Back around '50, in the small town of Spur

The handsome young Roger first laid eyes on her.

With her hair flaming copper it was plain to see

Why our girl Minnie Pearl was known as Penny.


Roger was a well-known photographer man.

He’d develop your pictures with stuff in a pan.

But when Penny brought a roll to develop to him

He made extra copies of her on the film.


Without her suspecting, much less her a-knowing

His interest in Penny was steadily growing.

Then came an evening at the town’s croquet court

When all the young folks gathered up for the sport.


Now the game of croquet is well understood

With wickets and mallets and balls made of wood

As a genteel endeavor for ladies and gents.

As a way to meet girls it makes perfect sense.


With Roger and Penny both there and a-playing

Cupid’s arrows were flying, it goes without saying.

As they hammered away at the balls and the stakes

Love’s magic spell ran wild with no brakes.


In a whirlwind courtship, both ready to go,

They eloped and were married in New Mexico.

Returning to Spur as husband and wife

They soon settled down to start married life.


For fifty years now they’ve dealt with events

That strengthened their bond and tested their sense.

Though Spur was as pleasant as mornings in May

They soon found themselves moving away.


Seeking green pastures, you may want to say

Roger joined forces with old Schlumberger.

From then on they tended to move pretty much:

To Haskell, Lake Charles, Louisiana and such.



They returned to Texas, the Permian Basin

And when they retired they still kept on chasin’

To Dickens, to Arkansas, and old Abilene.

We’re hoping that now the last move’s been seen.


The blessings of children have come through the years

With Terry and Pam bringing laughter and tears,

With six precious grand-kids and even four great

A nice even dozen fills their family plate.


Life in Lake Charles and Lafayette too

Held lots of adventure for the Rorabaugh crew.

Roger loved fishing, could not get enough

Even when his boat got stuck in the Gulf.


When the tides went out and didn’t come back

And nighttime was nearing and all growing black

First Roger, then Penny, hauled on the rope.

To pull the boat shoreward was their only hope.


Wading and dragging the heavy boat out

O’er the sandbars to the river they cleared with a shout.

When at last they arrived back home in the dark

They gave thanks they’d not been snacks for a shark.


They’d always been rockhounds and working with stones

Gives them such pleasure clear down to their bones;

Tumbling, and grinding, and shaping with fire,

Buffing, and polishing, highlighting with wire.


Gifted both are making treasures to see.

They shaped rocky spangles for the Club Christmas tree.

Looking back through the priceless years of their past

We can see that the photos from first to the last


Were developed with love in God’s special plan.

And their story continues. This woman. This man.

Shining more brightly than diamonds and gold

What the two of them have can never grow old.




By James R. Grant


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