Meet Clarence Oliver Burris Jr.. By his family he is known as Poppy and his friends call him Boy. He is my grandfather, my mom's dad. He was born in 1920 and lived through the depression. His mother died when he was just 12 but was blessed with a good family and friends that helped take care of him. He enlisted in World War II because he loved his country and wanted to serve his country. He is an artist and loved to paint, write poetry, and make neat things through welding. He loved to read his Bible. He loves to sing and has fond memories of singing with his mother. He adored his sweet wife, Catherine Mae, who he called Kate and sometime Mud (I think short for Mother). I am proud to be named after her. He thinks Kate was and is an angel and after she fell ill he did not leave her side. Even after a surgery he insisted he take care of her the day he came home. His memory does not serve him well currently. When I call my mom reminds him who I am by saying, "The one who you use to watch jump the hurdles." He is ready to be reunited with that sweet wife who has been gone for about 10 years now but it is seeming that his journey is not yet complete. Here is a poem he gave me a copy of a few years ago that has recently had more meaning for me. I love you, Poppy!
The Sixth Insatiable Sense
The Plague of 2001
'Tis a most obvious fact,
That vanity rules mankind.
Keeping up with the Joneses,
Shows modesty in decline.
We toy with moderation,
Cutting cost, we emphasize.
When we're moved by what folks think,
Vanity is sure to rise.
While fueling our Land Rover,
Panicky thoughts come o'er me!
Should I burn the credit cards,
Or crawl and claw, awkwardly?
Could an upgrade mark our fall,
While guarding appearances?
Or what would the neighbors say,
Of our strained circumstances?
Facing a downsizing shame,
Should we move back to the farm?
Could a lesser car suffice?
Would purse proudness lose its charm?
So, back to the farm we go.
Extravagance left behind.
The Jones factor is no more!
Besides, we've found peace of mind!
We're doing quite well, thank you!
Our mode is an open door!
Gone is a yen to swagger.
Our itch to strut is no more!
We've no Jones here to stir us.
Wealth of yore does not beckon.
We bought a forty Ford truck.
Chains that once bound, are broken!
Gone are all puffed up notions.
Airs no longer dash pell mell!
All unrestrained whims have fled.
We've learned our lesson WELL!
-O. Sodal Thrice (His pen name)
O. (old) Sodal (South Dallas) Thrice (The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost)