Cloistered in a rural Iowa community quite small,
from 1st generation German immigrant parents, he did evolve.
Youngest of seven, the tallest he became,
reaching six feet and seven inches in all.
Formidable in stature his presence was marked,
accentuated by large, thick, grease-stained hands.
Disheveled in every-day attire, sans socks, cap askew, suspenders supporting trousers,
and an ever-present cigar in the side of his mouth.
His wearing apparel held limited variety, marked by grey-blue work shirts and trousers, and one double-breasted brown suit for formal….primarily church occasions.
Extroverted and sociable in personality he was,
connecting to old and new acquaintances with ease.
Gruff and opinionated in manner he could be,
masking a gentle and tender nature, awaiting opportunity.
Survivor of the Depression Years, thus a spendthrift he embodied,
eschewing comfort and pleasure as marks of excess and frivolity.
His talents and abilities were varied and refined,
honed out of demands for survival and self-sufficiency.
Mechanically inclined, an auto mechanic he became,
earning a reputation for excellence both near and far.
His welding and metal works skills made recyclable material into works of art,
adding elegance and functionality to household accessories.
Man of the earth he was, thus a gardener extraordinaire he became,
marked by bountiful harvests and admirable layouts.
With a facile mind, it was only natural he develop his literacy,
even in an environment that demanded so little of its use.
Student of the Bible he proudly proclaimed,
offering interpretations even Martin Luther would applaud!
Curious about the larger world and political events,
he readily offered critiques both long and strong.
A dreamer he was, producing images of living in far away lands,
gleaned from Nat’l Geographics, and aborted by resource scarcities.
Most of all, Big Erv was my father, whose legacy and seeds his progeny hold close,
Anticipating transfer to the next generations. Happy Father’s Day!