Plowman Poetry: All But 49


The annual Plowman Christmas Tree Reunion required a great deal of planning throughout the year with committees selected to manage each task.  Serving dinner to scores of people required crews to cook the food, wait on the tables, clear the tables, and wash the dishes.  The entertainment committee would arrange for musical treats, both instrumental and vocal, skits, and dramatic readings.  But the highlight of the Tree was the reading of the poetry, some silly like the one below, some nostalgic, and some commemorating some memorable event during the year.  The following ditty was written, Plowman-style, by Saron Rex Plowman in 1928.  Although Saron did not name his poem, I have selected the final line in each stanza for the title.

All But 49

By Saron Rex Plowman

At Bateman’s place is the Christmas Tree

Where the bunch will gather full of glee.

Of the 54 trees, all in a line,

I’ve attended all — but 49.


The mob will laugh and cheer and shout

And put dull care to utter rout.

Of the 54 trees, a good cheer sign

I’ve attended all — but 49.


The Pedro champ, with feelings tame,

They lost the rubber, by not saving game.

Of the 54 trees, balsam, spruce or pine

I’ve attended all — but 49.


Escalloped potatoes, and apple pie,

Oysters, and coffee as strong as lye.

Of the 54 trees, where you laugh and dine,

I’ve attended all — but 49.


Dishwashers, cooks and those who wait,

Pickles, sandwiches, and layer cake.

Of the 54 trees, both yours and mine,

I’ve attended all — but 49.


The Santas, Uncle Will and Lute,

With many a joke, thrown in to boot.

Of the 54 trees dressed up so fine,

I’ve attended all — but 49.


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