handsome young Roger first laid eyes on her.
her hair flaming copper it was plain to see
our girl Minnie Pearl was known as Penny.
was a well-known photographer man.
develop your pictures with stuff in a pan.
when Penny brought a roll to develop to him
made extra copies of her on the film.
her suspecting, much less her a-knowing
interest in Penny was steadily growing.
came an evening at the town’s croquet court
all the young folks gathered up for the sport.
the game of croquet is well understood
wickets and mallets and balls made of wood
genteel endeavor for ladies and gents.
way to meet girls it makes perfect sense.
Roger and Penny both there and a-playing
arrows were flying, it goes without saying.
they hammered away at the balls and the stakes
magic spell ran wild with no brakes.
whirlwind courtship, both ready to go,
eloped and were married in New Mexico.
to Spur as husband and wife
soon settled down to start married life.
fifty years now they’ve dealt with events
strengthened their bond and tested their sense.
Spur was as pleasant as mornings in May
soon found themselves moving away.
green pastures, you may want to say
joined forces with old Schlumberger.
then on they tended to move pretty much:
Haskell, Lake Charles, Louisiana and such.
returned to Texas, the Permian Basin
when they retired they still kept on chasin’
Dickens, to Arkansas, and old Abilene.
hoping that now the last move’s been seen.
blessings of children have come through the years
Terry and Pam bringing laughter and tears,
six precious grand-kids and even four great
nice even dozen fills their family plate.
in Lake Charles and Lafayette too
lots of adventure for the Rorabaugh crew.
loved fishing, could not get enough
when his boat got stuck in the Gulf.
the tides went out and didn’t come back
nighttime was nearing and all growing black
Roger, then Penny, hauled on the rope.
pull the boat shoreward was their only hope.
and dragging the heavy boat out
the sandbars to the river they cleared with a shout.
at last they arrived back home in the dark
gave thanks they’d not been snacks for a shark.
always been rockhounds and working with stones
them such pleasure clear down to their bones;
and grinding, and shaping with fire,
and polishing, highlighting with wire.
both are making treasures to see.
shaped rocky spangles for the Club Christmas tree.
back through the priceless years of their past
can see that the photos from first to the last
developed with love in God’s special plan.
their story continues. This woman. This man.
more brightly than diamonds and gold
the two of them have can never grow old.
James R. Grant