What the world needs now...

By John Pierre | Jun 20, 2013

There are great men and there are good men.  Grandpa Thomas, (my future father-in-law) was, in my opinion, the best of the good men.

His aim wasn't to be a great man because he had no wish to have his name go down in history.  His total devotion was to support his family.

The family moved frequently (17 times as a few diaries read) because, as one job began to peter out in those depression times, he had always lined up a new one... sometimes as an underpaid farmhand.

Marion K. Thomas was born in the early part of the 20th century into a poverty stricken world.  His family couldn't afford another mouth to feed so he was "farmed out" for a period of time with relatives until he was 16 or 17 years of age when he moved out to make it on his own though he had a nearly useless right arm.

Not too many years later, he met and married Grandma Thomas (Emma) who was a true gem.

They raised a family of four girls and a boy.  Thanks to Grandpa Thomas they never went hungry though they didn't always eat "high off'n the hog."

But their meals were always nutritious because Grandpa Thomas grew vegetables on whatever land he had.  He also raised whole flock of chickens possibly for use as meat for supper or to provide eggs for breakfast.

Grandpa Thomas didn't spend much time in a church pew, much to the dismay of some of the members of his family, but possibly it's because he needed a day of rest (he worked full time at whatever job he had currently and never missed a day on the job or attending to the family farm) or possibly because he needed to catch up on his chores.  I wouldn't presume to hazard a guess as to his reasons but I knew him to be a good man.

When I met the family (and eventually married their oldest daughter) they had a handsome little farm of four or five acres for planting and feeding a milk cow (with no bathroom or many of the usual indoor facilities) but their farm was a show place for passing traffic on the old Tacoma to Portland highway.

Why?  Because Grandpa Thomas loved his flowers.

Each spring he planted many hundreds of beautiful, large dahlia flowers on about a quarter of an acre, which happened to be parallel to the highway.

Though it was not his intent, these flowers were traffic stoppers.

Yes, Grandpa Thomas was a truly good man.  The world could do with more good men and fewer self agrandized great men.

Wouldn't the world be a finer place to live in then?

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