Doing the right thing is never easy


While collecting my things after watching a game last week, I noticed an elderly man mulling around the field, collecting bottles and cans. As he got near a trash can near a bench of players, about 18 years in age, two of the players picked out of the trash a lot of bottles and stuck them in the backstop fence - up high. Obviously making it very difficult for the old man to reach. Every adult there seemed to find that funny. The players on both clubs joked about it too.

I didn’t want to make a issue of it - wasting my time on the collective ignorance, but I did go over and pop the containers out of the backstop fence.

I had been part of a situation like that years ago, and was taught a lesson in the end. I wrote a poem about it and I’d like to share it. Basically, being above the cruelness of others and doing the right thing is never easy, never.

He was short and stout,
always came about,
gathering bats, balls and hats.
His job was small,
but we all knew how,
important he was to us all.

We’d poke fun, here and there,
then laugh at his stare,
as he did his job without a fuse.

He’d stack up the towels,
he’d put up with our howls,
he’d even swept out our bus.

Such a little man,
with a genuine smile,
would sit by himself and nap.
He’d then waken to noise,
usually from the boys,
horsing around to his back.

I got word one day, that he had passed away,
no family or kin did he have.
So elected was I, to visit his place,
and collect the things that he had.

This little quite man, never hostile or sad,
was a man beyond the stature of us.
He had served in the wars, both One and Two,
and his bravery was folded in a book.
His gallantry, his duty, his devotion to faith,
held me spellbound, as I had a good look.

Page after page, in this tattered old bind,
were medals and pictures I found.
From a time long ago, now I only know,
for a man of stature and grace.

As I turned the last page I was truly amazed,
of the courage that cost him his health.
His bravery that day, that in so many ways,
saved others from far away graves.

But it cost him his skills, to reason and will,
like us who were granted such gifts.
I felt so ashamed, in my shallowed out vain,
to have thought of him as a misfit.

I returned to club and called all about,
to gather and listen to me.
I have a story to tell, of a man we knew well,
but is gone and we will no longer will see.

I opened his book,
of memories he took,
and started to read out aloud.
I started like so, and let everyone know
of who we will miss in the crowd.

A generation ago, for all to know,
that courage is not measured by height.
But by the acts of conviction, and the purpose of right,
like our club house guy who is not with us tonight.

So I read -
He was short and stout,
always came about,
gathering bats, balls and hats.
His job was small,
but we all knew how,
important he was to us all.

Dedicated to Jimmy C.
WW I - Ardenns
WW II - North Africa
- Italy
- Omaha
- Rhineland
- Battle of the Bulge


There are never menial jobs, people make fun of others to elevate themselves. I someone has to make fun of someone, then they need to be pitied not the target of the slings and arrows cowardly flung