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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Way Too Long!

Obviously last August I intended to blog more often. Obviously, I did not. I won't make more false promises, but my intentions are to keep this a great deal more current.

In the car this morning, it took a radio host on the East Coast to tell me it was April 21, San Jacinto Day, here in Texas and wherever former students and fans of Texas A&M might find themselves. So tonight I found myself at my very first Aggie Muster. I've always had a great respect for Muster. But today it was special. My father, Sam R. Breedlove, died Christmas Eve. At his funeral, my Aggie son set it up so we could go out to the Aggie War Hymn played "Loud enough!" Daddy was a remarkable man. A poem I wrote about him, one published last year in Silver Boomers describes his past:

Daddy, May I?
                                                       Barbara B. Rollins

colonel, engineer, 
captain of the band.
Baritone, tinner, 
mayor, leader— 
you could do everything
but hula-hoop and fix my Timex.
Muddled of mind,
breathless, a stranger 
in your own head,
you plan the ordinary,
relearn the routine.

The chasm gapes.
Can I be the child again? 

But the poem I couldn't help thinking of today I wrote a long, long time ago:

They Call the Roll
                                    Barbara B. Rollins

The Aggies of Texas assemble each year
by tens and by thousands in towns far and near.
The twenty-first day of the fourth month they stand,
solemn and somber, at sea or on land,
while up at the rostrum a roll call begins,
the roster of those who'll not be there again,
for each name they call is an Aggie who passed
from this life since they read from the muster list last.
But present in spirit, they stand nonetheless,
Aggies forever, a brotherhood blessed.
The voices now silenced will answer the call
as brothers and sisters respond for them all.

My father and son are Aggies. I'm not.
Enrollment at muster will not be my lot.
But still as a symbol of love muster stands
a solid, fraternal mass joining of hands.
And I have a Brother, creation's first-born,
who'll answer for me when they sound judgment's horn.
My name will be called and his voice God will hear
at muster call yonder I'll surely be there.

Thanks, Daddy. Sam R. Breedlove, June 22, 1915 - December 24, 2008.

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