A teen during the Depression
A young man during World War II
He volunteered for the service
Did what he had to do.
He did it without Facebook
YouTube, Twitter, or smartphone
O’er the Reich with only a radio
Surviving practically by your wits alone.
Came home in autumn ’45
Toward a bright future he did strive
Graduated college two years later
Through hard work
No grade inflator.
Got a job, married, had a kid
Nothing fancy, just what you did
Back when men were men
Got things done
Your twenties were real, not a practice run.
For a school assignment I had to find
Some positive family history
An anecdote to bring
My Dad said of my Granddad
“He never said a racist thing”
Many homeowners in their neighborhood
Liked segregation, thought it good
Wanted to band together, keep others out
But my Granddad would not be brought about
Avoided this tainted legacy of the South.
He was always a solid and reliable
Loved by his sons, that’s undeniable
He led by example and helped them grow
That’s why my Dad is the best, you know.
Now, mired in Millenial culture
I’m not nearly the father he strove to be
My father and grandfather did things right
Am I up to the same task? Am I up to the fight?
We focus on change, whatever’s new
But maybe we should ask our elders
What they would do
Between asking wisdom and Google
We usually go to the screen
But perhaps we should slow down
And ask our elders what they’ve seen.
I love you, Granddad.