In Reference to the Poem: DON’T QUIT
Story of “Don’t Quit”
We received a letter and a copy of this Canadian local newspaper article from George Munchinsky.
This is the letter he wrote to us:
January 9, 2006
Dear Frank & Mary Hoffman:
Please forgive me for being so tardy in my response to your request for the local newspaper article. I have tried to meet a deadline on some translation work I have been doing from the Czech language to the English. Then Christmas came and went. Finally, I looked up your e-mail to get your mailing address. So here is what I know.
On the enclosed copy of the newspaper article there is an error regarding her maiden name. It was not Enzio with an “o”, but Enzie with an “e”. [Ed. - we made the correction above] In December, my wife and I had dinner with the Rowlands. When I asked her about the article and her response to the request from the USA, she assured me that the information in the article was correct. She did write back to the company who wanted money in order to put the poem to music and say that they could do whatever they wished with it.
I was their pastor when her first husband, Wilbert Zimmerman, died. I officiated at the funeral at which time I also read the poem which Alice had written so many years ago.
Alice is a very humble lady. Even though she has missed so much recognition and royalty, she is very happy that so many people have been able to enjoy the poem she wrote.
I hope that you find this information helpful.
An Interesting Piece Of Olds Trivia…
Many of you know the poem "Don't Quit" from a bookmark, plaque, cup, clock or poster. It is always signed "Author Unknown."
The true story is that this poem was written in 1948 by a young girl from Torrington, Alberta when she was about 15 or 16. She liked to write poetry for the school paper. One day she happened to see a classified ad for poetry which could be set to music. Submitting three poems, she shortly received a letter stating that her work had merit and would be published after sending money. She does not remember the amount requested. As farmers, any amount was out of the question so she replied that the publisher could do as he wanted with her poetry.
Our young author moved to Olds and attended Youth Group at the Nazarene Church. She soon married a local gentleman, had three children and faithfully attended the Baptist Church in town.
Preparing for church on Easter Sunday 1974, she spotted her poem in a paper distributed by the Red Deer Advisor. Since she had seen or heard nothing to this point, she excitedly showed it to her husband. He wouldn't believe her until she produced the original poem, which she still had. Contacting the paper, she discovered that it had been submitted by a Red Deer resident who had found it in a book of American poetry.
Since then it has been published around the world, usually with three verses, but the original had five. We are pleased to give you this little memento courtesy of the author, in its original form.
You may have known her as Alice (Enzio) Zimmerman from Olds, wife of Wilbert, who passed away to glory in 1989. Alice married Bill Rowland in 1991, after which they moved to British Columbia for 10 years. Alice is now living in Red Deer and continues to create and enjoy poetry.