Last week in this space I highlighted the song Yesterday, When I Was Young, a beautiful ballad made famous by country artist Roy Clark back in the 1960's. I heard that oldie on a local radio station as I was driving home from spending time with the family of a friend who was lying comatose in the hospital - a friend from my youth, many yesterdays ago when I was young.
One day during one of those hospital visits I went out to lunch with my friend's family and another couple who were visiting. Wanting something quick and good, we stopped at Jimmy John's for sandwiches. That particular chain of sandwich shops has quirky inspirational slogans plastered about the place, many encouraging the eating of sandwiches. Posted at our booth that day was the following poem by Rudyard Kipling, simply titled If. My friend's wife and I each read it and commented on the poem's simple beauty.
My close friend since childhood, James Steven Carroll, passed away yesterday evening at the young age of sixty-five. That tremendous loss will be addressed in a future Ramble posting, but for the time being, today's poetry selection is dedicated to him. It is, on multiple levels, descriptive of the man that I knew so well and for so long.
Rest with Angels, Mayor Carroll.
by Rudyard Kipling