Here is part of today’s Octpowrimo prompt:
“Today we’re going to focus on the people who have influenced on our lives for the better, such as our parents, poets (for any Rumi fans, Coleman Barks is one of the thinkers in the film), philosophers, educators, scientists and our next door neighbor. Perhaps our child. Maybe it is a stranger you met one time and the conversation you had with that five-minute friend changed the direction of your life.
Today we are going to focus on their story in relationship to your story – our story – and how your lives have intersected.”
In my 76 years a great many interesting people have crossed my life – quite apart from those closest to me – but thanks to the internet I am able to finish the story of the wonderful man I first encountered in 1954 when I was a very young secretary in the West Indian section of the BBC.
A True Hero
was my first boss
a dashing young man
with an infectious grin.
I was seventeen
and green as green.
The first Trinidadian I’d ever seen,
he was funnier than any boss should be,
just after the war when he’d won DSO and DFC –
a flyer, mad on cricket and full of stories told with glee.
My introduction to the world of work
could not have been more fun,
with carte blanche to take on any task,
even those beyond my capability,
with never a Cross word when I boobed,
learning to work with adaptability,
able to take on responsibility.
We lost touch when I moved on
and so did he, a junior producer at the BBC,
he rose to dizzy heights in the law
attorney general, High Court Judge, University Dean,
finishing at the top of the diplomatic tree.
Last year I found him again through the World Wide Web. I wrote to him, he emailed me, with an invitation to his ninety-fifth birthday party in Trinidad, which I had to decline for health reasons. Last week I received a sad message from his daughter that he had died on 3rd October this year. You can read the incredible story of his life in the Daily Telegraph obituary, from which the picture at the top of the poem was taken, but the original is in the RAF Museum.
Also posted at dVerse Open Link Night