Mary Getlein

Scott Wannberg Memorial

Scott Wannberg was laid to rest at Beyond Baroque, on September 17. The memorial was planned by S.A. Griffin and his wife, Linda. Many poets of Venice and Los Angeles came to to pay their respects. Scott was a much loved poet, hungry for experience of every kind. Scott loved poetry, other poets, music of all kinds and movies. He was a movie maven, who could tell you the first, second and third director on any film.

Scott’s main job in his life, besides being a poet, was working at Dutton’s Bookstore in Westwood. He was a pillar at Dutton’s and could discuss any book with you that came up. Many people said that Scott WAS Dutton’s.

Scott was a “bigger than life” man with endless heart, courage and creativity. His poems just “gushed out of him like a river flowing,” said Dana Dirlam. She was a close friend of Scott’s and one of her fondest memories was driving him and Franceye to poetry readings around L.A. They were always excited to go hear new work from their poet friends.

One of Scott’s major influences was the work of John Prine. He also loved The Grateful Dead. With S.A. Griffin, Mike Bruner, Doug Knott and Mike M. Mollet, Scott formed the “Carma Bums” and traveled around the U.S.. putting on poetry events wherever they went. Scott never drove a car, but he would take endless buses to get to poetry events.

He was generous with his talent and his friendships. He was always encouraging to new poets.

Scott moved to Florence, Oregon three years ago to be closer to his family. When he got there, he went right to work at creating a poetry community. He kept in touch with L.A. poets through email, Facebook and phone calls.

The memorial service was concluded by S.A. Griffin reciting Scott’s poem, “No Regrets” and sprinkling his ashes on the sidewalk and bushes of Beyond Baroque. Whoever wanted to could have a handful of Scott’s ashes, to pray over, before tossing them to the sky. The crowd was moved to tears at this and most are still stunned at Scott’s passing. Scott was 58 years old when he died.

–Mary Getlein

Categories: Mary Getlein, Obituary, Poetry

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1 reply »

  1. There are a couple of corrections that should be noted:
    S.A. Griffin’s wife’s name is Lorraine, not Linda.
    Dutton’s Books was lcoated in Brentwood, not Westwood.
    While S.A. did a beautiful reading of Scott’s poem “No Regrets,” I was the one who spinkled his ashes on the sidewalk, the lawn and into the hands of his friends and family.
    David Smith