May 26, 2011

A poem from a friend (and traveling companion) today, my 82nd birthday

This poem (with the photo that apparently inspired it, taken last year at an outdoor restaurant in Sirince, Turkey) popped into my inbox yesterday. I secured my pal's OK to share it with you. See the expression on my face in the picture? That's how I look NOW, thanks to this charming BD present from a dear friend.


I happened on this snapshot of
Your grinning face today,
And thought I'd zap it right along:
A fitting way to say
"I wish you happy birthday" now
That you've turned eighty two,
And marvel at your energy;
(How 'bout a little clue?)

Look back twelve months, you smile here just
A lad of eighty one,
Relaxing in Sirince town,
The morning's touring done....
You'd climbed the stairs and hiked the hills
At Ephesus, and then
Marched up Priene's steeper slopes
And trooped back down again.

All over Turkey's rugged peaks
You trekked without a care;
You stepped inside a hot-air balloon
For vistas from the air
Of Cappadocia's fabled lands
And "fairy chimneys" tall;
You strolled the streets of Istanbul
And heard the muezzin's call.

Yes, it's a treat to celebrate
John Schappi's special day;
But really, what's remarkable
Is how you've shown the way
To live a life that's purposeful
With humor, charm, and grace;
Your playbook is a gift to us
Who run the human race.

But let me not wax maudlin here
Beneath the late May sun;
The bottom line is crystal clear:
With you, it's always fun.
And so I hoist my glass up high
With love and thanks galore:
Dear John, a happy birthday to you
Now, and many more!


Santosh said...

Yes.. It's really nice picture of ur with a great smile and a great feeling as well. Happy birthday John ........wish you all the best to ur coming days.... Always takecare

Brian Lockett said...

What could have been a more generous and kind tribute? Happy Birthday, John.

Pat Swords said...

Thank you so much for sharing, John!  A fitting tribute!  May the next year be as purposeful and rewarding as the last!

Linda Fernandez said...

A rightful poem
of praise for one
whose vigor 
is excelled by none.

madhav said...

Happy birthday John! Wishing you a wonderful and healthy years ahead.

Wjmontwieler said...

Hey, John, Nancy sent this on to me and I am so pleased she did.  What great friends you have, and what a great friend you are.  My only analysis is that you have always been a man of knowledge, wisdom, hard work and good humour and we are so proud tk, even partially, in those attributes.  Bill Montwieler

Susan Sala said...

Love to see that twinkle in your eye & the ear-to-ear grin!  Your energy, humor, and grace are inspiring to us all and it's great to see it captured in the poem.   Have a wonderful birthday! 

John Schappi said...

Thanks Santosh.  Hope all's well in Macau.

John Schappi said...

Thanks, Brian.  Let's lunch soon.

John Schappi said...

Thanks, Pat Good friends like you are the icing on the BD cake.

John Schappi said...

Thanks Linda. I keep thinking about a possible Buenos Aires visit.  Very tempting. Best to you and Kurt

John Schappi said...

Thanks, Madhav.  Hope all's well at Penn State. Namaste to your bride.

John Schappi said...

Thanks Bill. I'd love to get together with you and Nancy if you ever have time between your trips!

John Schappi said...

Thanks, Susan.  All these BD greetings remind me of what I said when I retired from BNA.  It's given me family, friends, and fun, as well as financial security.

Linda Fernandez said...

Hurry up and finish thinking!!!!

John Schappi said...

You always were a pushy broad!

Linda Fernandez said...

yep, some people NEVER EVER change!