Our Boy Graduates

Well folks, I've just been out o' town,
That is, my wife and me;
And we was pepped up proper
'Bout what we'd hear and see.
We went up north a quite a way,
And set right up in style
In a spankin' new stream-liner,
Enjoyin' ev'ry mile.

We landed in Peoria
Where they make that high-proof booze;
I was all dressed up in my summer suit,
Ma wore her new green shoes.
Yes sir, we'd planned that little trip,
We'd travel up the state,
And rain or shine, or hot or cold,
See our boy graduate.

We thought of all he meant to us,
And smiles choked back a sob,
For as our train came to a stop,
Ma said, "Pa there is Bob."
He hugged Ma tight and squeezed my hand,
This handsome grownup lad;
And if all the folks had looked away,
I think he'd 've hugged his Dad.

He took our suitcase in his hand
And started up the street;
We tried to strut but felt the ache
In our old half-century feet.
This boy of ours, we're proud of him,
One thing he ne'er forgets;
For straight ahead a bee line took
And headed straight for Betts.

That little gal o'er Ma and me,
She made a quite a fuss.
B'lieve it or not, this wife o' Bob's
Seemed just as glad as us.
She introduced us to the folks,
Said, "Meet Bob's Pa and Ma";
We like 'em too, for in ev'ryone
No thing but friendship saw.

A clippin' from a newspaper
Was handed then to Ma;
It seemed to me I saw the tears
Spring up from what she saw.
Of all that class to graduate,
Seven Hundred odd and more;
Our boy was placed up near the front
In the first proud twenty-four.

Ma screeched out loud and I heard her say,
As joy lit up her face;
"Did you see that, for goodness sake,
Our boy's in second place."
Now I aint one to kill pure joy
When folks is feelin' gay;
But I had to say, "Its Like this Ma,
His name begins with A."

But let me tell you of the time
For which we'd made the trip;
The Graduation Program
Pulled off without a slip.
The seats was hard and for 'most three hours
We sat there, strange to tell;
And we'd have both been cripples,
But we was cushioned well.

The crowd set waitin' 'til they saw
That host of Caps and Gowns;
Some looked like kings that had been crowned,
And others looked like clowns.
The teachers set clear up in front,
(None of 'em chewin' gum)
And some looked happy, others looked
Like they wished they hadn't come.

The organ played and they sang a song,
One that we didn't know;
Then a fiddler played a right nice tune,
The program set to go.
A man got up and made a talk,
'Twas Owens, so they said.
I got so all-fired sleepy,
I wished I was home in bed.

And then a preacher from New York,
He made a great, big speech;
I sort o' roused up as I thought,
"That old boy sure can preach."
He lined right out and ev'ryone
Was listenin' close to him
As he told the class, "If they'd succeed,
'Twas mostly up to them."

And then they handed sheep-skins out,
They ought to had a truck;
It seemed to me if they got their own,
'Twas mostly due to luck.
Then called a name I've heard somewhere,
Some sort of vic'try won.
You may have heard of him, I guess;
'Twas Adlai Stevenson.

This Adlai boy was plenty smart,
A long way from a fool;
The others worked, but Stevenson
Didn't even go to school.
They throwed a collar 'round his neck,
It surely was a peach;
And all the big shots they sat down
And let him make a speech.

But folks, I loved it ev'ry bit,
'Twas fine beyond compare.
For me and Ma, our hearts was warm,
You see, our boy was there.
To some he's nothin' special,
He's just one of the mob:
But to me and Ma, God bless him,
He's our very own, our Bob.

H. B. Austin