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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Remembrance
By Thomas Kappel
04/20/08


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I visited the farm once
in Minnesota
where my father and his brothers
were raised

No indoor plumbing
outhouses and chamber pots
hand and arm worked water pump
at the kitchen sink and out in the yard

They talked, read, and listened to the radio
to bed early, to rise before the sun, to step
outside at first light and to work until last light
and when it was good it was really really good
and when it was bad it was really really bad
and good wasn’t often enough and often
just too darn hard

No wonder they moved to the city
to manufacturing jobs and 8 to 5 work
until be big war—WWII—then to the war

I visited the home once
in Detroit
where my mother and her brothers and sisters
were raised

indoor plumbing
bathrooms and bath tubs
running water by turning a handle
at the kitchen sink and out in the yard

They talked, read, and listened to the radio
to bed early, to rise before the sun, to step
outside at first light and to work in the factories
often until last light
and it was hard work, really really hard
with tough conditions and hard men
and bosses and unions
often just too darn hard
until be big war—WWII—then to the war

They were changed by that war
all of them—men and women
they talked about it
the before and after
and I listened

I was a young boy when I first met them all
My uncles and their wives
My aunts and their husbands
war veteran men and Rosie-the-riveter women

They got together and partied a lot
they were a hard drinking, hard smoking
fun loving, laughing a lot
family

Some had permanent war wounds
some had factory wounds
all had lived hard lives
all believed in God

They were a different generation
far removed in thought
and life’s experiences
they thought different
but all wanted and sacrificed for
one thing
to make the world and life
a better place
for their children

and they did

Now it is up to us
our generation
of
aunts and uncles
to strive and pray
to sacrifice and work
to do the same

They showed us how
by their fine example


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This article has been read 535 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 04/24/08
I like this description, "when it was good it was really really good -- and when it was bad it was really really bad"…because its true. Your long hours for farmers is exactly right (working seven days a week, if they have livestock). I totally agree that people "were a different generation" in the WWII era. Thanks for the challenge to show by example. You brought back a lot of memories for me with this "Remembrance".
Laury Hubrich 04/25/08
This was a very nice step back into time. Thank you so much for sharing.
Laury
Jason Swiney04/25/08
Simple and good, made me think of Carl Sandburg poetry. A little word mix up in line 18, which you may have caught by now.
Joshua Janoski04/27/08
When I first started reading this, I wasn't sure if I would like the writing style. However, it quickly grew on me, and then I was hooked.

Thank you for sharing this authentic step back into the past. I enjoyed it. :)