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Eighty Octobers

(for my Dad on his 80th birthday, 1995)


Born right before, the first world war,
He was Moni and Mae's oldest son.
When Chaplin was a star, Ford made their millionth car,
The year Hall brothers greetings had begun.
His Granddad's store, he paid his Dad for,
And for more than 50 years he worked there.
Oleda bid adieu, when he fought in World War II,
Then a daughter, and two sons he brought to bear.

When I was a boy, he brought me some joy,
When he took me fishing and to games,
But the older I grew, the less that he knew,
And I wondered if he even knew my name.
When I came home from school, e was less of a fool,
It seemed like he'd learned more than I;
But he'd still sit in flannels, and keep on flicking the channels,
We seldom spoke except to just say "hi".

Eighty Octobers have seen him survive,
They've seen him smoke cigars, wherever he drives.
Eighty Octobers may seem long to you and I;
But they're like a shooting star, to the sky.

Now he walks backwards down stairs, and he don't care what he wears,
And most days he sops and takes five,
His step is now slow, but he's still on the go,
As he drives and he drives, and he drives.
And now I am middle-aged, and I've mellowed my rage,
No longer need I act like a mime.
We've hugged, smoked cigars, sang and played guitars,
And I wonder who's been changin' all this time.
And I wonder who's been changin' all this time.

Eighty Octobers...

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