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Happy Thanksgiving 2020!

November 25, 2020

Sam Walter Foss Writes the Ultimate Poem for the Common Man - New England  Historical Society

In doing my research for this year’s Thanksgiving email, I found this over a 100-year-old poem, The House By The Side of The Road by Sam Walter Foss (below).  I instantly felt a connection to it and felt the message within the words was very appropriate to the times we are currently in.  It has been a tough year since last Thanksgiving.  A year ago, we were all riding the high of a booming economy and the word “pandemic” was an afterthought.  Today, we are in a much different reality.

I‘ve always believed that what unites us is much stronger than what divides us.  That the history of America is full of examples of where we came together and rallied during a national crisis.  We may have long-standing disagreements and strong differences of opinion throughout this country, but this was always secondary to our keen sense of national pride and patriotic unity.  We’ve consistently had the courage to face our flaws and challenges head-on, maybe not as quickly as we should have, but we did what was necessary to move us forward and affect positive social change.

I am thankful I live in this great country.  I feel blessed to have been given so many wonderful opportunities in life because of the good fortune of my birthplace.  I am proud of the tireless efforts and amazing skill of so many people who are helping us navigate through our current challenges.  I am often in awe of the many talented people we have at our disposal when needed. I am hopeful for the future and what a revived American can do for its citizens and the world at large.

It will be a small Thanksgiving gathering this year – just my wife and me. I am grateful to have her by my side.  My guess is that many of you will also be doing something similar and missing many of your loved ones.  This strange year of 2020 will soon pass into the history books and before we know it, we will be celebrating as usual next year and being grateful for the many blessings that are yet to come.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I wish you all good health and happiness!

The House by the Side of the Road

by Sam Walter Foss (1858-1911)

There are hermit
souls that live withdrawn
In the peace of their self-content;
There are souls, like stars, that dwell apart,
In a fellowless firmament;
There are pioneer souls that blaze their paths
Where highways never ran;
But let me live by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

Let me live in a house
by the side of the road,
Where the race of men go by
The men who are good and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynic’s ban;
Let me live in a house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I see from my house
by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears-
Both parts of an infinite plan;
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.

I know there are brook-gladdened
meadows ahead
And mountains of wearisome height;
That the road passes on through the long afternoon
And stretches away to the night.
But still I rejoice when the travelers rejoice,
And weep with the strangers that moan,
Nor live in my house by the side of the road
Like a man who dwells alone.

Let me live in my
house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong,
Wise, foolish- so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner’s seat
Or hurl the cynic’s ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.


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