Ode to Jack on Turning 80

By John Scott, June 2002

Come on folks and gather round, for Iíve a story Iíd like to tell

Bout a man we all know as Jack, a man Iíve got to know right well.

Ole Jack was born nigh a century ago, in 22 or so they say

On a hot and sweltery day in July, one of them dog-day summerís day.

Ole Jack was the third of four brothers, with 3 older sisters along beside

He was the one next to the youngest, and he sure developed a thick hide.

Jackís mom was a Southern lady called "Ma", and his dad was always called "Pap",

But little Jack was never one to spend no time on his Maís lap.

He liked to roam the woods and fields, an independent cuss was he

Not ever one to bow and please, at his maís and papís knee.

When it came to formal schoolin, ole Jack did pretty well

Considering the stories, that weíre now allowed to tell.

How way back in the 1st grade, he tore the pages from his book

Cause he was just real certain, heíd never give 'em a second look.

Course his teacher was his sister, who we all called Rena Lou

How she put up with little Jack, hardly anybody knew

Along came the 30ís, the depression and even more

A tough time for the Scott Family, who didnít know what was in store.

 

For Pap lost his life after the big flood Ė it was early in thirty-seven

Itíd be nearly 40 years more, fore Ma joined him up in heaven

After Pap passed on there was young Jack, left to look after his Ma

He worked 3 or 4 jobs at a time, making up for no Pa.

He started sparking a young lass, whose name is hard to rhyme

But he and Minnie Alice Ė they sure didnít waste no time.

It was March of 41, when they wed down in Tennessee

And settled down at Maís house, to start thinking family.

But first came Pearl Harbor, and then the whole danged war

And Jack was called to join the fight and even up the score.

They whipped the Japs and Germans, and our boys came flocking home

And Jack could spend time with his daughter, who he and Alice had named Joan.

Soon after the war was over, another child was on the way

Jack, Joan, Alice and Rachel lived on the campus at U of K

"Letís teach and farm" said Jack, and for a while they gave it a try

But farming was a pipedream, soon to pass on by and by.

Son John was born in 49, with Bill 5 years behind

After little sister Ann they stopped, deciding to draw the line.

From West Kentucky to St. Louis, Jackís jobs led him far to roam

Fore he finally settled down, within 30 miles of his old home.

  

 Jack tried banking, building, politickin, and even farming one more time

When it came to making a living, old Jack could sure turn a dime

He palavered with the high and mighty, and the poorest of the pore

And when friends were needin and hurtin, they knew the way to ole Jackís door.

That door was always open, for a dollar or a bite,

For the home of Jack and Alice, presented many a welcome site.

Ole Jackís had many callings, and his interests are galore,

Butcher, banker, grocer, mentor, stockbroker, friend and more.

Farmer, woodsman, writer, teacher, sailor, father, and grandpa too

The things are few and far between, ole Jackís found he canít do.

Heís sailed ship to Casablanca and rafted on the Rio Grande

Heís hiked the Appalachians, been to every corner of this land

Heís sung at weddings and funerals, even preached a time or two

As Iíve told you once and told you twice, thereís not much that Jack canít do

And now heís hittin 80, so letís celebrate that fact

But Iím waiting for his 100th, cause ole Jackís not looking back!