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Airplanes & Rockets

Kirt Blattenberger, Webmaster - Airplanes and Rockets
Kirt Blattenberger
Carpe Diem!
(Seize the Day!)

Even during the busiest times of my life I have endeavored to maintain some form of model building activity. This site has been created to help me chronicle my journey through a lifelong involvement in model aviation, which all began in Mayo, MD ...

1996 - 2026

Kirt Blattenberger
Family Websites:
RF Cafe | Equine Kingdom

All trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other rights of ownership to images and text used on the Airplanes and Rockets website are hereby acknowledged.

Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Plans Service - Airplanes and Rockets

The Works of Art™
"Idle Thoughts on 'Most Any Subject"

"The Works of Art" A collection of poems by Art Blattenberger

Note: All poems are copyrighted and may not be used without permission. Write to me, and I will be glad to grant it. Credit must be given to Art Blattenberger. Thank-you.

Art Blattenberger, Classified Ad Manager, Evening Capital Newspaper, November 21, 1969 - Airplanes and Rockets

Art Blattenberger, Classified Ad Manager, Evening Capital Newspaper, November 21, 1969

My father, Arthur "Art" Blattenberger, worked as the Classified Department manager at The Evening Capitol newspaper. He worked there from the time I was born until the day he died on March 3, 1981. I was in the Air Force at Loring AFB, Maine, at the time the call came from my aunt. It was a shock to everyone, particularly to my mother and three school-age sisters still living at home.

His disposition was upbeat, and he loved nothing more than being home with his family (although my five sisters and I - particularly I -could make his life pretty miserable at times). Dad was a funny guy who tried to create a home environment like the one he remembered from his childhood in Lackawanna, NY. His father and brothers worked at the Bethlehem Steel mills a few blocks away from their row house. Two parents and seven or eight kids lived in that house at one point. Today, when families of Illegals from Mexico live in those conditions, we're told they are underprivileged and are owed a handout.

While at the Evening Capitol, Dad published an occasional poem in a columns titled. "The Works of Art - Idle Thoughts on Just About Any Subject." Those poems' subjects ranged from the births of his children, to the assassination of JFK, to odes to firemen. The ones posted below are from a collection put together by my sister, Gayle (who was my father's biggest admirer), after he died.

Some day, as time permits, I'll have to scan in some of the many letters that he wrote to me while I was in the U.S. Air Force. They usually combined drawings, newspaper clippings, and other original bits with the text of the letter. Colored Flairs used for highlighting, coffee stains, and who-knows what else might have ended up on the paper by the time he was ready to send it. If you ever get the chance to read them, you'll bust a gut laughing. Enjoy.

Allow Me to Introduce Myself
April 22, 1958

Dear Reader please I'd like to say
I'll be writing this column each Thursday
To try to tell in thoughts that rhyme
The things I think of all the time.

Though I'm no Kilmer, Keats or Poe
Or Whittier or Longfellow,
I'll try to satisfy your quest
Of thoughts you like to read the best.

If my words do not suffice
I think it would be very nice
If you write me anytime
Of the thoughts you'd like to see in rhyme.

Address your letter directly to me
At Edgewater Box 303,
And I will do my very best
To poetically answer your request.

So join me on my poetic tours
While I hope that my thoughts can be yours
With sincere concern right from the heart
I hope you enjoy the "Works of Art."

Art Blattenberger

Verse to a Nurse
May 11, 1958

I'm in favor of a well earned hail
For the progress of Miss Nightingale,
To the girls in white who work unsung
To save the sick, the old, the young.

From Clara Barton to Edith Cavell
To the Women's Nurse Corps they've all served well.
Their actions are quick, their speech is terse,
These personalities personify a nurse.
Their chores are many and varied too,
Their main concern is in helping you.
A constant smile must grace their face
As they perform at a breakneck pace.

They give you a needle or maybe a pill
Or put your flowers on the window sill;
They rub your back or change your bad
And fluff your pillow to rest your head.

They listen to your pains and aches,
They know what medicine each patient takes;
The Delivery room where new babies are born
Is constantly busy from night 'til morn.

They say new mothers are not much bother
The trouble seemingly rests with father,
But they reassure him when he starts to fret,
"We haven't lost a Father yet."

So let's give credit where credit is due
With a big salute for the work they do,
And hope some day we may reimburse
God's gift to humanity
                       her name is Nurse.

Art Blattenberger

May, 1958

Tho I'm married, I'm in love
With a girl who's very sweet
With eyes that sparkle like stars above
And of stature so petite.

I've confessed my feelings to my wife
She took the news quite well;
I said that I would give my life
For this girl I think's so swell.

Some nights she likes to stay up late,
Each day she's getting bolder.
And I just sit there feeling great
As her head rests on my shoulder.

I guess you think I'm very bold
To carry on this way,
But on my heart she has a hold
And it is there to stay.

She isn't one who talks a lot,
But she surely loves to drink;
"Da Da" is her one bon mot
(You're getting the gist I think!)

Gayle is the name of the girl I adore,
She looks like a doll I'm told.
My wife and I both love for
She's our baby-she's 9 months old.

Art Blattenberger

School is Out
June 1958

Once more we hear joyous children shout
The "call of the world," "SCHOOL IS OUT."
The doors are closed, learning's left behind,
Summer vacation dominated their mind.

Johnny's so happy that he needn't cram
And sweat and toil on that final exam.
Sally's homework now only entails
Going out to the movies and beach with her pals.

Books are heaped in a pile high
Neglected, spurned, never catching an eye.
The same sleepy heads Mother couldn't wake
Are now dressed and have eaten when the dawn doth break.

The big red schoolhouse-so busy all year
Now stands empty-armed, no voices to hear,
All the wastebaskets emptied, the shades all drawn,
The big clock on the wall gives a tired yawn.

The omnipresent old school bell
Has rung the season's final knell,
The yellow school bus rests once more
It too has performed a forgotten chore.

The cop who led the children across the street
Now stands alone on an empty beat.
The soda fountain a daily stop
Is now just another deserted shop.

So let's don't begrudge them a happy vacation,
Let's remember when we felt the same sensation.
Let's all of us join in and shout
With a million children, "SCHOOL IS OUT!"

Art Blattenberger

It Seems Like Only Yesterday
August 12, 2008

Today, wee Gayle, you've reached age one
Hasn't this first year been fun?
Disregarding each bump and fall
You've had a pretty good time after all.

Remember the nights when Mommy and me
Would sit up and rock you on our knee
And you'd just lay there without any fuss
You endeared yourself greatly to both of us.

Remember when you were still real small
How we used to think you'd never grow tall
But look at you now, you've grown like a weed
That came from eating all the food you need.

Remember how all the food you ate
Had to be strained through a real fine grate
But look at you now, you're very able
To eat with Mommy and me at the table.

Remember when your little legs were like rubber
As soft and fat as a big whale's blubber
But look at you now, you walk with the best
As a matter of fact, you seldom ever rest.

Remember when you were still just cooing
And didn't really know what you were doing
But look at you now, the thing you can do
You say "Mama", "Dada", "Up", "Down", and "How do."

Yes, dear Gayle, now you're one year old
You're the prettiest story that was ever told
And if you should live to a hundred and three
Please, baby, remember Mommy and Me.

Art Blattenberger

It Rained... Again

From Monday to Friday the sun shone bright
As if by magic on Friday night
The clouds appeared, the winds blew strong
The hard rains came, all weekend long.

All our plans for working outside
Went down the drain, with the rising tide
The grass grew taller, the weed grew stronger
Don't know if we can take this much longer.

The paint on the house looked a little more soiled
As the rain beat down, and we just boiled.

Out in the garden, the corn and tomatoes
Had a swimming party with the beets and potatoes
I thought to myself, "If they grow as one
I'll have ready made salad," but that can't be done.

The children were champing at the bit
To go outdoors, and not just sit
And watch TV, all reruns at that
Their feet were itchy, so was where they sat!

Soon they were at each other's throat
"That's my crayon", "Don't touch my boat"
"Mom she hit me", "Can I go outside?"
Mom's nerve end were fit to be tied.

The weekend passes and Sunday night
The children finally give up their fight
And get ready for bed, have some milk and cake
And I think to myself, "Please for their sake Make it rain all week, until Friday night
Then Saturday morn, let the sun shine bright."

Don't you agree it's a terrible pain
To be stuck indoors with a weekend of rain
And don't you agree, as I lay down my pen

Art Blattenberger

The Story Behind the Story

"Getcha papuh, readallaboutit"
Every day the newshawks shout it
And America reads as the news is unfurled
As it happens - around the world.

But we never stop to give a thought
Of what goes into that paper we've bought
Of the time and men and the deadlines to beat
Before the paper hits the street.

The reporters' job is to get the story
And give all the details, whether blissful or gory
With a "nose for news" they follow each lead
And edit the facts so they're easy to read.

The photographer's camera continually clicking
The teletype with its tick-tick-ticking
The Office force second to none
Check minutest details, they work as one.

Advertising salesmen with their layout pads
Combine wisdom, forethought and appeal in their ads
Each set up to attract the buyer's eye
To tell where to buy it, from whom and why.

The composing room where the type is set
With its linotypes miming a large castanet
Compositors, markup men, copy boys too
Each with a definite job to do.

Then everything goes to the big press room
Where the giant presses make a mighty boom
As the ink and metal cut a magical caper
When they meet with a crash on the huge rolls of paper.

"Getcha papuh, readallaboutit"
Everyday the newshawks shout it
And America reads as the news is unfurled
As it happens - from around the world.

Art Blattenberger

And to All a Good Night
December 1958

As my year-old little desk calendar tells
This is the season for holly and bells
For tinsel, bright lights and shopping fuss
This is the season of Merry Christmas.

Folks you haven't seen for a year
Are helping you spread the season's good cheer
There's a Santa Claus in all the big stores
Helping to solve your gift-giving chores.

Bright colored lights and boughs of holly
Deck the town, it looks so jolly
All the store windows in their decor so gay
Make you feel "It's a wonderful day."

The children are on their best behavior
To help celebrate the birth of our Savior
But the things on the minds of most girls and boys
Are candy and Santa Claus and a sack full of toys.

Mother is busy with cookies and cake
With socks to fill and a turkey to bake
When buying gifts she's Mrs. Claus
Why does she do it? You know, because.

The cold weather has made its call
And soon the first snow will start to fall
The time goes faster as the big day grows near
Carols and bells are the sounds that you hear.

Then all of a sudden it's Christmas Day
In a matter of minutes the gifts are astray
But it was all fun, you feel good in your heart
I do too - Season's Greetings from

Art Blattenberger

I Love a Mousetry

Have you ever lived within a house
That you had to share with a little mouse
Or maybe, two or three or four
I do - let me tell you more.

Each time it's cool or muggy or damp
These little mice decide to camp
In various places throughout our domain
And I try to catch them, usually in vain.

They scratch and gnaw and jump and run
I guess it's their idea of fun
They make a mess where'er they've been
If I clean it up, they mess it again.

One in particular has made a nest
In a place even I consider best
He makes his home in our floor heater
The first cold day, I'll fix that cheater.

I set traps and use "mouse seed" by the box
But these li'l devils must be sired by fox
For they eat the seed and steal my cheese
They think living with us is really a breeze.

One of them has set his sights
On a daring feat to scale new heights
For it seems to be his one desire
To get twixt the wall and climb higher and higher.

But one of these days I'll declare war
And not be bothered with them any more
And prove that living here wasn't so nice
And they'll be nothing but a bunch of dead mice.

Art Blattenberger

Thanks...for Being What You are at 21
August 18, 1979

As we look back over your twenty-one years
Some memories bring both sad and glad tears.
Like the day we came home and were quite amazed
To find a hole where the window was glazed!

My memory says that one lonely night
In a moment of madness, you took flight,
From the happy confines of River Road
To a place that only "Kirtie knowed"!

My memory fails me when I need it most
(A fact about which I don't boast).
Did you in fact, "run away" as a tot?
I say you did ... Mama says not!

Remember Miss Lilly and the year you were "Pres",
you gave your speech in your mortar and fez?
If he reads this today, will he recall, too,
That as old as he gets, he'll be "Igor" to you?

Recall the days of your paper route ...
No paper for Aarsand if Schultz was out!
Remember him racing from Smith's to Stephen's
And how we finally got "our evens"?

As Schultz ran abreast of our speeding car
We stopped rather quick .. .it was quite a jar.
The door was opened, we heard a resounding -
Poor Schultz's head is still apounding!!

Remember when you and Chuck strayed from home,
Looking for greener pastures to roam?
You were really quite obvious and readily seen
Sneakin' down wide and open Route 214!

And who can forget your "act of humanity"?
Depriving poor kitty of all its sanity ...
As you closed him, alone, in the girl's bedroom,
Turned out the lights, then turned on the vacuum!

Skipping about...remember the day,
You and "Der Flynn" used the back yard to play
With rockets and planes, and "Jer" was the runner,
You were the Pilot.. .and he thought it was "funner"?

We'll always recall with a wee bit of fright
When your gang "stormed" Southern that memorable night.
With paint can and ladder, you scaled the high tower,
In "'76" ... 'twas your signing(?) hour!

But, alas, it came out, a secret to none,
Your brave deed accomplished, you had your fun.
Did we know your secret? Snitchers we ain't,
(But we did sort of wonder 'bout the clothes full of paint!)

We know you love cars, but how 'bout the time
When you were just 4 - hardly your prime -
When you (Clyde) said to "Bonnie (Gayle), let's go for a ride,"
And had your mother and I mortified.

'Cause you both, all dressed in pajamas and boots
Had somehow gotten in cahoots.
And taken our keys and sundry supplies,
But looked, when approached, with such innocent eyes.

You saw nothing wrong - you were up in years,
But, when spanked, your eyes made tears!
One thing I failed to mention though ...
All this took place in two feet of snow!

Did you ever thank B&D for their aid
In teaching you how to make things look "mislaid"?
Then, somehow, the items you were 'lost'
Turned up in your shed .. at far below cost!

Remember the night you ran straight as an arrow
When you spied Mr. Cavey's super, brown Camaro?
Your very first car, paid for by you,
We must say your head gained a size or two.

It gave you much pleasure and, alas, some sorrow,
But nothing that wouldn't be "better tomorrow".
Your trophy still stands for the race you copped
At Capitol Raceway - but your race days have stopped!

The party at Friday's, given by Gayle
(Who really is your closest pal!)
Delighted us all... even though you thunk
We didn't know you were delightfully drunk!

We kind of thought that at 21
You'd own a part of Air Force One.
Instead of that, they turned the screw ...
Now the Air Force owns part of you!

Some things can't be rhymed, but bring memories back.
Here's one straight from Mom, who words doesn't lack:
"You hammered and wired your immortality into the addition
at "Ye Olde Homestead" ... not to mention the several $$ worth of material".
(I liked that so well, I didn't even try to rhyme it.)

But these are some of the things we remember,
Events without seasons - from January to December;
These are the things that give sorrow and joy;
These are the things that made you "Our Boy".

Needless to say, we're pleased to confess,
- We're tickled pink at your well-earned success.
If we had a chance to go back over the years
Not too much would change - except that which brought tears.

As you lay in bed at night and hear Reveille sound,
And all the thoughts in your mind abound ...
Know we'd change, if we could, what we didn't do
In all those years we grew up with you.

But we'll never change our thoughts of day one,
We are so pleased that you are our Son.
You've made us proud to be able to say,
"God Bless You ... We Love You ...
                                                            HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Love, Mom & Dad

Art Blattenberger

Written for Brenda

I know a girl who was mad
Because she was sad

One day she started to ride
And kicked the horse on its side
She put her foot in the stirrup
It was filled with chocolate syrup

Her horse started to eat hay
The horse got tired and started to lay
But Brenda rode by the river bay

I really have to go now (so)
My horse is going to take a bow

Now I have to send
This saying happens to be The End

By Bonnie Blattenberger

Oh Those Primaries
April 1958

That time of year has come once more
When political aspirants by the score
Decide that they have found the key
To running our fair community.

They've got their platform, they've got their speech
And at the top of their lungs they screech
That "My opponent has promised you
Things that he will never do."

New mud is slung at each election
Lest we may make the wrong selection
And pick the "despicable candidate
Who chooses to run on another slate."

I remember when it was a sin
For a woman to try to become an "in,"
But this primary will quash that hex
(For a third of the hopefuls are of the weaker sex!!)

So follow the news that's printed each day
And read what each aspirant has to say;
About his plans if he's elected
And why you'll be glad he was selected.

Then on the twentieth day of May
We - the people - will have our say
When we have evaluated pro and con
The platform that each one stands upon.

So if we want to have a voice
In electing the candidate of our choice
Let's get out and vote, and remember friend,
OUR candidate will win in the end.

Art Blattenberger

Dear Mom
May 1958

Why do we wait 'til Mother's Day
Before we find the words to stay
How much she means to you and I;
I'm guilty too, I don't know why.

When we need help and there is no other
We know we can depend on "Mother"
Who always has a consoling word
After your troubles she has heard.

If there's a fight 'tween sister and brother
The moderator is always "Mother"
Whose years of training have told her that
Kind words to each will end the spat.

Fixing meals is still another
Chore that is always left to Mother.
Being careful that the food delights
And soothes those savage appetites.

We never seem to have a qualm
Or give a thought to calling "Mom"
When things are going smooth enough,
We wait until the times get rough.

So I for one am glad hat they
Have set aside a "Mother's Day"
For it's the day we have a chance
To tell her she's still "our first romance."

Art Blattenberger

Dad - The Family Ruler, Every Inch a Man
June 1958

It seems as though we never bother
To write a song or poem for Father.
We write of Mother, the Bride and the Grad,
But seldom do we mention Dad.

He's off to work at the break of dawn
He bathes the dog, he mows the lawn.
But the note that makes it rather sad
Is that we never really appreciate Dad.

He buys the car for the family to use,
He works so the children have clothes and shoes.
He's a carpenter, painter, the children's horse.
And the family's spare dish wiper, of course.

He's Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny,
He seems to have a tree that grows money.
When the sink's stopped up or the car needs repair,
Count on Dad, he'll be right there.

We laugh at all the junk he collects
From rusty bolts to parts of old wrecks,
But in a pinch when we need that "junk"
Dad smiles as he pulls it from his old tool trunk.

He's the family counselor when troubles arise,
In a game with the kids, he's "one of the guys."
He spares not the rod ere he spoils the child,
(But his hardest whacks somehow seem mild).

But let's not only be proud for a day,
Let's treat him with kindness in every way
And show him with meaning we're really glad
To prove to him there's no one like Dad.

Art Blattenberger

It Could Happen to You
July 27, 1958

What a wonderful day it was for me
When I gazed with starry eyes to see
A brand new car where my old one once stood,
Needless to say it made me feel good.

What could be the occasion for this?
I searched my mind, but my thoughts went amiss,
It wasn't my birthday or Christmas and yet
Here was this car that I was to get.

I took the occasion in surprising good grace
And tried to withhold the blush from my face
As I sauntered up to this spanking new car,
I opened the door and my mouth went ajar.

There on the seat was a neat little bag
So full of something it made the sides sag.
As I opened the bag with hesitant hands
I could feel a pulsating in my glands.

I steadied myself against the door
And emptied the contents onto the floor.
As an unending stream of coins rained down,
My expression changed to a smile from a frown.

This wasn't the end of my grand surprise
For another sweet sight just caught my eyes.
Tacked to the door was a neatly typed note
Here's what it said, and now I quote:

"Present to the bearer on his demands
All the clothes he can get in his hands,
Charge it to me and don't let it be known"
Who did this or why, I felt chilled to the bone.

The note was made out to the best store in town
And once again I started to frown.
The note was signed with only one letter,
This didn't make the situation much better.

I looked around with a careful eye
Lest I should let more good fortune pass by.
What more could I ask? Who did this for me?
To whom do I owe my thanks for this spree?

When all of a sudden I felt in my back
A stabbing pain, a heart attack?
I fell to the floor and let out a scream
It woke me up, it was only a dream.

Art Blattenberger

As I See It
July 1958

The season is here for those men and women
Who spend their spare time at the beach goin' swimmin'
Who wear shorts or skirts or bathing suits
In place of last winter's overcoat and boots.

It's my good fortune to work part time
At one of these beaches where the scenery's sublime
So enjoy with me the folks that I meet
As I patrol my bar-tending beat.

A little girl chased by a little boy
Wildly screaming but filled with joy
Kicking sand as they run in everyone's face
Scattering lunches and beach balls all over the place.

A lobster-red face on a sunburned man
Who had probably only hoped for a tan
Just makes you think how he must dread
Putting that blistered red back of his in bed.

The pretty girls not missing their chances
Of getting their share of admiring glances
Are certain to show cute dimpled knees
And dress in the latest, of course, the chemise.

A hapless mother screams to her daughter
To make sure that she stays out of deep water
But a splash and a squeal give the mother the word
That her warning calls have gone unheard.

A lassie walks by with a flower in her hair
It look like the wind just blew it there
But her face, I must say, without a doubt
Looks much better IN the water than out.

Folks in bathing suits of all descriptions
Some are goof tis, others conniptions
I say bathing suits are made for those blessed
With some sort of shape-I look better dressed.

Art Blattenberger


One of the nicest feelings by far
Is the one I get when I gaze at a star
It twinkles in the clear night sky
It almost seems to wink its eye.

If I should gaze around some more
I see little bright stars by the score
Each so happy that the sky is clear
That they seem to twinkle from ear to ear.

Although I'm not really superstitious
They say that you'll get all your wishes
If you'll close your eyes very tight
And wish on the Evening Star each night

Is there a man with eyes so bright
Who turns the starlight on each night?
Or are they left to go astray
And twinkle all throughout the day?

I think it must be the Man in the Moon
Who sees that they don't shine too soon
He sits up there with a great glib smile
Tending the stars all the while.

I've never seen a star so bright
As the one I'm gazing at tonight
As I made my wish-a though occurred
He winked at me-He must have heard

Art Blattenberger


Time has a way of passing you by
Year disappear 'fore you bat an eye
In looking thru my memory book
One item commanded a second look.
Something that was once close to my heart
My collection of poems, "The Works of Art. "

Years ago, when I was first married
Life was more leisurely, not hurried and harried
I'd sit in my chair most every night
And my moving hand was compelled to write
Of idle thoughts most of the time
And soon I noted I was writing in rhyme.

I wrote of our first daughter, Gayle
'Twas of her first birthday and her dog friend "Pal" Sixteen years have since gone by, when I wrote of
   "the apple of our eye"
Now she's a Senior at Southern High
How did I let the years slip by??

So much has happened since those days
Things have changed in so many ways
Fires and death and crises galore
Unbelievable prices at "the store"
Riots and murders by the score
And the ubiquitous killer, "war."

Our family grew, one by one
Soon we had Kirt, our only son
Six years passed, then you've never seen a
Baby cuter that our next born Tina.

Life went on and things were fine
'Til January of Sixty Nine
Our nerves were full of needles and pins
As the doctor came out and announced, "IT'S TWINS"
Bonnie and Brenda, now breathing life
Were to challenge the sanity of me and my wife.

From time to time I'll sit in my chair
And write of "the Twin," an incorrigible pair
Of Gayle and Kirt and Tina and "things"
On whatever thoughts my memory brings
I hope you'll take time to share with me
My humble attempts at poetry
as I write what I feel, I write from the heart
And I hope you'll enjoy "The Works of Art."

Art Blattenberger

Red, Black and Blue

This is the tale of one man's power
And how he makes his people cower
Never stopping to give a thought
That soon that power may be naught

The papers choose to call him "K"
So we will let it go that way
The point I'm trying to get across
Is what's in the mind of the Communist boss.

His one advantage is in having two faces
As he spreads his lies in different places
With one face he preaches "I'm your friend"
While the other face says "You'll be ours in the end!"

He's made the people in his land
Jump at his every harsh command
Where they've got to the point they're afraid to speak
Or they'll be in a slave camp the following week.

The "little people" it is sad to note
Elected him premier on a "One Ticket" vote
So now he was the solo voice
As to what they eat, where they work - there's no choice

The people in Russia are used to this life
Of nothing but hunger, fear and strife
But maybe one day they'll all rebel
And cause an uprising equal to Hell.

Then this big brave man with all his confessors
Will go the way of his predecessors
'Cause as far fetched as the thought may seem
In the minds of his people Freedom reigns supreme.

Art Blattenberger

Letter Men, All
April 16, 1959

V    is for the valor shown when there is work to do
O    is for ordinary men who help make up this crew
L     is for the lives they save by actions quick and smart
U    is for unending service from these men with a heart
N    is for the nothingness they receive for pay
T    is for the time they give, no matter night or day
E     is for the effort put forth by all these men
E     is for ever-readiness, over and over again
R    is the reason these men risk their lives

F    is their future, their kiddies, their wife
I     is for integrity, inborn in all these men
R    is for the right thing at the right place and when
E    is for equipment from a truck down to a hose
M  is for money they must have to buy all those
A   is for alarms that sound a woeful call for aid
N   is for their nattiness when in a dress parade

So here's to the men on the big red truck
Who know what they're doing-they don't trust to luck
These letters spell their story-their actions prove their worth
Let's all give a rousing hand to these bravest men on earth.

Art Blattenberger

The World Mourns
November 26, 1963

The world now mourns, in deepest sorrow
The passing of a man
A man whose hopes for a good tomorrow
Where his life, his dream, his plan

In the midst of it, the dream was shattered
By a single shot, from where?
A great man fell, blood-besplattered
Horror filled the air

The doctors worked and gave their all
As he lay there on the bed
It wasn't enough, they had to report

The shocking news, the instant grief
The entire world appalled
The bewildered look of disbelief
Our leader had been called.

One man, one thought, one bullet
Blasted from one gun
His dastardly deed accomplished
And now, he must run.

But the world didn't stop, just hesitated
To steady shaken ground
The search was on, in a very short time
A suspect has been found.

A snickering face, beady eyes
Smirking all the while
Protesting innocence to the last
But he never went to trial

For in our midst was another man
With malice in his heart
He killed the man who shot the gun
That tore our world apart.

But we'll go on and do our work
As Americans always do
With our heads held high as we surely know
He would have wanted us to.

To a family bereaved, our hearts go out
Please know we share your sorrow
Free men will work to attain his goals

Art Blattenberger

For 21 years you were part of us
Part of the "Blattenberger Fuss"
Thru good times and bad, sickness and fun
No matter what, You were Number One.

Thru measles & colds & sprained ankles too
If an accident happened, it happened to you.
Little incidents, some serious, some not
Made us wonder about our "Glorious Snot."

Then all of a sudden Mike's gain was our loss
You're still "Our Gayle", But now Gayle Ross
No matter the place, No matter the name
Our feelings for you are always the same.

Our wish for you as in the years past
Whether a babe in arms, or in bed in a cast
Is for each passing year continue to add
More happiness for you, LOVE MOM & DAD.

P.S. From you sisters and far-away brother:
In all of their minds there is no other
You're still Number One, The Greatest "Big Sister"
All of 'em say "We've certainly missed her."

That's a real tribute and reason for joy
From three young girls & a not-so-young boy
What we're trying to say, Even tho' you're away Is ...
                                                     HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Art Blattenberger

August 12, 1980

You're No. 1 in so many ways
You've brightened our life on so many days
It's nervous to think of the years that clicked by
Since 23 years ago when we heard your first cry.

So much has happened, sad things and good
We've made your life happy, as best we could
You're the first of "the five", we all love you dearly
But this time comes around, no ducking it, yearly.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY from us, lots of love and kisses
From your far-away brother, and 3 darling sisses(?)
In the pecking order, when all's said and done
You're not always right, but always No.1!

Love, Mom, Dad, K, T, and B&B

Art Blattenberger

Sleepless Nights

At night as I stare up into the star lit sky
My mind starts going & I start to cry.
Feeling depressed & alone, my heart starts to weep
As I sit in my room, unable to sleep.
Millions of visions run through my mind
& gathering the right words together are hard to find.
Prof. help has been suggested by my friends
but I don't see how that will help the nightmares end.
Nothing goes right, everything seems wrong which
makes my nights seem twice as long.
Headaches, tense muscles & a stomach that feels raw
I wish I could go back when I was learning to crawl.
As much as I want to accept it, it's hard to digest
that my parents are gone & they were two of the best!
Not prepared for the loss (of my father) in 1981
I was at the age where my life had just begun.
Now in '86 I was hit with another (loss)
due to the, 'Killer Disease', Cancer, I lost my mother.
I often ask myself, now what do I do?
it feels like my life is ending & I'm only 22.
It seems like nothing will ever help heal
the anger, guilt & frustration I feel.
Escaping isn't the answer, I'm finding that to be true
but with no parents to guide me, what am I to do?

I guess I must move on with my life now
but thinking about everything that has to be done,
I can only' say how?
No matter where I am, I feel I don't really belong
cause everything I do, just seems to be wrong.
My life seems worthless, why even bother? (Going on)
After all, I have no mother or father.
I see myself confused, scared & depressed
& as long as I let it get to me,
I'll have this pain in my chest.
Taking that big step will be a lot for me
because I was never asked to take any responsibility. Now I'm faced with something I'm really gonna dread
& that's that I have to move on & go straight ahead.
I know right now, this will be my biggest test
but all I can do is give everything my best.



Mom wrote this poem as an expression of gratitude for all the love shown by friends and neighbors. She died just a few years later of lung cancer. Both of my parents were life-long heavy smokers. Both died at the age of 52. As I write this, I am 51 years old, and have never smoked a single cigarette (nor the druggie type, either). Gayle is 52. She has never smoked, either.


Works of Art, A final poem of thanks.


Me, I'm not a poet
And I know it.

Thanks for reading!

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