Tag Archives | ludlow

“The Life Express” – A poem from my Great Great Great Grandfather

I haven’t written on the blog much this spring/summer.  Since our Thailand trip, I’ve been busy working on very large writing project which, on top of other life changes, has stolen all of my writing bandwidth.

Recently, our family came across photocopies of my great great great grandfather’s journal.  I’ve written about H.J Ludlow before in my post on how he grafted the Okabena Apple tree.  I certainly never met HJ, but everyone always spoke of him with great reverence.  My favorite line from a memorial to him in the local paper:

“Horce J. Ludlow was a dreamer, a philosopher and a sage.  But he was, at the same time, a tireless worker, with whom to dream, philosophize and ponder upon the eternal verities was simultaneously to conceive ways and means to put dream into action and practical realities.”

HJ Ludlow was famous and cherished in the region.  He was a pioneer, a forward-looking agriculturalist, and, notably for this post, a poet.  I’ve heard he would write and often recite poetry.  With this post, I plan to start an occasional series on my blog.  As I read through HJ’s journal, I will republish is poetry or  “sage” wisdom I come across.

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Here we go, the first entry in his journal…

 

“The Life Express”

 

It an interesting journey

You should care sometime to take

A journey that would be worthwhile

And you you would care to make

Just board the rapid Life Express

Get on at Babyhood

And travel over hill and dale

And through Achievement Wood

 

The road through Childhood swiftly runs

The station next is Youth

Beyond that step is Middle Age

Deep in the Vale of Truth

Old age is reached on schedule time

It takes away one’s breath

To speed so swiftly towards the end–

The terminus is death

 

The thack grows rougher towards the end

Tis then that you gaze back

And count the milestones gray that mark

The fast receding track

At last the grim conductor calls–

No need for calling twice

Far, as, we, go. Step lively, please.

Change cars for Paradise

 

–HJ Ludlow, January 1, 1922

 

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Ever Dream of Your Own Apple Orchard? I Do.

Our family heirloom is an apple.  No, not a carefully curated first generation iPod, but an actual, grown-on-a-tree apple.  The kind you eat and it supposedly keeps the doctor away.

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As the story goes, my great-great-great grandfather, H.J. Ludlow, a horticulturalist, grafted this special, hearty apple.  It grew on the shores of Lake Okabena in Worthington, Minnesota, and took the name “The Okabena Apple.” Continue Reading →

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