One of the real characters of my local community has passed away. Russell Paul (QSM), died suddenly last week, Aug.13th 2009, of a massive coronary, at his home in Timaru. Russell was the driving force behind the Pleasant Point Railway Museum & Society; and he taught me to drive the Model T Railcar. I attended Russell's Funeral yesterday...it was the largest I've ever attended; at least 600 were there, with 2 police cars supervising the folks arriving & leaving.
So, here's the poem I wrote, as a tribute to Russell...
ODE TAE RUSSELL PAUL
Well Russell, I'm gonna miss you seeing you,
At Keanes' Crossing,
Where, for all of us,
You've been our Glue.
You always had a smile for everybody,
Old and young;
....And a cheeky grin from Russell made even polishing Brass
Seem like a bit o' fun.
You kindly taught me how to drive your "baby", the Railcar RM4,
An' you were understanding, even forgiving,
When I - nearly - used it to cut the Pleasant Point
Public loo, an extra door.
Then several years later, you re-trained me,
So that back to the tracks the ol' Railcar I would take;
But you did give me ne word of warning -
"Now look here, Dr.Who - don't forget! That pedal there,
ON the floor! THAT'S THE BRAKE!!!" :) :) :)
You were AWESOME, Russell. And you always will be.