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Near the end of May nineteen-twenty-nine
came into the world, new fresh dad of mine,
Born the sixth of eight, at a time and place,
when large families not thing of distaste.

Nineteen-twenty-nine, King-Pin Al Capone;
Black Thursday Market, wealthy soon dethroned.
Dust Bowl is howling, beating on the door,
babies often sleep in mom’s dresser drawer.

Daddy grew up strong, a thorn among rose,
melee of World War, tyranny deposed.
Dad turned sweet-sixteen year we dropped the bomb
changes come on fast; good luck, Four-eight Psalm.

Dad, man of nineteen, parallel three-eight:
Peace? Prosperity? In a world of hate?
Cold War warriors, feel the fission heat,
Dad barely survived ceaseless martial beat.

At a USO, in swirl of romance,
Dad meets Betty Jean, loving happenstance.
Over a decade, from first child to last,
parents gave me four sib-i-lings steadfast.

I have grown to say, in my daily life,
“How would Papa think?” in my times of strife.
With years four times eight separating us
often disagreed, but Dad’s methods trust.

Hail to you, my prince! I do miss you so,
Pray you always knew, you’re my true hero.
Perspective I’ve gained from your shoulders broad;
owe my life to you, and it’s you I laud.

Happy birthday, Dad, pray you are at peace.
You live in my heart, that shall never cease.
World of mice and men, Dad, you were a prince;
your love blazed the trail, follow your footprints.