Not long ago I took part in a little play,
Sort of stole the show, at least that’s what they say.
It was a little comedy – written by Margaret McClure Stitt
For the ladies of the Cincinnati Literary and Music Society, it really made a hit.

Now the cast was made up of Ma and Pa, and Pa was the part I played
Then there was the bell boy, and Louie the valet, and Lucille the Fre
Pa was an Oklahoma sheriff, taking Ma to Paris for a vacation;
The humorous little story grew out of all their trials and tribulations

Flo Lehman borrowed one of her husband’s good looking suits for me –
I thought if only I could wear it, what a real sport I would be —
And believe it or not – when I tried it on it was a perfect fit;
So I borrowed my son’s ten gallon hat, and bought a mustache for my lip.

Then things began to happen that were not in the plan,
I discovered first, I was born the wrong sex, I made a better looking
When I stood before a full length mirror, I really got a shock —
For that mirror was not reflecting, Mrs. Carl Eschenbach.

But that beloved Charlie Allen of more than forty years ago,
The finest father that a daughter ever had the joy to know –
I knew I resembled my father, especially around the eyes,
But that I was his carbon copy, really gave me a surprise.

I wonder now how I ever remembered my lines,
For I was strolling down memory lane, with my father in his prime.
Remembering a father who never raised a hand to correct the children so much,
Because God had given him a gift for using words that reached deep with a gentle touch.

He was a gentleman Dorothy Dix and Ann Landers rolled into one,
There was never a week went by, but some troubled soul to his barber shop would come –
And tell him of their worries and ask him to advise them what to do
And if he could he would help, and they loved him for it too.

He could ask you to do something in a way that was so nice,
As far as I was concerned, he never had to ask me twice.
Now my mother was little, wiry and fiery, we knew she meant every word she would say –
And I was Inclined to be stubborn when told to do things that way.

And I can remember when my husband was my steady beau, one day my mother said,
“Young Lady, I think twelve o’clock midnight is late enough to get to bed,
So tell that young man to leave here before that time, or he’ll get those orders from me,”
And under my breath I said “maybe I will and maybe I won’t, we shall see what we shall see. “

But my father could read me like a book, and he said “Edna, don’t you think it would be wise?”
(And I know beneath that solemn look, there was a twinkle in his eyes)
“Why not start at eleven thirty to tell your young man to go,
And then he’ll be gone by midnight, and I’m sure that would please your mother you know. “

From then on at five of twelve every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nite, the motorman would tap his bell and wait,
For he knew it was time for that boy friend of mine to be coming thru the gate.
Oh there were many times in this little play where my father did not fit,
But there was one part that struck home to me, and that was about taking a little nip.

In the play Ma said as she helped me on with my overcoat “Pa, you watch your failin’ now,”
And I answered “Oh Ma, you know I never take more than a little nip nohow. “
My father was never a drinking man, but I can remember every now and then,
Just to be sociable, he’d say he’d take a little “nip” from the bottle of a friend.

In those days they didn’t worry about germs, each bottle touched many a lip,
And those who wanted a little “nip” often carried a bottle on their hip.
And speaking of drinking from bottles, another little story came to me –
One that my father used to love to tell, for he thought it was funny as could be.

When we were children he seemed to think that castor oil would cure any ailment we had,
And he’d often drink a little from the bottle, to show us it wasn’t so bad.
Well, one day he didn’t feel so good and thought he’d take some of the stuff himself,
But found that the bottle was empty that we kept on the cupboard shelf.

So he decided to walk to the nearest drugstore that was several squares away,
And buy enough of that awful stuff to last for many a day.
Outside the drugstore he thought “the sooner I get this in me, the better off I’ll be,”
So he stepped into a little entry way where he thought no one could see,

He tilted the bottle to his lips and drank a swallow or two,
When he heard “how about it, pardner, I’d like to share that with you. “
And my father said, “well, would you now? You can have all you want I’m sure
And I don’t mind telling you, if you have an ailment you’ll find it a wonderful cure. “

But when the young man saw “Castor Oil” on that label he almost had a heart attack
And said “Ye Gods, no thanks” and quickly handed it back

His son-in-laws affectionately called him the colonel, and were not afraid to have it known,
They really thought more of my father than they ever had of their own.
And my children called him their candy grandpa, for he always had some with him when he’d come
And made them search thru all his pockets to find it, and both grandpa and children had fun.

And so I could go on and on, telling the sweet memories I hold in my heart,
Of that treasured time when that dear Dad of mine played such an important part.
That was my first try at acting and it was nice to have folks say I was good,
But I’ll assure you as yet I’ve had no offers coming from Hollywood.

That Oklahoma sheriff was just a kind and gentle old soul –
Keeping Ma away from the pitfalls of life was his treasured goal,
And I wonder if it required any acting, or just doing what came naturally
Having a try, at being that wonderful guy, that the mirror reflected to me.

Now I found taking part in a play was work, but it was also lots of fun,
And I’m awfully glad that I did it now, that all is said and done,
For it stirred up an old inspiration, helped me fulfill a desire I’d always had;
To write a tribute to the memory of a perfectly wonderful Dad.

And I hope I have not bored you by raving on about my father so much,
For it’s plain to see he passed on to me his gift of words with a gentle touch.
And I feel I can keep him living at least ’till the end of my time,
By taking his word gift to me, and his beautiful philosophy, and turning it into rhyme.

Add comment

By admin