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This was a man I met for only one month when I worked on oil rigs. He was retiring at the end of that month - and it was reported that he was something of a golf aficionado, having played with all the golf masters.
His stories were amazing, but you just felt that they were all true. At a presentation ceremony he was given a number of things by his peers. This was my “going away present” to him. He read it in front of the crews. As he did so tears welled up in his eyes. He then abruptly left the presentation ceremony with the Words to me “Get Tae Fu**" What a nice man this is. A REAL rough diamond.
Wizened skin like burnished leather
Thin, grey and long, disheveled hair
Clear, sharp blue eyes that seem to stare
Through sun scorched face, alert, aware
A ‘lived-In’ face that’s so expressive
Tales he tells read like a missive
His arms and hands he flails about
To all he jests, he seems to shout
Belying age with youthful vigour
He starts his day with seeming rigour
But, easy going, he always jokes
With folk at whom, light fun, he pokes
He’s up each morning before the dawn
Striding, planning, never forlorn
Before sunrise you’ll hear with luck
His famous catch-phrase, “Get Tae F***!”
He’s worked on rigs for oh, so long
With everyone he gets along
On the “fine old lady” Stena Clyde
No deference – ALL he does deride
From owner, manager and high paid “suits”
To lowly boys who clean the boots
The tone the same, The grin, the look,
The cheeky laugh, the “Get Tae F***!”
Sub zero frost or tropical heat
His ardour you will find hard to beat
Old habits die hard they say
Not his – he does them anyway!
Does a place exist he’s never been?
That has a port that’s never seen
This tall slim figure filled with pluck
Or heard his raucous, “Get Tae F***!”
They say he’s always been a sailor
From Antarctic wastes upon an ancient whaler
15 years old in the South Atlantic
A hardy life, forget romantic!
Steam driven ships before motor’s advent
He sailed near and far. Came and went.
A story true with each port of call
His audience he holds in thrall
But all through this, both feet aground
Though invitations still abound
To high profile golf tournaments
The best hospitality at these events
He mixes with the best of them
The rich and famous golfing men
Yet on the course when he mis-hits his ball
Not “fore” but G.T.F. to all
And so it seems his time has come
To rest upon his laurels some
He’ll sure be missed – God Speed, Good Luck
It’s been a pleasure Jimmy, “Get Tae F***!”
No dismissive snort from any here
From us, a greeting, a hearty cheer
Received with grace, a smile - a look.
You grin then tell us, “Get Tae F***!”
Copyright © Thomas Mansfield | Year Posted 2014
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