Sheri and Lee at Fifty

By kaw / 10 years ago

Sheri and Lee at Fifty
By Gary Thomas

Photo of Lee & Sheryl Sloan at their wedding, 1959.


Keith W. a friend and distant cousin,
In June he got my brain a buzzin’.

He asked that if I had some time,
“Would you please put some words to rhyme?”

Now any fool can do that chore.
That’s prob’ly why he asked me for.

But this event needs more than rhyming.
It needs a poet’s insight, depth, and timing.

You need a Milton, Yeats, or Poe,
But you’d have to dig them up you know.

And that is why you’ll have to settle
With a poet of somewhat lesser mettle.

Oh! I mentioned Keith but forgot Nancy.
She summed your life up nice and fancy.

You’re lucky to have so nice a sister.
(I’m glad I remembered, I almost missed her.)

She starts your story in Five-O.
When to Lime Springs the Moldts did go.

You swelled our class to one full dozen.
Which includes Keith, my distant cousin.

I’ll name your classmates, in a list.
I love their names. I can’t resist.

There’s Sheryll, Charlotte, AnnaLee,
Eileen, Merna, and Jerry Stee.

Stevenson’s name I had to fudge.
So’s to remember dear old Merlin (Smudge).

Keith I’ve mentioned I do think.
Oh yes, LaVonne and Jer Hebrink.

We all got on just really well.
Just why its sort of hard to tell.

Perhaps it was our class’s size.
Seven were gals and five were guys.

Some of us boys could tease like sin.
I still have kick marks on my shin.

But enough of our old high school days.
We all soon went our separate ways.

At “T.C.” Sheryl learned to teach.
And here she came within the reach

Of her life’s companion whose name was Lee,
And a life of fulfillment, joy, and glee.

Would you guess they met in a waiting line?
A line whose goal was to sup and dine?

As I understand, ‘Twas love at first sight.
Please correct me if I ain’t right.

At that first meal she set the hook.
She offered dessert. (Which of course he took.)

It wasn’t long as the love thing goes
Afore Sheri had Lee by the nose.

Like a nursery rhyme of long ago,
Everywhere that Sheri went, Lee was sure to go.

He followed her to Lime Springs for her parents to annoint.
And when she went to teaching there, he went to ‘Berry Point.

Then back in nineteen fifty-nine,
Lee bought himself some real strong twine.

And with this twine they tied the knot.
Those two were hitched upon the spot.

To Nebraska they did go..
To teach and  —well— “you know.”

Now this is absolutely no balarney.
Sara was born not in K(ear)ny, but in K(ar)ny.

Back to Cedar Falls they came.
Lee came back for Name or Fame.

He got his Masters in a thrice.
His special study was in mice.

How hard master’s work must be!
In sixty-five came Douglas Lee!

Well Lee went on to teach in college.
What else to do with all that knowledge?

In ’68 came a huge decision.
To teach or not to teach demanded vision.

The choice was never his alone.
He asked his wife, then turned to “stone.”

They moved to Jefferson to stay,
To work—with kids to raise and play.

With Lee’s invention of a cart,
They began RVing with great heart.

RVing they found, with much pleasure,
Could mix with marketing to some measure.

Oh my, is this poem long enough?
Keith warned me, “Don’t go on and stuff.”

But once I start, it’s hard to stop.
I’ll prob’ly go until I drop!

Then if they need to move my stone,
Keith, tell my wife to call on Sloan.

Well, here you are—two fine minds,
With fifty years of the tie that binds.

We, the class of Fifty-five,
Are glad that you two “took the dive.”

We hope in years, you’ll add some more
Afore St. Peter o’pes the door.

And “Happy Fiftieth” Sheri and Lee.
From classmate number twelve —Gareeee.

Photo of Lee & Sheri, 2009