Sunday, April 19, 2015

Check Marks the Spot

 The man with the check over his head is my father, Jack Hicks Hopper, 
the year he was captain of the Polo Team at the University of Arizona!
Circa 1932-1933
I just about wore these yearbooks out; 
they were always in the tall shelf at the bottom of the bookcase.

And here is the song my brother, Robert (1945-1997) 
wrote about my father and often sang with his guitar.
Look for the Polo Pony Ace!

Briefcase with Initials
                                                      for jhh

You were high and handsome, I was two feet tall.
You were strong and skillful, I was weak and small.
You held your shoulders high above the ground.
Your red-faced laughing hearty warming sound.
Your thick black hair, your broad Clark Gable face
set off a picture slim and fair to see.
Some yearbook picture polo pony ace
looks through his rimless glasses down at me.

            A father is to son as big to small;
            it’s hard to get to know the man at all.

Double-breasted suits and bright red ties,
a special voice for praying deep and wise,
 you kept your distance from our hazy days.
You brought surprising punishment and praise.
A briefcase with initials on the side,
a block of ice for doing homemade ice cream,
some land a hundred forty acres wide,
I help you in the garden in my dream.
You know I love you Dad, sometimes I told you.
You grew small and frail then when my long arms hold you.
You never told me what, and rarely showed me how.
I see the world through your steel blue eyes now.

Now kids look up at me and smile and lie.
I ask them can’t they please go play outside.
They ask to look at pictures from back when.
They look like I look ten feet tall to them.
Say Dad, did they have cars when you were small?
Did you know Mom when you were a kid?
 How old is our Granddaddy after all?
Do we do things that you and your daddy did?

            A father is to son as big to small.
            It’s hard to get to know the man at all.’

                                              1977, 1987; Sing in C
Robert Hopper

And here is the rest of the team!

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