56th Anniversary -
VF-781 Pacemakers
October 1997

The bay and hills earthquaking famed,
The streets and shops still often rained;
What brings these some-times warriors here?
They come perhaps, to shed a tear.

Some lines of face and steps with care.
Some slowing as they leave the chair;
Of them not much is really new —
Their eyes more easily fill with dew.

One wonders what these pairs have known.
His stomach somehow seems to have grown;
Her hand seems somewhat smaller now –
What cares have caused the furrowed brow?

He guides her as she nears the stair,
She picks his tie and what to wear
And dresses him against the cold –
This loving game of growing old.

Tall tales retold, embellished some.
Where lying’s really half the fun;
The jokes are stale, the gags quite worn
But lives like these are not forlorn!!

And here and there a missing face
Who couldn’t muster at this place;
One may be a fallen pal
Or of a lovely dear old gal.

Some few I’ve known on my sea tours
Had charm and guts the like of yours.
We had our fun, and if you please,
Let’s meet next year.  Please stand at ease.

1Robert (Bob) Hughes, recalled with VF-781 Pacemakers from NAS Los Alamitos on 17 July 1950. Shot down over North Korea in 1951. Picked up and returned to his carrier Bon Homme Richard by a destroyer. Given a Purple Heart and recuperated in Japan then to the United States. © 2006 The Brown Shoes.