Alan Shellhammer on His 70th Birthday

              July 10,1931
              Alan began his journey under the sun.
              For seventy years, he's been on his way.
              Here's hoping he has much .longer to stay!

              The only things I'm able to say, I was told by a bird as it flew on its way. Here's hoping the bird had the facts very straight. For I'm writing these lines and the time is getting late.

              Born in the days of large families, Alan was one ofnine. You ' d best get to the table quickly, when it came time to dine. I don't know much of that family ofearlier time, So I'll leave it to your imagination and get on with the rhyme.

              Alan had a patriotic bent, In the Korean Conflict, to Japan he was sent. Then he returned to his homeland, the good old U.S. He offered his service, we should never do less.

              Alan went courting, a real romance. He thought he'd be brave and give love a chance. The lady's name was Joyce. I hope he's never regretted he made her his choice.

              How it all got started we don't really know. But if the bird had ideas, it didn't let it show. - I think he chased her, now that's just a whim. He kept right on chasing, 'til she finally caught him.

              'Tis thirty-nine years since Alan made Joyce his choice. There's been many reasons to be glad and rejoice. The first child they were blessed with, they called Dave. Then two at one time---twins---my did they rave!

              Mark and Mary, quite contrary, that was it. When they had twins, they up and quit. They pondered the question of multiple births. They decided they'd done their part to replenish the earth.

              Now there are four grandchildren to make Pappy happy. There are those twins again, Aaron and Alyson; Two that are not twins, Sam and Ray. This is just a little of what the bird said, As it flew by me and just missed my head.

              Alan was a plasterer by trade. As long as things needed plastering; Alan had it made. For twenty years Alan labored for USX. He was a hard laborer, now let him relax.

              Let him relax on that back porch swing. Looking over his back forty, even let him sing. Give him a western and let him read. Now that he's 70, try to meet his every need.

              If he wishes to go inside, then that's ok, Just fix him a snack and be on your way. In winter, there's T.V. to pass the time away. But he likes summer, to garden they say.

              Happy 70th Birthday Alan, it's your day, We're having a party and that's ok. Enjoy yourself and have some fun. Remember this day, long after it's done. .

              Herman Ridley July 2001