Another route to poetry
Kathy Gerstorff has been writing most of her life, since she was a teen. Gerstorff suffered an abusive childhood until at age 14 she went to live with her aunt and uncle. She recalls that as a child in the ‘70s, resources were severely lacking to help her. At one point, she was locked up in a juvenile detention center with the objective of protecting her from her abusive stepfather.
She recalls having to take a lie detector test, and the awful necessity of having to tell her story over and over again to different authorities.
“We’ve come a long way since then,” said Gerstorff. Still, Gerstorff said there were a couple of places in the community back during those difficult days that helped her, and that has inspired her.
“I wanted to give back,” Gerstorff said. “As an adult, I wanted to help in my own unique way.” That has thus far taken the form of her cause-related poetry, published in two books, benefiting child abuse prevention and awareness.
Gerstorff’s creative genes may have come from her grandmother. “I would always see my grandmother with a notebook in her hands. I would wonder what she was writing about,” said Gerstorff. She laments that her grandmother’s writings were never found.
Nevertheless, said Gerstorff, “I love the idea of leaving a legacy for my grandchildren.”
Married for 32 years to husband Earl, Gerstorff has two kids, and three grandkids.
That legacy would include Gerstorff’s passions – her love of nature and of life, and enjoying the simple things.
Gerstorff is launching a bookstore in the Centrum Mall in Marion on July 13. The Optimist Store will focus on personal development, including topics like motivation and inspiration.
“I’ve always been into personal development, a way to help me through my issues. I’ve always studied that.” Now, she plans to share it with others.
Keep track of Gerstorff at www.kathygerstorff.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
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