would help, and the twins might as well,

But she feared that the strain would do Mr Park in.

Sparky had a good grasp of his mindset

and knew how to manage her man.

If she waited until he had made up his mind

He'd ignore her and flush her advice down the pan.

Since her ideas were few and unhelpful

And she must remain serene and calm,

She invited the twins to contribute some thoughts

And together they drew up a Dad Action Plan.

Dad Action Plan

Kiss reason goodbye

Enter the world of make-believe

Expect anything to happen

Pray for success

Charge around looking busy

Arrange for plenty of time off

Look for any signs of hope

Make contingency plans tomorrow

Wendy Benson, 2018-2019