Vital Statistics

If years are milestones 'long life's way,
Then we have traveled far;
'Though long the journey, hill or dale,
Has left no blighting scar.
'Though smooth the road with vision clear,
Or dark and rough and steep,
We're traveling onward steadfastly,
Avoiding chasms deep.

The oldest of us, Walter here
Has traveled Seventy-Eight,
And Seventy-Five is Harry's score,
His speed a normal gate;
And May with ne'er increasing pace
Has marked up Seventy-One;
And now at Sixty-Nine I hope
That life has just begun.

The youngest of us, Bessie here
The latest to arrive,
May hesitate on August tenth
To admit Sixty-Five.
And all together, first to last
These figures must be true;
The average age or distance made
Is nearing Seventy-Two.

Gross totals over Three-Five-Eight,
And if rolled into one
Would backward turn the clock of time
Ere this country had begun.
A century after Columbus came,
Before Jamestown one decade;
So looking back we stand appalled
At the progress we have made.

Were well content with our English lot,
Or Scotch-Irish it may be;
In no great haste to migrate west
In hard-boiled company.
Or, the Scotch-Irish may have ventured forth,
Or maybe forced to go;
But here we've been for many years
In high spots and in low.

We've farmed the land, we've taught the young
We've fought our country's wars;
Faithfully strived in busy marts
Or in God's great out-of-doors;
We've healed the sick, we've helped the poor,
We've wielded fluent pen;
We've preached the word with honest urge
And aiding weaker men.

We've taken pride in a family name,
We've added here and there
With honesty and integrity
And somehow had a flair
For taking others by the hand
Whose confidence we'd earned,
Nor craved reward for a kindly deed,
And petty tactics spurned.

We're just plain folks, we who are here,
An unpretentious clan.
We judge not worth by strength or wealth,
But evaluate the man.
We might have stood on loftier heights,
By questionable device;
But somehow each and everyone
Was loath to pay the price.

We have our families, we five;
Not perfect, but to us
They're something special, they're A 1,
'Tis not miraculous,
But in their veins our own blood flows
And remembering that when
We all have gone to our reward,
In them we'll live again.

By: H. B. Austin
May 29, 1955