Friday, March 6, 2009

Father and Mother's Golden Anniversary

January 22, 1910, Holyoke, Mass.
by Charles Eugene Alderman

Eighteen hundred and sixty
On January twenty-second,
It makes an even fifty years,
Unless I wrongly reckon.

That Gene put on his Sunday clothes,
Hitched Old Bill in the double sleigh,
Drove down to fair Ellen's home,
About three miles away.

"Unless you're going to change your mind,
This is our wedding day;
We'll go to Parson Vinton's,"
Coy Gene was heard to say.

"Arrangements are all quite complete,
Two witnesses we must have;
We'll stop and get your cousin Lib
And then your brother Dave."

The Parson welcomed in the group
And singled out the pair;
Proceeded thus to tie the knot
Which made bashful Dave declare --

"Mr. Parson, there is some mistake,"
And shook his curly head,
"Lib and I are not the ones,
But Nell and Gene instead."

The parson bowed with humble grace
And said, "I do declare;
I 'sposed of course you were the ones,
Not this other youthful pair."

And then he quickly tied the knot,
Pronounced them man and wife,
Offered prayer and his best wish
For a long and happy life.

Two happy years went quickly by,
And sad the day indeed --
War was declared, the call for men,
Dad felt the country's need.

And ere he was called to the front
A message came from D.:
"A little boy arrived last night
And they call him George P.B."

In eighteen hundred sixty-five,
A pleasant Easter morn,
The country mourning Lincoln's death,
'Twas then that I was born.

In four years more O. C. arrived,
One cold November day;
We all felt sure as we heard him cry
That he had come to stay.

One day in eighteen seventy-four
Dad called us with a grin,
"Don't make noise, but come in still,
We've got a little Hen."

We all looked 'round to see a chick,
Or something that could fly,
But looked around in blank surprise
When we heard a baby cry.

It seemed to use that girls were scarce,
None ever came our way
'Til three years later Nell arrived,
Late one September day.

And when 'twas seen how pleased we were
With the one girl which we had,
Within another space of time
Then sent us sister Cad.

We were all such husky kids
That nothing else would do,
But there must be another boy,
So 'long came "Gene the Two."

And when the last small baby came --
Now this -- it is no bluff --
We all said, "Let's call her Mae,"
And Mother said, "Enough."

We've journeyed on through all these years,
Through fair and stormy weather;
Whate'er the joys or burdens were,
We've borne them all together.

A greater blessing would we ask?
We all will answer, "Nay."
Than this: Our lives have all been spared
To celebrate this day.

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