Philip Henry Becker

Awhile back my aunt sent me a copy of a poem that my grandfather wrote when he was 10 years old. I find it hard to imagine myself at 10 years old writing anything coherent, much less this accomplished. Fifth grade.

I was born on my grandpa’s birthday, so I share his name. It was only the first of many things I had to thank him for (because if I had been born on any other day my parents had planned to name me Cameron–*shuddder*) The picture is him riding his horse to school in 1909. As a boy, he lived on a ranch in Alberta. When my cousins and I were growing up, Grandpa regaled us with stories of real cowboys and indians and showered us with indian arrowheads he had collected.

He was a raconteur, a salesman, quick w/ a song–accompanying himself on guitar, a master of light verse (his letter to me when I had my tonsils out should probably be turned into an illustrated children’s book.) Anyway–there was no other impetus for this post than my love for a person gone almost forty years, but still the most memorable person I’ve ever known.

You can’t be always sunny
If there isn’t any sun
You can’t be always funny
If there isn’t any fun
But you can always be happy
If you let the clouds roll by
In the faith that there’s always somewhere
Little patches of blue sky

Philip Henry Becker
November 2, 1908

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