For Phil

A man of words begets a man of letters
A leader of men begets an inspirer of men
A man of ideals begets a man of ideas
A family man begets a family

Things change and move over time
The old is replaced by the new
We mourn the loss of what is good
We hold on to the good gifts that remain

Words and letters are both important
Leading and teaching are both vital
We need our ideals, we must explore ideas
The family remains strong

The mind moves back to memories
Chatting about everything and nothing
Friendship exchanging ideas
Seems wordplay was the greatest game

The man let the children play their game
Mostly his life seemed his own
When he played he scored his points
Always speaking with reason and humor

Some say a life is in itself a library
One mourns that so many volumes are unwritten

A dear childhood friend, Philip, lost his father Richard Baber this weekend — his funeral was on Monday. Some of my fondest adolescent and college memories were sitting with Phil in his parent’s living room and talking about our studies or our mutual passion for the written word. Phillip’s father had a very different background from us college kids; he was a naval chief petty officer — he lived his education. We wrestled with the written word; he mastered the spoken word. Phil and I wrestled with ideas, and abstracts — his father solved problems as they came up working with the individuals under his command. Phil learned well from his father, they had many of the same gifts only tended in different directions. I will never forget how Mr. Baber showed care for his family, and kindness to me — simply because I was his son’s friend. I will never forget the few times he put his own thoughts into our childish debates — thoughts based on real experience, and expressed with wit. I wish his wisdom would be collected (I would buy that book).

We often think how when someone dies our lives our poorer. We forget that the very memories are a gift. Instead, we are so much richer because someone else’s life touched our own.


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