My Grandpa or, The Pioneer’s Call

Whenever I think of my grandparents
I wonder, “Just how did it feel
To leave comforts and loved ones and cherished spots
And ride to the end of steel?”
And what did they find when they arrived?
Only a sprawling space
And tents the only abode for awhile
In this wild and lonely place.
But soon there were houses and barns and sheds
And horses and chickens and cows
And orchards and gardens and lush green fields On the land turned up by their plows.
And, lo, a city is building there
Bricks needed by the ton
So down by a hill went up Landreth’s kiln
And another job was begun.

Success seemed to follow his every turn
As they garnered the harvest’s hoard
And always before each feast or snack
He offered his thanks to our Lord.
Success on the land! But that wasn’t enough
No, not for my dear granddad
For he must go into the bowels of earth
And see what was there to be had.
Oh, many were grateful for this great feat
For the coal they mined from the deep
Warmed their homes, fired the trains, and ran the plants*
And gave many their food and keep.
I cherish each hour I spent with him
He was never cross or upset
Just went at each task as tho it were new
And gave it his very best.
I know when they set out that day
If some power could have shown them all
That lay ahead, with a hymn and a prayer
They would still have answered “The Pioneer’s Call.”

*This refers to the electric light plant. There may have been others, but I remember each evening about 4 o’clock they would fire the thing up. (Electricity at first, was only used for lights at night.)

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