Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day Three Hundred Fourteen 2013

Joy 1
My Aunt Joy Brown, who will celebrate her 99th birthday on December 4, is a legend in her hometown of Gainesboro, which is located in Jackson County in Middle Tennessee. Many years ago, she handmade this Uncle Sam costume, from the hat on down to the trousers, as one of the outfits she wore to tap-dance in for the family at Christmas get togethers. Apparently, she is a born entertainer. Folks in town found out about her costume and asked her to appear at patriotic events. So she memorized a poem called ‘That Ragged Old Flag’, written by Johnny Cash, to recite on those patriotic occasions. She’s been doing this for almost two decades now. Today we attended the Veterans’ Day program in Gainesboro, and once again, Aunt Joy wore her Uncle Sam costume and recited, flawlessly, that poem [to a standing ovation afterward]. I certainly admire her tenacity and can only hope my mind is still as sharp as hers if I live to be 99.
Joy 2
Uncle Sam [a.k.a. Aunt Joy] and the veterans of Jackson County, Tennessee. Thank you, one and all, for your service to your country.
                 THAT RAGGED OLD FLAG
I walked through a county courthouse square,
On a park bench an old man was sitting there.
I said, "Your old courthouse is kinda run down."
He said, "Naw, it'll do for our little town."
I said, "Your flagpole has leaned a little bit,
And that's a Ragged Old Flag you got hanging on it.    
He said, "Have a seat", and I sat down.
"Is this the first time you've been to our little town?"
I said, "I think it is." He said, "I don't like to brag,
But we're kinda proud of that Ragged Old Flag." 
"You see, we got a little hole in that flag there
When Washington took it across the Delaware.
And it got powder-burned the night Francis Scott Key
Sat watching it writing _Oh Say Can You See_.
And it got a bad rip in New Orleans
With Packingham and Jackson tuggin' at its seams." 
"And it almost fell at the Alamo
Beside the Texas flag, but she waved on through.
She got cut with a sword at Chancellorsville
And she got cut again at Shiloh Hill.
There was Robert E. Lee, Beauregard, and Bragg,
And the south wind blew hard on that Ragged Old Flag." 
"On Flanders Field in World War I
She got a big hole from a Bertha gun.
She turned blood red in World War II
She hung limp and low by the time it was through.
She was in Korea and Vietnam.
She went where she was sent by her Uncle Sam." 
"She waved from our ships upon the briny foam,
And now they've about quit waving her back here at home.
In her own good land she's been abused --
She's been burned, dishonored, denied and refused." 
"And the government for which she stands
Is scandalized throughout the land.
And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin,
But she's in good shape for the shape she's in.
'Cause she's been through the fire before
And I believe she can take a whole lot more." 
"So we raise her up every morning,
Take her down every night.
We don't let her touch the ground
And we fold her up right.
On second thought I DO like to brag,
'Cause I'm mighty proud of that Ragged Old Flag."
                          ~Written by Johnny Cash


Ann S. said...

Great pictures! I'm so glad we came today. Great program and what a nice way to celebrate Veteran's Day. I didn't know that Johnny Cash wrote the The Ragged Old Flag. Aunt Joy continues to amaze, and like you, I hope my mind is as sharp as her's should I live to be her age.

Jane said...

Great post! You should send a link to Mike & Tommy. I know they would enjoy it. So glad we all got to be there. It was nice to celebrate Veteran's Day & watch Aunt Joy in action. She's an inspiration for sure.

Kelly said...

Oh wow!! Wish we could have been there. She is an amazing lady!!!