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To Leland (my [?] yr. old son) March 10, 1942

Poem – to Leland – WWII Journal Entry – Earl Ray Brewster

Well, son, since I’ve tried to write,
Some thoughts about your mother,
somehow I wont to — if I might
Write, some to you — then brother

you are so often on my mind —
Though words are all too few —
i want to say how much I find
That I depend on you

So hard it is to realize,
how big you’ve grown to be,
But I’m sure you’re proving plenty wise
As the man of our family

But it doesn’t seem so long ago
That you were just a tad
And now you’ve gone & grown up so —
that you’re representing dad.

I hope that i have given you
More than I feel I might —
God help you to be a good and true
And do the thing that’s right.

Forgive me, son, if I’ve not been
The very best kind of guy —
But I will be the best you’ve seen
Or know the reason why

I thought I used to try to be
the kind of pop always
That I would have liked to see,
And now I know it pays

Although i haven’t done a lot –
I’m glad I’ve been with you
The times I have – and I’ve got
An idea we’re not through

I can remember lots of things
That you would not, I guess,
You were so “Angelic” – you almost sprouted wings
I remember Leland in a dainty little dress!

And i remember other “stuff”
Like “Da Da” and “Goo Goo”
What a guy you were – sure ‘nough
and a rascal through and through

I hear you as a “talker”
I see you in your pen –
And also as a “walker”
As you tried it with a grin

And then I see you riding
A scooter of some kind
And then you went to hiding –
Becoming hard to find

And when you went to grandma’s –
how she used to make a fuss,
And what commotion you would cause
When we used to ride the bus

Grandma always said you were
A “Perfect little man”
But the spoiling that began with her —
Required a “Peach – tree” tan

Remember the Model T we drove,
And how you went with me,
And how we used to “cruise” and “rove”
And the people we would see

And how you said and listened
In the little Sunday school,
your big brown eyes just glistened
As you learned to Golden Rule

You seemed to be quite proud back there
That the preacher was your dad —
It used to make my shoulders square
Such thrills I’ve seldom had

Remember too, your first pet “hound” –
(Chinook he was by name)
Together you were always found,
With only you was He tame.

How you two would romp and play –
Too bad we couldn’t make
Room for him when we moved away,
But life is just “give and take”

I remember you with the college “gang”
In your cute red zipper suit –
And how you romped and even sang –
They called you a little “Brewtte”

There was also Tommy your first real chum –
And your train his daddy made –
How you two guys made things hum
When you got together and played

And also I recall the days –
You were not even four
When you had to walk toward the church aways,
And I watched you back to the door

So many things in that pre-school time –
The vacant “lock” and a kite
Away out here in this tropical clime
They come back to me day and night

One thing we’ll always remember
– that morning – your mother and I –
About the middle of September
And it was not hard to cry

But we were mighty proud to be
The parents of a schoolboy
Your growth has been a thrill to see,
And a source of pride and joy

Of course you’ve had your troubles too
(so it was not a great surprise)
(For I remember just a few)
– When you showed a couple black eyes

Such things have reminded me
Of my own keep boyhood days,
And may I never cease to be
A boy – in a sense – always

It’s always been a joy to me
To see you at your play
And always I’ve been glad to see
Your ever winning way

Another thing has made me glad
And I endorse it fully –
Sometimes they can make you mad –
But you’ve never been a bully

Keep fighting for the little guy –
To make your life worthwhile
And always someone in the sky
Will look down on you and smile

So many things I think of – still,
And I must put down a few –
When riding “Queenie” – you took a spill
and broke your arm in two

And how anxious you were to be a “scout”
First – you had to be a “cub”
– to learn what it was all about
(in other words – a scrub)

But you were finally old enough,
And such a husky “scamp”
And also you were plenty tough –
so you got to go to “camp”

Twent-five years ago, I , too
Experienced that wonderful thrill,
I hope we both will follow through
And remember it’s lessons still

Such things, too, as the traffic patrol –
And your sousaphone – and the band
Are wonderful training – on the whole
– now it’s football, I understand

I remember too, your fine, new bike –
The red and white job so swell –
It’s keen to have a thing you like,
And I’m glad you like it so well

Well, not much has come to me yet
About the present school year
So – I want you not to forget –
For I’ll be wanting to hear

It’s not so easy – to hear nothing at all –
But I know we’ll see it through –
For on God & you guys I can always call
and I know your’e always true blue!

So “keep ’em flying” – as they say –
And watch after little brother –
Then I’ll be with you one fine day –
For I love you guys – mother

So – here I am where I first began –
(Say, How’s that changing voice?)
I must say: What a man”
For my substitute – you’re my choice