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Smoke School Stories

The Empty Chair

A kindly old man, with beard of white, that glistened with frost in the sun. Tipped his hat and bid a "good day", with joy, to each and every one. The people sneered, joked and laughed, were indignant and unkind. Many thought him foolish, some just old, still others feeble of mind.

Then one winter's eve the winds blew fierce, people ran to shut their door. And when they gathered in early morn, the kindly gent, they saw no more. Sometime during the cold blasts of night an angel came to make his call. He took the hand of the kindly gent leading him down hallowed hall.

As the days went by, his chair grew cold, and the old gent did not return. And soon the people missed him, that foolish gent they used to spurn. Neither cheery smile nor gentle to help send them on their busy way. The ones that persecuted him the most, glanced then looked away.

The streets began to grow with silence as barren days passed into weeks. They ceased to walk upon that street with no kind face or words to seek. Early one morn before the sun arose a young lad went to the empty place Slowly he walked up to the dear old gent, wiping a tear from his weary face.

The lad was the only one gifted to see him, the only one who really knew If you love and believe in someone they will always be there for you. The youngster he grew into a man with a downy beard of frosty white. And he sits where did the gent before his eyes radiating purest light.

Once again the people walk down the street just to hear him say "good day". They know one day he won't be there to send them on their cheery way. Children come to sit on his knee and to touch his frosted beard. It's funny how they've come to love that which they scorned and feared.

 

The Empty Chair, A poem by my fiend Linda Shirley in Aldergrove British Columbia. Linda wrote the review on the cover of my Novel Blue Bayou Days- The Summer of 61. The older I get the older I am. Ain't it funny how time slips away.  If you like the poem email Linda and she can send you others.

One of my favorite Father-in-Laws, Ed Lundergan, a life long corn farmer from Montgomery Indiana used to say, "You spend your life taking care of the old folks. Then you turn around and you are the old folks." When he was a boy, Ed dreamed of playing for the St. Louis Cardinals. A dream he gave up because his daddy needed help with the family farm. We spend many days in the kitchen watching the Cardinals on the small TV on the counter. I was sitting by the very same counter watching him cry, when the doctor on the phone said he had lung cancer. I told him he had a very rich life and he had done his daddy proud. May Ed rest in peace. Some day soon I will join ED and maybe he will have some of that delicious Indiana sweet corn. And that is the way it is. Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping into the future.

If this story brought back memories, then you will love the other smoke school stories.

It ain't over until the fat cat sings

 

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