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Ode to Harry Easton

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Ode To Harry Easton

Harry Easton just loved helpin’ kids
Especially, I guess, ones in need
He’d take in a wayward teen then
Turn ‘em out with self respect and a creed

He threw his indelible loop on me
Just as I was beginnin’ to wander
When I was a mere thirteen
Fast headin’ for a life of squander

Mr. Easton had hired my friend John
To help demo an old wooden shed
But he couldn’t go so he sent me
To labor doin’ his job instead

I was struck the moment I saw him
Standin' there in the leaky ol’ shack
In his Stetson, Justins and mustache
Grinnin’ amongst the cobwebs and tack

The surrounding old cribbed rails
Gave the space a friendly bouquet
A mixture of leather, horse droppin's,
Sun-dried dirt and alfalfa hay

Harry looked the wizened sage
As he extended his hand to me
I saw he'd paid dues for his wisdom
That he would pass on to me for free

I was born with a defiant side
Just naturally buckin' most orders
But this hickory-tough cowboy
Soon set me up with clear borders

Never saw Harry but in cowboy clothes
His Silverbelly off kilter with care
Said only when a Major in the Cavalry
Was he expected to wear it square

Harry smoked camels with a passion
As if every one was his last
In April of '77 one of ‘em was
Never heard until May that he’d passed

As I picture him now in my mind
Recallin’ Harry some sixty years later
He set me on a path and gave a shove
And for that my life has been greater

I grew up wantin’ to be a Cowboy
And though I never got that far
Harry branded me with cowboy ways
A brand I'm pledged to not mar

At his ranch, The Desert Moon
He put me on Honey, his horse
An' set me on my shootin' track with
A Single Action Army of course

I got molded by this old-school gent
Who took me on just cuz he could
He rewarded virtue and doin’ right
With trust just expectin’ I would

Hard to believe I let Harry down
But one time I was really afeared
So I omitted truth tellin’ once
At a time I shoulda’ volunteered

Eventually I came forward confessin’
Harry quickly forgave my blunder
But I never got over my shame for
Ignorin’ breakin’ his uke asunder

Well Harry, ain’t much I can do now
That your livin’ up there on high
Patrolin’ ramrod straight to Garryowen
You and your Morgan, Honey’s Alibi

I wish I’d once had a chance to
As an adult tell Harry this rhyme
Alas, Major Easton, here’s my tribute
A yellow ribbon sent across time

By, Rik Goodell

© 2021

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