I was invited to a meeting of the Tuesday Night Irregulars. The Irregulars were mostly judges, legal luminaries, and ex-Bar Association presidents. I was younger than most of them and the only non-lawyer in the room. At the head of the table was Waller Collie. He had started practicing Law before I was born. In his younger years he had dated a young lady named Lillian Barrow, Clyde’s younger sister. Waller was the only one at the bar with his name engraved on a plaque on the back of his chair. Federal Judge Jerry Buchmeyer, who had invited me, told me that if the Chairman accepted me, I was welcome to come back as often as I liked. I was an ”Irregular” until they faded into the sunset. I had a lot of mentors there, but Waller taught me how to be a true gentleman.

Honoring Waller Collie
1918 – 1998

The Chairman Speaks

Death came to me and I said
He challenged me again

I said I will not go
Gently into that sweet night

How dare you try to stand
In the arena with me
You will not defeat me
You offer only an end

Your peace is a lie
I will stand and
My life defend

You cannot stand
In the arena with me

I’ve lived
I’ve lived long and
I’ve lived with the truth

I freed the wrong Jose and
Wrote on the door too long
My favorite stories to tell
were the few times
I was wrong

I have battled with the best
As only gentlemen will dare
I was a friend after the fight
And the fight was always fair

And only those who know that fight
Can stand in the arena with me

In my own time
I may choose to go along
When I know others
Will ”Carry on”

But Death you will never
Stand in the arena with me

But quietly
Come near me once again
I will go with you, only
Because I know

You will never win

© ric dexter 1998