Saturday, May 31, 2008

Me and My Colaborator, James Whitcomb Riley

 " Chuck, I need a poem to go on the bulletin board, for Father's Day.  Can you find one on the Internet?" Kathy, the activity director at the Old Folks' Home, asked the question while staring at the blank board.

   "Sure," I said automatically. One can find anything on the Internet. Right?

   Well I looked and was directed to book sellers and anthologies of epic odes.  "I could make up one quicker than this," I thought So I did.

   It was simple, told a little story, and was sentimental. "What if she asks who wrote it," I asked myself.  She doesn't want home grown junk.  She wants a classic. Quick I thought, who wrote sentimental stuff. Ah, I will tell her that it is from James Whitcomb Riley. That will satisfy her as to it's worth...he is a genuine author.

   She didn't ask.  She merely said "It's too long. I need one page."  Back to the drawing board. I edited it like mad making compound sentences out of whole paragraphs.

   "Is this all right?"

   She barely glanced at it,....Heck, if fit the space. "Fine," she said.

   So here is the prose piece that James Whitcomb Riley and I wrote for the Father's day bulletin board.


I was too tiny to remember, but Dad took me out of the play pen and put me on the carpet to learn to crawl

Dad held my hand when I began to toddle and held my hand when we went for walks

Dad lifted me high when the waves broke around us and held the back of my swim suit so I could dog paddle and clapped and cheered when I swam across the pool alone

Dad cheered when I ran my first race in high school.,.. And cheered when I came in third…..from last.

Dad taught me to drive and gave me the keys to the car so I could go on my first date.

Dad was my Best Man and held the wedding ring so I could place it on her finger.

Dad walked the waiting room when I waited for my first baby and Dad took the baby out of the play pen so she could learn to crawl.


madcobug said...

Very good Chuck. Sounds like you had a very good Dad. Helen

jeadie05 said...

Before I retired I was a manager at a sheltered accomadation for the elderly ,much like your Kathy I imagine ,and if one of my residents had written something like that at my request I would have been delighted !'' fitting the space'' does she deserve hers ? What a lovely tribute to your Dad ,it brought a tear to my eye Jan xx

bamawmn46 said...

What a wonderful, 'home-grown' poem you have created!! She should be delighted with it! Thanks for sharing with us!


valphish said...

Wow, I love it, Chuck... isn't it the truth... it is all recyled.  Life is.  This really touched me.  Love, Val xox

wagdakat said...

Very simple, very beautiful.   I just love it!

pamal3 said...

Beautiful Chuck. Congratulations on winning Sentence of the Week. Love Pam xx

jmorancoyle said...

    That's really very nice. I like that better than some of the classics I've heard. In case you need verse for other occasions, here's a link to my favorite poetry site.
They sell printed material, but they also list poetry from the best.

peytonswater said...

I always enjoy your blog. I love the pictures of you, and then you and your family.  They are priceless. You look so happy with your family.
Your always in my thoughts, even miles away I am wishing you well my friend.