I had been thinking about it for a while and this morning it
was on my book shelf. It was a book written by Hugh A. Campbell called
The Life and Adventure of a Pioneer. It is not a famous book but it was
written by my grandfather. My mother's father wrote it when I was a boy.
I was with him when he wrote the final page of the book. I was eleven. I
didn't know anyone who had written a book and none of my friends knew
anyone who had written one. It was a great source of pride. It wasn't a
popular book but it documented the life of my grandparents so it was
important to me.
The reason that I had been looking for it is because I had been thinking
about the amazing friends that I have. One of them was turning 50 and I
thought I would like to share a poem from my grandfather's book with my
friend. My grandfather had written a poem that was published in the
Anthology of Verse for the 1939 World's Fair in New York. He wrote it
during the depression and the language is a bit old but I think it still
holds true today. To all my friends here is Grampa's poem.
He is a man you like to meet, when you are feeling blue;
He takes your hand in a friendly clasp: he is genuine and true;
He knows you've lost your earthly wealth; he knows you're down and out:
He encourages you and tunes you up to win the succeeding bout;
He says, "My friend, I haven't much, but half of it is yours."
He means it too, for the latch key hangs on the outside of the door.
He has his faults this friend of mine, but his friendship is sincere;
He confides in me, and I in him, with secrets, oh so dear.
He laughs with me and weeps with me, for my troubles give him pain;
He helps me solve my problems when to him there is no gain;
He waits for me each evening when our daily work is through;
He knows I prize his friendship by the things I say and do.
He overlooks the errors that we human mortals make;
He pins his faith in the architect who built this world so great;
He sees the beauty of the forest, mountain, lake and stream;
He knows God's power, and thanks him for all the sun to us does mean;
He tells you how the universe its work performs each day;
He can't but help to make life sweet for all who pass his way.
He is a man who all will say was always true and kind;
He is like a piece of free gold that the prospector longs to find;
He shines out amoung the ugly rocks that on all sides abound;
He throws his free gold with the rocks, and makes it paying ground;
He travels on o'er rock and hill through roses and the thorns:
He turns the thorns to roses, and make them glad that they were born.
This little piece of family history is important to me.
If you consider me to be your friend then this is the kind of friend I
will strive to be.
I think in many ways my grandfather Hugh A. Campbell was an Extraordinary