Fred J. Shortall

Dear Jack,

My mother sent me this  poem which appeared in the New York Daily News. It was written by FRED J. SHORTALL. The poem was accompanied by the words: “MY SEVENTEEN year old son is joining his first ship in the U. S. Navy,” writes Fred J. Shortall. “Being an old ex-sailor yourself, I thought you might like this poem, inspired by his leaving for Norfolk.”  Mom sent me the poem, which I still cherish, when I was assigned to the CGC Absecon  in Norfolk, Va. It was my first ship right out of boot camp. I was seventeen. The year was 1949. 

Harry T. (Tom) Serres

Dear Tom,

I'll take a chance on violating the copyright laws with this one.



Tonight as I look at his empty bed,

I wonder…where is my boy?

The little lad with the tousled head

And the smiling eyes of joy.


It seems but a day since I held his hand

As he trotted off to school

To learn the ways of a grownup man,

And master the Golden Rule.


As he sat in school he would often dream

Of the day he would be through,

For even then in the mind of a Child

Was the dream of a man in blue.


His dream came true, and today he is

What he always wanted to be

A Navy lad in a sailor suit

Afloat on the shiny sea.


I often wonder what thoughts Are his

As he plows the white-lashed Foam,

Does his mind go back to the Little nest

Where he safely slept at Home?


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