Thursday, March 15, 2012

Partly Personal -- Saying Goodbye

I remember when I worked at several radio stations that carried Paul Harvey, when he would send out a message to his wife Angel or son Paul, he'd say, "This is partly personal." 

So far 2012 has really been terrible for friends of mine passing away.  Several customers have died unexpectedly, a local businessman, and now within a week -- a good friend and fellow karaoke singer John Fransen and Becky's grandfather Harvey Krassin.  In fact, John's graveside service and Harvey's service are at the same time!!  I'm hitting John's visitation and Harvey's funeral.

John loved, to be cliche, "Wine, Women & Song."  His wonderful voice attracted the ladies to his side of the Kozy Korner and he was never far from a glass of Ten High & Water.  I once submitted his photo to some Kenny Rogers Look Alike website.  Here's a link of you'd like to hear him sing, but it will take a while to load up, so be patient.

I remember before I got to know John, he'd say "hi" but that's about it.  He stayed in his end of the bar and I had my own reserved table on Wednesday nights.  After several long nights at the Kozy Korner, we warmed up to each other and became good friends.  I had him sing at several events I had organized and he was thrilled to do it.  Once, we both sang for 2 hrs at a lady's 100th Birthday Party.  She swore up and down that she had Kenny Rogers at her party.  "John R" as he was known, will be missed.

Sticking with the Paul Harvey theme -- I once heard Paul Harvey address the American Farm Bureau Association with a poem, "So God Made A Farmer."  If I had the where-with-all to be able to read it at Harvey's funeral without busting out crying, I'd do it.  Instead, I'll just print them up and send them out to Harvey's daughters.  They will enjoy it.

I had to adapt it a bit from what Paul Harvey wrote, but I can only imagine how many times it has been read at funerals and other gatherings to honor someone like Becky's grandpa.  Enjoy.....

So God Made A Farmer

And on the eighth day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker- So God made a Farmer

God said I need somebody willing to get up before dawn, milk the cows, work all day in the field, milk cows again, eat supper then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the church board- So God made a Farmer

I need somebody with arms strong enough to wrestle a calf and yet gentle enough to deliver his own grandchild; somebody to call hogs, tame cantankerous machinery, come home hungry, have to wait for lunch until his wife's done feeding visiting ladies, then tell the ladies to be sure and come back real soon, and mean it- So God made a Farmer

God said I need somebody willing to sit up all night with and newborn colt, and watch it die, then dry his eyes and say “maybe next year.” I need somebody who can shape an axe handle from a persimmon sprout, shoe a horse with a hunk of car tire, who can make a harness out of hay wire, feed sacks and shoe straps, who at planting time and harvest season will finish his forty hour week by Tuesday noon and then, paining from tractor back, will put in another 72 hours- So God made a Farmer

God had to have somebody willing to ride the ruts at double speed to get the hay in ahead of the rain, and yet stop in midfield and race to help when he sees first sign of smoke from a neighbor's place- So God made a Farmer

God said I need somebody strong enough to clear trees and heave bales, yet gentle enough to wean lambs and pigs and tend to pink combed pullets; who will stop his mower for an hour to splint the broken leg of a meadowlark. It had to be somebody who'd plow deep and straight and not cut corners; somebody to seed and weed, feed and breed, and rake and disk, and plow and plant, and tie the fleece and strain the milk and replenish the self-feeder and finish up a hard week's work, with a five mile drive to church on Sunday.

God needed somebody who would bale a family together with the soft, strong bonds of sharing; who would laugh and then sigh, and reply with smiling eyes, when his friends, neighbors and family would say they want to spend their life doing what Harvey did-

So God made a Farmer

Adapted from Paul Harvey - 1987

I never met my Grandpa Palmer who died before I was born and I lost my Grandpa Eckhardt in 1983.  Thanks to Becky's family for loaning me theirs for the last 6 years.  He will be missed.

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