Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July, America!!!

My uncle, Frederick Leo Harris, was the master crane operator who removed the torch from the Statue of Liberty, July 4, 1984. This poem is about him...



Each of us has a moment of fame to shine as the star of the show;

a time to behold our very name setting the marquee lights aglow!

It is likely the day fore or aft is spent with the mainstream, obscure,

but for one golden instant we waft in glory no man can ignore!

 It was like that when our dear Uncle Fred (a rank and file kind of guy)

who worked hard for butter and bread, at once was thrust in the public eye.

He operated a long-necked crane (master of operation, he was)

the day of his notable reign, when folks around bestowed a great fuss.

The old torch he deftly brought down, Nineteen Eighty Four, Fourth of July,

from Miss Liberty, donned in her gown, as The Nation stood looking by.

The Lady needed restoration, a new torch to lift in her hand.

It evoked a huge celebration, including a full-dress brass band!

Papers carried Uncle Fred's photo, he was on The News on TV…

Suddenly a star of the nation! The pride of our whole family!!!

Aunt Carol was phoned by reporters, seeking facts about her lime-lit spouse.

Said she resented his orders to work on The Fourth, which kept her in-house!

Said she'd rather gone on a picnic or watched the neighborhood parade

or seen the current pick-flick, unaware history was being made

by her modest, hard-working spouse. Of course, when at last she understood,

and realized that this honor was great, she burst pride-buttons as one would.

Our family still gets to snicker about our aunt when Uncle Fred ran the crane

and each year as fireworks flicker, we salute his great day of fame!

Maude Carolan

Revised 7/4/12

Bob and I returned Saturday from a ten day Caribbean cruise with his son Jeff and family. We went from the cruise ship to Liberty State Park to board a ferry to Ellis Island, which stopped at the Statue of Liberty. The statue naturally brought back memories of my uncle, Frederick L. Harris, a former US Marine and a master crane operator, bringing down the torch for needed restoration on July 4, 1984. He was so low-key about this great honor that he didn't even tell his family that he was the one chosen to do it. Not even his wife was aware of it; she just knew that he had to work on the holiday. This poem is in loving memory of this hard-working, modest man.

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