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Sometime last month you had a birthday;

The exact date, I’m sorry, I forgot.

You turned eighty-five, 85, I say.

Eighty-five years Brother, is a lot.

 

Four score and five is almost enough

To be antique. (Don’t be offended,

Antiques, you know, I love in the rough,

So stick with me till I’m ended.)

 

You’ve lived to see the horse-less carriage,

Turn from touring car to streamline.

And conversely the steam, steel-horse rage,

Once strong, you’ve seen fully decline.

 

The airplane you saw at its outset,[1]

Not dreaming that soon, oh so soon,

The bi-plane would give way to the jet,

And you’d live to see men on the moon.

 

As I’d mention a “great,” you’d known him:

Rees,[2] Fleming,[3] Culp,[4] Uncle Bud,[5] and Ruth,[6]

Anderson,[7] Stalker,[8] and Wireman.[9]

You’ve been privileged to hear preach the truth.

 

You have lived and known such a spectrum,

Of the past, and ones who have gone on.

You’re the one for me, who connects them,

A living, Godly historian.[10]

 

So I’m glad to have had you Brother,

As pastor, advisor, and friend.

With wishes for many another,

These (late) birthday greetings I send. – eab, 2/75


[1] He saw one of the Wright Brothers fly.

[2] J D Webb Sr. was ordained by Seth C Rees, ate with Uncle Buddy, told about Stalker’s previous affliction, and had Wireman as evangelist when Webb pastored the Pilgrim Holiness church in Bremen, Ohio.

[3] John and Bona Fleming were brothers.

[4] George B Culp

[5] At Webb’s sister’s house he ate breakfast with Uncle Buddy (Rueben Robinson)

[6] C W (Christian Wismer) Ruth

[7] T M (Tony) Anderson

[8] Charlie Stalker

[9] I had privilege of hearing “Bulldog” Charlie Wireman.

[10] His first car was a 1914 Cadillac which he owned in 1916.

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