Poetry of Kansas
 

Old Joe Gasser___Nailkeg Town

Tellin' How Things Ought To Be

Nailkeg town's not far away,
It's the place where fellers stay
All the day and half the night
Talkin' 'bout the latest fight
Er discussin' politics,
Er insurance grafters' tricks.
 
Old Joe Gasser lives down there
'Nd when Joe has time to spare
He'll be found down at the store
On a nail keg near the door,
Tellin' how things ought to be,
'Nd his lectures all are free.
 
Joe was born in seven states
If the stories he relates
Are all true____but when a boy
He lived in "Old Illinoy"___
Knew "Abe Lincoln" like a book,
He 'nd Lincoln often took
Trips out in the woods together,
'Nd split rails in stormy weather.
 
Not a senator of note
But Old Joe has had to tote
To the school through drifts of snow,
In the days of long ago.
Often loaned his overcoat
To Joe Cannon___'nd he wrote
Grant to keep free from the blues
When he worked at peggin' shoes,
"Fer there was a brighter day
Comin' soon with better pay."
 
Says "Jim" Garfield (calls him Jim
'Cause he chummed so much with him),
Was the hardest feller yit
He ever "rassled with" or fit.
Thus from morning until night -
Tongue a-waggin' eyes still bright,
Joe keeps tellin' of the bents
'N' boyish pranks of presidents,
"Postedest" man yet ever foun',
Old Joe Gasser, Nailkeg town.

__Ed Blair.

Sunflower Siftings
Ed Blair
(Boston: The Gorham Press. 1914)
Pages 95-96

 
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May 22, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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