The Toughest man I ever knew


  • Life
  • ,
  • Death
  • ,
  • God
  • ,
  • Love

    Poem Commentary

    Dedicated to my other Grandpa "Jack" who passed almost 40 years ago. He's in the center of this 1922 picture of his University Football team with the football in his lap. His friend Durwood Jumph that was killed due to the Thiel teams Brutal intentionally inflicted injuries on the gridiron is 2nd on his left as you look at the picture. He died sadly in obscurity not having any relatives except for his school mates. Grandpa gave a touching memorial speech for "Our Friend Jumph" at his Funeral.

    The Toughest man I ever knew

    When I think of my grandpa S.,

    I don’t feel all warm an fuzzy,

    Don’t recall good times on grandpa’s knee,

    or see him as my buddy,

    As a matter of fact my memories,

    are sort a set askew,

    As his barber once confessed to me,

    “Jacks the toughest man I ever knew.”


    The few pictures that I’ve ever seen,

    with a smile upon his face,

    Were taken in his boyhood days,

    at college, and when he married Grace.

    The rest of life as in between,

    he had a strong demeanor,

    Far tougher than his 6 foot frame,

    strong but bordering on the leaner.


    As Sergeant, tough in World War One,

    led his men through many battles,

    Earning Fourragere, Croix de Guerrre, & Purple Heart,

    killing many of the rabble,

    Lost his youngest brother there,

    William was his first name,

    So later so named his firstborn son…

    my dad, in honor of this brother slain.


    Attending college at Alfred University,

    in the northern N.Y. region,

    Center of their football team,

    and as Captain led his team on,

    But lost a friend, their right guard,

    in a game on Thanksgiving Day,

    Severely injured, died in hospital,

    from the grid iron where he lay.


    He was his schools class president,

    as well as pres. of his fraternity,

    And pres. of the Batchelor’s Club ,

    though after graduation he would marry.

    A leader in the Army first,

    then a leader all through college,

    I’m thinking normal life thereafter,

    might disappoint he might’ve acknowledged.



    Then graduating college,

    farm agriculture his studied field,

    Spent his life managing dairy farms,

    increasing their milking yield.

    Settling on the Jones Farm,

    in West Trenton’s countryside,

    New Jerseys Dept. of Corrections,

    250 acre convict labor plied.


    But what it is that makes me smile,

    is how God can touch the toughest heart,

    Melt the pig iron in ones soul,

    the Holy Spirit to impart.

    That’s just what happened on the day,

    some church ladies dropped on by,

    To sing, witness, and share the Lord,

    with this elderly tough guy.


    So Praise God that’s what happened,

    on the day his emotions came apart,

    And cried right in their presence,

    as God broke his hardened heart.

    The only time I’d seen him cry,

    was when God took his Grace away,

    A couple years beforehand,

    and four years before he himself would pass away.


    But since that time I know that when,

    I meet him up in Glory,

    We’ll share a love we never knew,

    and will start a brand new story.

    And until that time I know that he,

    and my dad share a relationship that’s great,

    All because of Jesus Christ,

    and what His Divine Love creates.





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    cutbanksam commented on The Toughest man I ever knew


    Thank you my friend, I am sincerely moved. Some might say touched, whatever! Funny thing is that Jack was my dad's name. My grandma and sister were both named Grace. And my mother's name is Whiskers. ;o)



    Sammy... you crack me up! But seriously, small world my friend and be sure to give my condolences to your mom. ;o}

    Poetry is finer and more philosophical than history; for poetry expresses the universal, and history only the particular.

    Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) Greek philosopher.

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