Saturday, August 14, 2004

A Dad and His Dad

(Links of Love in a Chain of Remembering)

Looking back with love, and sweet peaceful longing,
Into the long ago past,
We discover anew what he did and what he saw --
And what will last.

And "what will last" are gentle thoughts and warm feelings,
Of all that he loved;
Links that connect us all in a 'chain of remembering' -
Of those that have gone 'back home' above.

Grandfathers long gone, and new ones becoming, may not have met
Here on this earth,
But will meet once again one day in the distant future -- in a glorious reunion
And look back on our birth.

We'll get to know each other once again, and muse about the trials and struggles
We faced.
Father and son and son; we'll look back and speak of what we learned
In this place.

That dealing with all the struggles and all the trials and the pain
And yes, some loneliness,
Makes the deep burning reunion
All the more glorious.

Dads introducing their Sons to their Fathers that have helped to make them
What they have become.
With the deepest of satisfactions, all of us Dads will see
How each of us Fathers was once a Son.

Scott Vanatter, 14 August 2004 (Poem for Dad, and his Dad)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Mountain ridges
Stretch out, one after another --
As far as the eye can see -- into the distance.
Each one fades into lighter
Shades of blue.

Gentle valleys
And pleasant meadows dot this frail existence.
Every moment of rest, amidst pains,
Hints at ancient memories
We once knew.

Walking on --
And pushing through this desert of resistance --
Each new turn of the path is entwining hearts, that
Used to be two.

On the precipice of now*,
You are at the center of my experience,
Every act of love you create is echoing back -- magnified --
Inside of you.

Mirrored eternities,
Past and future, are -- with your careful assistance --
Each reflections of glories gone by
And even greater glories gradually
Coming into view.

The azure ocean horizon
Becomes a turquoise sky,
And with the sunset's growing brilliance,
Every dream of yours
Is granted in beauty and grace, and all becomes whole
And true.

* or, Forever

Scott Vanatter, 21 July 2004 (Poem for Becky's 50th Birthday)

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"We Are The Champions . . . "

Tight end #87 for Citrus College, the 1972 Mission Conference Co-Champions. We had, what turned out to be, one of the junior college All-American running backs that year on our team. Kenny Williams. We/he set team and individual season and game rushing records that stood for over 30 years. Kenny set the junior college record (1,850 yards) during the same season that OJ set the pro record (over 2,000 yards). We had a much shorter season than the pros. (1972)

Sunday, June 13, 2004

"Take Another Little Piece of My Heart . . . "

A piece of my beloved '55 Chevy that broke off of the left rear quarter wheel well -- after, uh, a minor fender bender. (1972)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Friday, June 11, 2004

"Boy From the Country . . . "

With Grandpa Tru and my Dad in our front yard in Duarte. That's my '55 Chevy in background. (1971)

When Grandma Bert married Grandpa Tru they all ended up moving to Kansas. Dad and his sister attended a one-room schoolhouse there in Uniontown, KS. We visited there a few years ago (circa 2002) and took this picture. I picked up part of the siding/walls as a piece of family history/memorabilia. I understand this old schoolhouse was torn down sometime after our visit.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

"I Could Have Danced All Night . . . " (Part 2)

Becky comes back to a Duarte High School dance, sophomore year. She had blossomed into a young woman; I was still just a skinny kid.

But, 'O what a lucky [kid I] was!' (1969-1970)

Friday, April 23, 2004

In The Arena

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

(Excerpt from a speech by Theodore Roosevelt at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, April 23, 1910.)

Thursday, February 12, 2004

O Captain! My Captain!

By Walt Whitman

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring.
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red!
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up! For you the flag is flung, for you the bugle trills:
For you bouquets and ribboned wreaths, for you the shores a-crowding:
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning.
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head;
It is some dream that on the deck,
You've fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won!
Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

[A 4th "unspoken" verse suggested by Scott L. Vanatter to the poem O Captain! My Captain! -- with apologies to Walt Whitman.]

My Captain does now answer! A new trip to begin;
He’s risen with the morning sun; another prize to win.
The ocean calls, the lines cast off; the people all a-joining;
Its you we see, its you we love—our victor, firm, unbending.
O feel, my heart—it is no dream—
With his arm supporting me
We walk the deck of eternities,
Risen bold and free.