adventures in dysthymia

Saturday, August 10, 2013

My Dad Writes

This is something I found in my old papers, a little sketch my father, James Reginald Brooke (1913-2005) wrote as a teen that was published in his high school newspaper, ‘The Torch.’ (Bexley High, in the Columbus Ohio suburbs) He was writing about his family’s farm/get-away down in the Hocking Hills (where I spent some time myself as a kid):

Night-fall in the Hills
 
The sun, leaving a golden blaze int the sky behind it, sinks slowly behind a rock-covered hill, on whose crest rises a magnificent pine. The gray light drifts quietly down over the tree-filled valleys. Everything seems still and hushed as the last rays of the sun disappear, except overhead where they glitter on the coal-black wings of a solitary crow, as he wings his way homeward. 

Lower and lower falls the curtain of darkness, and as the mist rises, it mingles with the darkness forming a gray blanket over the earth. From the surrounding woods ring the shrill cries of the whip-poor-wills, and from the marsh the bull-frogs send up their nightly serenade. 

The moon rises majestically from behind a cloud, bathing the world in a soft, silver glow. A star peeps forth, and is quickly followed by many more, until it seems as though a myriad of sparkling diamonds have been scattered about the sky in the form of a white pathway. 
A gentle breeze comes up, swaying the pines to and fro, while in the distance a cow bell tinkles musically. The moon smiles serenely down, keeping watch over the sleeping world. 

It is night in the hills. 

Now, if I put my editor hat on (or should editors wear eye shades like in the old movies?), I would find all sorts of things to red pencil here. Fortunately, here I am just son and archiver. As the work of a bright high-school kid, it’s pretty decent — hey, I've read far, far worse from adults who think they can write! 

And here is something else of his I came across, a bit of silly doggerel he wrote for my mom about a planned vacation trip: 

A long trip we shall make
To a far away state by a lake,
And though it must be Erie
I’m with you all the way, Dearie. 

We’ll stop and visit with Daughter
And not just because we oughter;
We’ll check on the neophyte farmer
And snack with their budding charmer. 

Then away in our little car
Gawking at things near and far;
Georgia, Tennessee and Kentucky,
Now feeling free and really lucky. 

Till we will come to Ohio
And someone there that you know;
In Columbus on Oakland Park
Will be the mid-point of our lark! 

We’ll see Daddy and sister, too,
He’s O.K. now, it’s true;
He’s waiting for his garden to grow
After all winter hidden in snow. 

But soon our adieu we must bid
And take off, we hope, without a skid.
Meandering down the breath-taking Blue Ridge,
Far miles over many a bridge. 

There we will search high and low,
From the top of a mountain in snow
To the fertile green valley below,
In search of a farm with price low. 

With trees and flower garden, too,
And lots of room for a cow to moo.
Just the right place for me and you
To vacation for a month or two. 

Then away through rolling hills,
Back again to our old tread-mills
Where we toil and pay the bills
But we’d rather be back in the hills. 

Well, Naples isn’t that bad,
Plenty of sunshine to be had,
And away from grandchildren is sad;
So here we are; I guess I’m mad!


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