served my country, in World War One,
I have a slug in my chest, from a Heinie's gun.
I stopped machine gun bullets with the seat of my pants,
I wear the Purple Heart and the Cross of France.
War of the Pacific - as old as I am
I served three years in Burma - Siam -
Transferred from the Aleutians ice and snow
To the tropical quarters of "Vinegar Joe."
China's jungles deep,
I marched three days and nights without food or sleep.
Then on a pagan god I hung my hat,
And slept with the apes at Banghor Vat.
been in tough places; I have held tough jobs,
I have taken punishment in heaps and gobs --
But the toughest assignment of my day
Is the Porter's job at the Weiss Cafe.
A.M. I come alive,
And am under fire at a quarter to five.
With mop and bucket, broom and pan
I make the rounds as fast as I can.
I am just
getting started, when a waitress comes thru,
Yells, "The lights are out in number two,
The laundry chute is all plugged up,
Get on the ball --you lazy pup!"
Alder Gulch mud on the dining room floor.
The aisles are smeared with grease and gore,
The floor furnace smokes and the fans won't run.
Everything's wrong and it ain't no fun.
are like the leopard's lair,
Meat and bones lay here and there.
Ketchup is sprayed on wall and chair,
Broken dishes, silverware and dirty napkins everywhere.
is packed but a waitress calls out.
"Your pants are slipping, you careless lout,
Your socks are down and your shirt tails out,
Your eyes are watery; your hair is thin
And there's egg yolk on your ugly chin!"
and Waitress, little or much,
Are wizards of wisecracks, slang and such,
They are such a wanting, wishing bunch,
Each want different things and all want it at once.
it looks from where I stand,
I am persuaded that every man
Will do his work the best he can -
And every woman, large or small,
Will let the poor man do it all.
it here be understood,
I would not change it if I could
And before I lay this pen away,
In conclusion, this I say -
Ivar, Frank and Dan,
Madge and Marge and Martha Ann,
Mattie, Mary, Edith, Grace,
John and Charlie, Tom and Ace,
Ruth and Bennie, Jack and Bill,
With all your faults, "I love you still."
WEISS CAFE, HELENA, MONTANA
January 1, 1949