Monday, April 20, 2009

An Ode To The Lee Boys

My Mom and Dad were busy raising a family, both in the city and on a farm, up in southwest Missouri in the 60's and 70's. My Dad, Bob Lee

who in 1965 relocated his, soon to be 10 children, {yeah Catholic...those words came from all of my siblings and my mouth alot...still do...} family from St. Louis to the Baptist rich southwest Missouri area to become the founding Editor of the weekly newspaper, The Mirror, for the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese.

And he stayed with that post until his retirement sometime in the mid 90's. He loved that editorial position and worked with "Billy Baum", the Bishop who eventually became a Cardinal and ruled the Roman Catholic school system from the Vatican City. He also worked under Bernard Law, who was promoted to the position heading the Boston diocese and struggled to deal with these issues earlier this decade.

I do, however, have this to say about that. One time, while I was living down in FantasyLand, Cardinal Law came down to my local, although unattended by me, Catholic Church and I went over to a reception for him. As I was moving along the receiving line, I, for the first time, met the local Monsignor and the Bishop of my Diocese, the whole time keeping an eye on Bernie Law. He caught my eye a couple times, now this has been 20 years removed, in a location totally out of context, but when I met him and introduced myself, he gave this grown man a hearty hug, much to the chagrin of his attending staff and proceeded to spend more than quite a few minutes inquiring about, absolutely, every member of my family. He then pointed me out to Tom Reidy, who had travelled from the Ozarks, and Tom came over to say Hello. Yeah, in my family, we never called Priests and Nuns by 'Father" or 'Sister', it was always Delores or Tall Paul....a tradition I carry on today, they are human after all.

But, alas, I digress in a huge way.

In an effort to

I will get on to An Ode To The Lee Boys...

Dad was a Journalist and always strived us to improve our writing skills. With the Bus and thehorsefarmer, he was extremely successful, with the olelongrooffan, well, he is still striving to improve. thejeepjunkie, he is doing just fine.

Mom, well she instilled upon this olelongrooffan the skill of setting a nice table and providing guests with a comfortable setting. I use, to this day, the Lenox china, from her sister Carole, she gave me as my everyday dinnerware. So I guess something stuck.

Anyway, growing up in this Journalist's household we were required to read some pretty enlighting literature.

One of the favorite authors of my Dad, TheGentleManFarmer, was Robert W. Service. His stuff is pretty good and an entertaining read.

One of Dad's favorite writings of the 'Canadian Kipling's was "The Cremation of Sam McGee. My older sister, #6 even recited this poem out at Miller High School when she was a Junior or Senior while we lived on the Haven Lee Farm, Halltown Edition.

So anyway, a couple nights ago, thehorsefarmer sent out an email to all the Lee Boys with a beginning to the 'Ode To The Lee Boys' based on 'The Cremation of Sam McGee' and thejeepjunkie dropped the gauntlet, once again.

And as the Bus responded, in the words of TheGentleManFarmer,

Nice poetry.

You guys are poets but didn't know it but your feet were the ones that showed it.
For they were longfellows

So here it is, first from thejeepjunkie {in italics} and then from theolelongrooffan...

Nothing earthshattering or Nobel Prize winning, just having a good time as we

Celebrate Life.

"There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the boys who answer to Lee;
and Missouri highways have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.
The full moon nights have seen weird rites, as the Lee boys transversed the nights,

Now the good ole boys of Bob and Mary Lou,
always kept to their teachings, and looked for something new.
If we missed the deal of the day,
it was always because we could say we were putting up the hay.

The nights seem so slow,
that we are always on the go.
Our wives sometimes look the other way,
But usually they just shake their heads and say,"I guess I'll look the other way today."

and as thejeepjunkie threw down the gaunlet, I included the following stanzas....

Well, years ago, sixty percent of those Lee Boys
Pulled up stakes in search of a place to play with their toys.
The Sunshine State, to those of them, looked kinda keen,
So, it was The ShowMe State, from which they had to wean.

Now those Floridian backwoods trails and highways have their secrets,
And the longroof’s oleragtop has learned to fear those egrets.
Thejeepjunkie’s old CJ2A,
Well, it just has to find a dryer place to play.

The Florida Lee Boys love the warm nights filled with stars,
Heck, it gives them more time to play with their cars.
And no one down there seems to think it queer,
BBB loves to play with his John Deere.

BBB also loves to sit by the pool,
All those Boys acknowledge it is cool.
BBB enjoys that cool, coastal breeze
All the while thinking of those Florida Keys.

The Bus, who inspired those of them to start a blog,
Well, in addition to a short bus, he also has a dog.
He knows all things politic,
And will discuss them, even with a hick!

And his youngster, NotSoLilJim,
With all those offspring, life is filled to the brim.
And even though he owns a M880,
His load these days must be quite weighty.

And thehorsefarmer, and I insist this is so,
Had to live up to his namesake and buy a Bronco.
He and thebarngoddess have been known to haggle on a mini horse,
But after 35 years together, there is no thought of a divorce.

Now that jeepjunkie, he is another matter.
He has always been known as a chatter,
But know this, when down on the street,
He is always looking for a CJ2A seat.

His son, the Kid,
Although there are many things from which he is forbid,
Loves his ole CJ5,
And, trust me, that, believe me, is no jive.

And that olelongroofan,
Although he tries as hard as he can,
He just can’t seem to get along with a mate
And not only that, he failed as Secretary of State!

And although those Lee Boys are scattered about,
They know enough not to pout.
They all enjoy their cars
A helluva lot more than wars.

And I know that those Lee Boys
While they are playing with their toys,
Reminiscing the influences of Mary Lou and Bob,
Well, it always causes their hearts to throb.


Horse-farmer said...

Oh how the rambling of the big little brother makes my heart yearn to be in Florida at the Birthplace of Speed, so I could buy him a long neck to go with his long roof.

Pure poetry John, good job.

Horse-farmer said...


BBB is in 3
Bus & Family in 3
Jeep & family in 3

and I only get in 2

shows where I rate I guess????
good blog anyway


is that like un fair or what??

kashgar216 said...

Wonderful! Quite a coincidence. I was reading a Robert Service collection last weekend while reminiscing about my trip to the Yukon.