There is so much talk about higher education and public school education. I don’t know what’s real or true other than my own experiences. One thing I know that’s true is my Grandfather (Pop) finished 6th grade. That was all the formal education he received. That was all he needed to be one of the most educated men I knew.  My brother Ray had written a poem about him in a community college English course. I keep the framed original on the table in the hallway, along with a deer skull and six shooter replica.


A railroad man, has run them all and brought them in on time.

An outdoors man, at fifty, stronger than life at twenty.

A historical man, he remembers the big one, and the small ones.

An informed man, reading thirty papers a week.

A strange man, who can bandage a crow, or drown a kitten.

A remembering man, WPA, bread lines, orphanages, leaking roofs.

A grateful man, pensions, cars, house, and grand-children.

A gentleman, he removes splinters, fixes cuts, and gives nose drops.

An atheist man, who worships his other half.

A gourmet man, who can make 500 different meals of potatoes and meat.

A sad man, brother, alcohol, mother and helplessness.

A counseling man, always had the right answer, but not giving unless asked.

A fisherman, with a six foot hammerhead, and three tackle boxes.

An adventure telling man, the heavy seas, the snow blocked mountains.

A hard times man, the long hours, hot sun, and cold winds.

A good times man, the jug bands, the parties, the accomplishments.

A fireman, twenty five years of service, president, builder, inspirer.

A policeman, the uniform of a small town, the car of a small town.

A stern faced man, with never a harsh word, or gesture.

A death defying man, major operations, diabetes, emotions.

A scholarly man, sixth grade, trivia, crosswords, interspection.

An inspiring man, losing nothing many times, but still growing.

A man not six foot, but almost ten.

-Raymond F Gallagher

I love this poem. Whenever you wonder about what or who you should be; be you. Nothing more, nothing less.


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