The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to ever one in western Illinois and all readers of The Quill.
The Day of Infamy
Last Sunday was, "The Day of Infamy", December 7, the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
Most of the fellers who was around on that day are almost all gone and the rest seem ta be go'n to their just reward rather quickly. They's not many left and before long they too will be gone.
We is a trade'n with them Japanese now, and have been fer a long time. Who would've dreamed it, back in WWII. Most folk from other countries are fairly regular individuals. They love their families, work hard and are just try'n ta get by, just like most folk in the U.S.
The problem comes about with governments who take on ways of aggression and militarism. Japan had such a condition way back then and they had little respect fer the west, especially the U.S.A. Seems they thought we was a bunch of wimps, not the, "Sleep'n Giant" we really was. They mistook our peaceful ways and general aversion towards war as make'n us vulnerable ta their demands.
Not much has changed, it seems today, as the world is a fuss'n over energy, just as Japan was back then. They made a serious mistake in misjudge'n the U.S. then and paid a serious price fer it.
A friend of mine was shot in the head by a Japanese sniper back then and held it against them rest of his life. He was fortunate not ta be killed by the snipers bullet but wore a steel plate in his skull as a reminder.
Back dure'n the war the Japanese were referred to as "Japs" by many folk and soldiers. In recent years, in order ta be politically correct, our government promoted the idea of not refer'n to them as "Japs" any longer. It seems it was not good fer trade'n relationships.
The old soldier got wind of the new policy and indignantly and strongly stated, "They will always be "Japs' to him." The bullet in his head, the loss of many good friends dure'n the war, and the atrocious activities he observed first hand by those Japanese folk against their perceived enemy had hardened his heart against Japan's government and its citizens.
He is gone now, but there's a lesson ta be learned from history and especially when you've experienced it first hand. As fer me, I'm not comment'in any further at this time. Each person has ta figure it out fer themselves. But, me thinks it is well we properly remember December 7, and help that bit of history measure the events of today.
It reminds me of a poem I like real well:
Ya haven't been much if'n ya haven't been battered
And knocked around the world a bit;
Ya haven't been much if'n it hasn't mattered
All that went on with its woe and wit;
The knocking and trampling, the worry and care-
Ya haven't been much if'n you've not had your share.
Ya haven't been much if'n ya haven't been beaten,
If ya haven't gone down fer a while in the strife,
With ashes of salt on the bread ya have eaten,
And clouds and rough places somewhere in life;
The smoother and struggle and effort ta please-
Ya haven't been much if'n ya haven't known these.
Ya haven't been much if'n ya haven't been bludgeoned
With failure and falsehood and manifold lies,
Till the soul of the giant in your system repellent
Helped ya throw off the burden and look to the skies;
Helped ya laugh at the defeat and from loss grasp a glory
Ya haven't known much if'n you've missed such a story.
There ya has it then, a poem related to "be'n battered."
The next poem I'm a gonna share kinda relates to those old soldiers and hero's as time marches on:
A Toast To A Fellow I'll Never Know
Here is a toast I want ta give to a feller I'll never know -
To the feller who's going ta take my place when its time fer me to go
I've wondered what kind of chap he'll be, and I've wished I could take his hand,
Just ta whisper: "I wish ya well, old man!" in a way that he'd understand.
I'd like ta give him the cheering word that I've longed at time ta hear;
I'd like ta give him the warm handclasp that shows that a friend is near.
I've learned my knowledge by sheer hard work, and I wish I could pass it on
Ta the feller who'll come ta take my place, someday when I am gone.
Will he see all the sad mistakes I've made, and note all the battles lost?
Will he realize what the failures meant, and the heartaches that they cost?
Will he graze through the unhappy fruitless toil ta the underlying plan,
And catch a glimpse of the real intent in the heart of the vanquished man?
I dare ta hope he may pause someday as he toils, as I have wrought,
And gain some strength for his weary task from the battles which I have fought.
But I've only the task itself ta have, with care fer him ta face,
Though I'd like ta speak a cheering word ta the feller who'll take my place.
Then here's a toast to your health, old chap, and may good luck be your guide!
I couldn't do all I wanted to, no matter how hard I tried.
I've dreamed my dreams, as all men do, but the dreams didn't all come true,
And my prayer today is that all my dreams may be realized by you!
There ya has it then, that's it fer this weeks column.
Hope'n ta see ya in church this week. Wherever ya is, what ever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE1"
Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya later