Our club house guy

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

Coach B.

A beautiful tribute, Coach. You were a lucky man to know him.

Thanks for posting that beautiful poem Coach!
Did you write it?

Yes, I wrote it.

August 1979, while gathering things of this man I hardly knew. I sent this poem to my Mrs., instead of writing a letter. Letters got to be old news- same stuff, just a different day, … you know. I had mentioned the old man before in a poem or two, and she would always ask about him …“how’s he doing…” and the like.

The old man that I wrote about had no kin, to my knowledge. The partnership did make arrangements to settle his business and found someone - just before they ended the franchise.

If there’s one thing that I took from the experience, it’s how important family is and how time goes by. Keep family close. Don’t let some stranger gather their things, then ring you phone at two in morning.

Coach B.

Thanks again for posting the poem!
It was really nice.