Lord Love a Duck! by Catherine Sevenau
Lord Love A Duck!
THERE once were three brothers from England did flee,
sailed on the St. John in good company.
Our line comes off George, ten progeny past,
begetting the Chatfield’s of which we are cast.
THEY’RE an interesting bunch—left their mark in the world
with a wide path to follow—a history unfurled.
This clan fills my dreams, drops me clues here and there.
I pay close attention, seeking others who care.
DEAD ends we did reach: “Where oh where is this kin?
Relax. They’ll show up! They all want to be in!”
So off on the hunt, searching records and such,
we pieced it together with finishing touch.
WE found bibles and wills and records of war,
we found letters and pictures and essays and lore.
Herein are the brothers, the sisters and aunts,
the fathers and mothers—their stories and haunts.
THEY built railroads and ranches, grew potatoes and rice—
left a heritage rich with their work and advice.
The trail heats with Isaac some hundred years back,
he—father of Grandpa—black sheep of this pack.
ISAAC lost his son Wirt, Dell’s death caused great sorrow,
Clark buried Louisa but soon married Miss Morrow.
Next we have Ida—with no trace—disappeared…
found drowned in the river as her family had feared.
MY favorite was Ora, a girl of sixteen—
eloped with her cousin—caught betwixt and between.
Her beloved was Clara, ten springs older than she—
the headlines in Denver screamed a tad too much glee.
ALONG came Ray Sawyer—played the organ in Reno.
Wrote a book about gamblers, dice, blackjack and Keno.
His arrest hit the papers for dabbling in crime
though we failed to find out if he ever did time.
“LORD love a duck!!!” Cousin Aura did write
when I sent her the news of Miss Ora’s plight.
And with photo of Ray and clippings besmirched,
“Good gracious!” she piped, “what a scandalous search!”
WHY bother to gather this family so long?
“What does it matter? They’re all dead and gone!”
To answer that question I gave it some thought…
“It matters to me…”, and then I was caught.
SOME tasks are for money—this one was for love—
and oft I seemed guided by invisible glove.
The spouses and children—I’ve taken a look
and determined they all should live on in this book.
FOR if not for their presence we wouldn’t be here,
leaving a legacy to hold very dear.
(Droopy eyelids, bad kidneys—yes, those we did get—
along with not speaking to half of our set.)
BUT they all made a difference, these men and their wives
to better their country, their families and lives.
Their spirits survive in our hearts and our hands:
gifts of courage, of music, of their love of the land.
STRONG women, good men—these Chatfield’s can toast.
Tis an honor and privilege to be part of this host!