Sunday, December 21, 2014

#40- Uncle Ned Tyson's Christmas Gift to Brother Chester Tyson and Bertha Hawxhurst and Family

Uncle Ned's Christmas Gift to Brother Chester & Family
It's fitting that "Uncle Ned" be the guest blogger for this final post, also the Christmas post. His "post" was written some 70 years ago as a gift for his brother, Chester, and that Tyson family (December 1944). His poem  mentions each child in the family.
I picked up Ned’s poem from the 20th issue of THE FAMILY NEWS (Tyson family news), December 1949 where it was reprinted. 
The Editors wrote it was for: “the family gathering at Crestmont – Christmas 1944. It was Aunt Elizabeth’s idea [Elizabeth Tilton]. She asked Uncle Ned if he would like to do it. He did and read it to us then. We don’t know how long he spent in writing it; a heavy job we’d say. Although he was in poor health, he read the story dramatically, and gave every sign of enjoying what turned out to be his last Christmas with us.” THE FAMILY NEWS December, 1949
To clarify/remind you of a couple things:
1 Ned married Mary Hawxhurst, brother Chester married Mary’s sister Bertha. 

2 Ned was 13 years older than brother Chester; Mary was 19 years older than sister Bertha. (Mary had already passed away when Ned wrote this).
3 At the start of the poem the little girl is mentioned is Bertha who views the courtship of sister Mary and Ned at the girls’ Hawxhurst home in Westbury, Long Island, NY.

*                    *                        *                          *

You’ve heard the tale of the mountain, who laboring brought forth a mouse
But this tale is totally different, with nothing to show but a louse.
Please don’t be too hard on Elizabeth, but sympathize instead
Intentions were good, and the only fault, over-rating her Uncle Ned.
With this most humble apology, we’ll proceed to enter the gate
Of the Westbury home of the Hawxhursts in the good old Empire State.

In the year eighteen hundred and eighty-five
(Why General Grant was still alive)
A gawky youth sat on a parlor “Cheer”
Patiently waiting for his girl to appear.

As he presently glanced toward the parlor door
What should he see but a damsel of four.
With cheeks flaming red, and eyes that were bright
Presenting indeed, a delectable sight.

Forth, with her brother, they came hand in hand
(He as chaperone, doubtless) to finally land
On the very uncomfortable knew of the youth
Who was much embarrassed and flustered, forsooth.

But this dainty damsel was not bothered at all
And it soon became patent this “Queen of the Ball”
Had fully decided, without shadow of doubt
To fully and totally cut sister out.

And when the said sister had finally arrived
Much disgusted was damsel to be thus deprived
Of any chance further to make us of her smiles
And to break down resistance with feminine wiles.

But later, this damsel came down to see Sister.
She chanced to look ‘round before even she’d kissed her
And in plain sight beheld (in fact, it was no other)
No, not the slim youth, but his much younger brother.

One glance was quite sufficient to captivate this brother
And if you do not think so, just take a look at Mother.
And as to that which followed, strictly twixt you and me
The final result was the best that could be.

For through a full lifetime of living together
Thru good times and bad times, thru fair and foul weather
There ne’er was a day, not even a moment
That either withheld the love that’s so potent.

And then when the children commenced to arrive
The house soon became like a busy bee hive.
And it was a real joy for all persons to see
This proud active worker and his prouder Queen Bee.

Proud of their children, proud of their house
Proud of each other, this husband and spouse. 
Proud of their work, and enjoying their play 
A most perfect setting. What more can I say?

But as to the children, there’s much more to be said
And before you get thru with this garrulous Ned
You’ll probably wish he had died in the borning
But cheer up, my friends, it’s a long time till morning.

The first to appear on this peaceable scene
was cute little Donald, the joy of the “Queen.”
The “Pride of her heart”, as is so often said
But little she knew of what lay ahead.

For one day this “cute” little duffer
(Right on Grandma’s best parlor carpet)
Bu no. Drop the curtain, please do
And promptly forgive and forget it.

A little while later this venturesome kid
At the age of four – just see what he did.
He climbed to the top of the windmill of steel
To see how the air of the heavens would feel.

But fortunately then, at the eighty foot height,
His father and mother hove into sight.
He was soon back to earth, without any harm
Then climbed a low stump and broke his left arm.

And so, his adventures, if I really come clean
Continued thru life, ‘til he met up with Irene.
She took him in hand, and straightened him out
And taught him what living was really about.

Soon, along there came Charles, whom they nicknamed Jimmy.
Followed by Kenneth, first cousin to “Ginny”
And competent Florence, beloved Aunt of the boys,
Who adds much to their comfort, as well as their joys.

Jimmy’s a worker, when someone’s around,
Disking the peaches, and plowing the ground.
Helps Uncle Ralph, by driving the tractor.
In this Tyson household, he’s a much valued factor.

Kenny delights in going to school
Between you and me, that chap is no fool.
Having no sister, he does what ma wishes,
From mowing the lawn, to washing the dishes.

A mighty fine pair of dependable kids
If they were put up at auction, I’d certainly bid.
Not only adventures embroidered Don’s lot,
Real work was needed to fire the pot.

Now, Don is helping his old Uncle Sam
To get needy farmers out of a jam.
Buying their phosphate, supplying their lime
Furnishing seeds, and a lot of his time.

But when Don pursues this difficult task,
“What becomes of the Farm”, you may properly ask.
The answer’s- Irene. Your guess was quite near.
She’s cook, nurse, or farmer as need doth appear.

So, good luck to Don, and his helpmate, Irene.
As to the boys, it’s plain to be seen
That besides helping Daddy, they are always most keen
To take mighty good care of “Gram”, the good Queen.
- - - - - - -
The next to leave Heaven to hunt up a job
Was named Robert William, but we soon dubbed him “Bob”.
And the first thing he said when he opened his eyes
Was, “Find me the mud and I’ll market mud pies.”

“Twas the third of July, year 19-0-3
When Bob “putted off” from the Heavenly “Tee”
And from that day to this, he’s been a “Go-getter”
If someone was good, he’d go him one better.

I”ll never forget the day that he found
His old job as foreman had sunk ‘neath the ground.
Did he whimper and cry? Not that you could mention
But stated instead, as his considered intention,

“To start off tomorrow”, to Harrisburg, say
“And grab me a job, that hereafter I may
Have something to do that looks like a job,
No matter what,” said competent Bob.

And grab one he did, before the day’s end
“Not just what I’d like, but I will surely bend
Every effort to please, so when I request
A recommendation, ‘twill be of the best.”

And so, this aforesaid sturdy go-getter
Has gradually risen from good jobs to better.
And if you assay the true cause to ferret,
You’ll quickly discover, it’s unalloyed merit.

And, as everyone knows, through all of this strife,
Bob has been blessed with the most excellent wife.
Thelma’s true as blue steel, and loving and kind,
Keeping him fully, and properly dined.

And “Jerry” Louise, now there’s a fine girl,
Who surely will make her own place in Life’s whirl.
And be like her mother, entirely content
To manage a household, as is Nature’s intent

But one fact has just come to the writer’s attention
Which perhaps, at this place had had much better mention
All thru the time of his youth, so they say
This Robert persisted in running away.

He’d run away in daytime, he’d run away at night
He’d run away just any  time, much to his mother’s fright.
She whipped him, and she lashed him, and she locked up his attire,
And still this Bob kept running; he never seemed to tire.
- - - - - -
Now, the next boy to arrive was really a girl
At least as time passed, she donned skirts awhirl.
But, as to cosmetics, and other girl lotions
She much preferred boys, and strictly boy notions.

‘Stead of making mud pies, to be fed to a rag
Would ‘round a stick like a doll, she would tag
Along with the boys, to their vast irritation
Sans hat, and sans shoes, and sans invitation.

She’d much rather try to hit a ball with a bat
Than have a new dress, or a ravishing hat
Unmercifully the boys would tease and malign
But she made the home team, the famed Tyson Nine.

What a slim foundation, you’d say, for a wife,
To mend a man’s clothes, and feed him for life
To bear all his children, bring them to perfection
And give to them all, both love and affection.

But, just wait a moment, she was mother’s good helper
With physique like an ox, and a quite even temper
Willing to do, and the wherewith to do it,
A quite different story, as you’ll certainly view it.

Eating the pudding determine its worth
A saying that’s true, all over the earth.
So, just look around, and answer me,
Could any result more commendable be?

She’s got her a husband, as fine as could be,
And three sturdy youngsters, as you plainly see,
And dear Mother Moore, who never is cross.
She has a good job, but a crusty old boss.

One thing I’ve forgotten, forgive me, please do.
I’ll make due amends, before I am through
Her first name’s Elizabeth, after Queen Bess
Middle name Charity, grandsir’s mother, I guess.

She got her last name from Charles Tilton, for life,
When she solemnly promised to be a true wife.
Charles served in the Air Corps, a Captain in rank.
On his being a good one, you surely can bank.

Here’s are very best wishes to this happy pair
And to their three lively children, so sturdy and fair.
There’s bright active Billy, lovely Mardy and Ann
And we wish Mother Moore the best that we can.

'Twas the year nineteen six and the gorgeous month of May
When dainty Margaret Janet deigned to turn her steps this way.
She was, of course, expected and you may be very sure
That proper steps were taken to receive this maiden pure.

She was so very lovable, so charming and so bright
That all our hearts were filled with joy and pure delight.
And when asthma took its toll, and caused so much distress
She had our warmest sympathy throughout her strain and stress.

And when her parents’ fondest hopes were broken like a reed
'Twas Margaret Janet who arrived and helped to fill their need.
For many years it was her task to the youthful mind to teach
The same time building up her own to further outward reach.

One lucky day she met a man, one of important station.
Clarence Keefer was his name, a shark at sanitation.
A hard working chap was he, as befitted his position
With a twinkling eye, and a smiling face, and a flair for erudition.

It quickly developed that these studious minds were not disposed to tarry
And soon the Meeting received a request that they be permitted to marry.
Permission granted, arrangements made, and the knot tied good and tight
But not a single strand used they, but a wholly dependable light.

A chance soon came to travel, at home and over seas
To visit Friendly neighborhoods, and to examine scenes
And copious notes were carefully kept to inform the folks at home
In case they too should later on, kick up their heels and roam.

Many learned treatises flow from their facile pen.
For Margaret, too, helps Clarence now and then.
Here’s to this lovable pair, and here’s to the work they do
May a world of happiness be their lot, and envelope them thru and thru
- - - - - - -
Frederick, middle name Carroll, came to town in Nineteen eight
The month was Feb. the day was nine, when he finally crashed the gate.
Now, what’s to be done with this rollicking kind, who comes bounding in at the door,
After quietly stowing himself away ‘neath grandma’s kitchen floor.

For there was a cistern grim and cold.
‘Twas oft full of water, but please, withhold
Your fears, for he’d chosen a day for his try
When the underground dungeon was partially dry.

He tangled up with so much dirt
From day through following day,
That Mother in desperation said,
“He meets the thing half way.”

As years passed on, concern rose as to where he’d find a mate
So they sent him out, and sternly bade that he travel early and late.
From East to West, from North to South he was compelled to roam
When suddenly lovely Mildred Jost was found near Home Sweet Home.

Then they traveled together from East to West, and from West to East returned
From North to South, and back again, many gallons of gas they burned.
But in their travel on business bent, they’d secretly bemoan
The lack of an heir to gladden their hearts, and brighten their hoped for home.

But one day in Gasport, State of New York, there arose a mighty shout,
And neighbors came from near and far, to learn what t’was all about
And soon they found, as you must have reckoned,
The stork had delivered Frederick Carroll, the Second.

So, here we will leave them with our very best wishes.
She to care for their son, and he to wash dishes.
We are sorry to miss hem in this moment of cheer
And look forward hopefully to Christmas next year.
- - - - - - - - - -
Phil, best pal of Frederick, was the next chap to blow in
First name Edwin; to deny him a better was surely a sin
And to put that name first, must have been done on a bet
Bust much worse placed in 2nd, for t’would then have spelled PET.

Despite this handicap severe, his arrival was just fine
On July 28th, in the year Nineteen  O Nine.
And almost at once with his pal, brother Fred
He joined up with “The Firm” and came forging ahead

Now, there’s a point of ancient history that gladly would I pass
But strict Poetic Justice requires me, Alas!
To here and now remind you of something stark and rash
‘Tis just that little matter of fourteen Meeting sash. 

It seems that Phillip’s Mother, one lovely summer’s morn
Desired that he should fetch her some edible sweet corn
Now such a job fit not at all with Phillip’s daily plan.
But worse than that, he smuggled in his little brother Stan.

To hasten up this tale of woe, and close it with a stroke
Before the day was ended, there were fourteen windows broke.
Now what was done with Stanley and what was done with Phil?
I’ll leave to you the question, “Was there a rumpus on the Hill?”

With such a start, you’d likely guess an end at Leavenworth.
But if you did, far wrong you’d be – I double up with mirth
For Phil is in the Army – and doing mighty fine
And Stan is in the Navy – bucking hard the line.

He spent a time at college. At G.M. Tech, I think.
The while he built car coolers for Lockport’s Harrisons, Inc.
He worked a spell at Gasport, testing sprayer pumps.
Then heeded Horace Greeley, and crossed the Rockies’ humps.

We see that this was not each day, the only vital part
He turned his hand from work to play and studied Kodak art.
And those of us who’ve a chance his photographs to view,
Are most enthusiastic as we scan them thru and thru.

The Army checked his talents and taught him radio.
Then shipped him o’er the water to far off Borneo.
But there’s one thing we’ve never heard. He never wrote a line,
To say if any girl had caused his lonely heart to pine.

Here’s to our Phil, may he soon return, again to his native land
And if he should bring back with him from off he Western sand
As helpmate for a lifetime, a frizzy skirted lass
We’ll tear up all our gardens and plant two pampas grass.
- - - - - - - -
Now following previous mention, Stanley comes in quick
His first name, of course, is Richard, but nobody calls him Dick.
His initial bawl and initial crawl came in Nineteen eleven
On the 22nd day of windy March, he dropped in straight from Heaven.

For nearly a year he couldn’t decide whether he’d better go back
But soon this curly head (first of its kind) took quite a different tack.
From day to day and from week to week, he gradually added pounds
By now he can tackle any one in any number of rounds.

Standing up straight as a ramrod, clad in gleaming white
Yes, he belongs to the Navy, a truly commendable sight.

But I’m getting ahead of my story, truck driving was Stan’s delight
He tinkled the bell on a trolley till bus driving came into sight.
And while the bus still he was driving, right in the prime of life,
He met the girl of his choice, who later became his wife.

All Hail to thee, Irma May Hamilton, now adding the last name of Stan
There’s now a most welcome addition to the growing Tyson clan.
May we soon be most gratefully able to greet thee and Stan together
And, after this heart-rending gap, may you join your hands forever.
- - - - - - - - - -
Now after the namesake of his father, a name most widely sown
All over this State and in others, Chester Tyson’s favorably known.
This boy arrived in September; I’m sure twas the 22nd.
The year was Nineteen hundred and twelve, as time is usually reckoned.

A farmer he’d be. He early showed sign.
A garden he had before he was nine.
He learned how to plow and to hoe and to seed.
To prune and to spray, to harvest and week.

George would say, “June, take wagon and mule
To number eleven with Buzz Rice and tool.”
Flop-eared and droopy, but safe was Kate,
As she hauled men and tools from early till late.

To Penn State he went and an “Ag” became.
He studied and worked and attained some fame
For pruning and trimming and budding and such,
Which helped with the cost of college quite much.

The Baltimore Windsors did not long debate
When Chester J. Junior appeared at the gate.
“Your daughter I’d have, to make me a wife.”
“Then take her,” they said, “and keep her for life.”

Thus Charlotte was found, and luckily-My!
For her kind is rare and hard to come by.
Soon there was added “Bud,” Chester the Third.
And Naomi – Ann, “Nan”, as light as a bird

To Delaware State in due time he hied
To test what he’d learned about credit. He tried
To make management plans for farmers there.
And help keep bill collectors out of their hair.
- - - - - - -
A genuine blond – 'tis rare in this troop.
(There only were two in the entire group.)
Given name Ralph – for Dean Watts – good friend.
On 10th twenty-seventh to earth did descend.

The year was ’14 and probably night.
He was tiny – quite small – just a wee mite.
Just look at him now, he outgrew it you see.
He’s spare but so tall as I’d want to be.

His youth was well spent at labor and play.
He mowed lawn and sprayed and helped make hay.
He studied at school and at State College, too.
And married a wife before you’d say – boo!

‘Twas Emilie Davis, a slim Quaker lass,
of N.J. and Earlham and Laurel. Yes,
At Laurel she’d spent many summers, I hear.
Fast friends they’d become for the Lakes was so near.

Of Ed. Nicodemus and Mr. Hess, too.
He asked for a job and bought some ground, true.
He managed their orchard and tended his land.
He set his sights high and ambition fanned.
- - - - - - - -
‘Twas A. D. 15 and May 6th at that,
When the Doctor gave signal in Chester’s  flat
A new child was born, a fine laddie too.
A good contribution to that growing crew.

The Tenth child he was and thus he was dubbed,
Sir Dixie Paul Tyson, but quickly we rubbed
The first of it out and called him plain “Dix”
That set him off well from the first and last six.

Handsome greys for summer afternoon, matched by shirts of blue
And when the evening suits appeared, they were of every hue.
Now,  this is Fred? Well, I guess not. Dix for short, to you,
And were his brothers jealous like? Too true, too true, too true.

But when the time had come in course to put this chap to work
T’was found it didn’t do at all; he’d much prefer to shirk.
Now that is not a proper start for any chap in life
But all this fellow needed was a proper steady wife.

And when he finally found her, and a careful survey made
T’was found that he had stumbled on a mine of gold “indade.”
So lovable and charming, so capable and true
Have you any wonder that we are jealous, too?

And now that Dix is married, he is working like an ox
Salting down the lucre ‘neath keys and sturdy locks.
When is thee coming, Audrey Jean, and thy baby, little Rae?
We hope that all can come at least by another Christmas day.

- - - - - - - - - -
Strange it must seem and most strange indeed.
Up to this time no one saw a need
To nineteen nineteen no child had worn
The name of his mother in Westbury born.

A good name it is. So proud he must be.
Alan Hawxhurst, they called him. Thus did he
Fill in the omission so glaringly plain.
And to this generation a brave name retain.

With Norman Eugene as the twelfth, I am done,
And endeth my tale in the year twenty one.
But no, I won’t end it, more must be told
Of trials and triumphs – all I’ll unfold.

Alan and Norma, a penalty paid
For having eight brothers. Their days were made
Chuck full of labor, chores, errands and such
Duties as didn’t appeal to them much.

“Alan, do this. Now, Norman do that.
Run to the house and get me a hat.”
The latter was fatter; the former light.
Their tasks kept them busy from morning to night.

I don’t s’pose it hurt them to work in this way.
They just did their share, in truth I must say.
Of farm work and house work, garden and stand,
At spraying, and pruning and tilling the land.

His schooling once finished, Alan turned his feet
Due east to Doylestown Village, Bucks’ county seat.
There he worked for Burpees testing beans and chard,
Putting his findings on a little card.

Soon he joined the Navy, a mariner forsooth.
A pilot’s helper he. Aerologist, this youth.
Judged the clouds and winds above. Read their spread and height.
Planned the weather for ahead, both for day and night.

A splicerman was Norman, a cable mender he,
A joiner of coaxials for A.T. & T.
The Army took advantage of Norman’s skill and care.
And sent him o’er the water to fix the cables there.

- - -  - - -
With that I cease my ramblings. I’ll end the story there.
I’ll thank our host and hostess who did this meal prepare,
And quote the words of Dickens, in light of dying sun
Whose Tiny Tim was lead to say, “God Bless Us Everyone.”

Ned Tyson & Mary Hawxhurst  1930s

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