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ROUNDING THIRD: Letter to a soon-to-be high school graduate

John David Fay
Sentinel columnist
Posted 6/19/22

Please indulge me for one article while I write a short letter to my grandson, Jack Reilly, who is graduating from RFA this year.

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ROUNDING THIRD: Letter to a soon-to-be high school graduate


Please indulge me for one article while I write a short letter to my grandson, Jack Reilly, who is graduating from RFA this year. If you have a grandchild or child, graduating now or in the future, you may identify with some of what I say.

Dear Jack: Congratulations on your success. I’m sure it’s only the start of a long line of successes in your life to come: college, job, marriage, buying a house, etc.

My memories flood back through the years to when you were very small and we were babysitting for you. I could quiet your tears with a little song I wrote for you – “Walking With Jack.”

I would pace back and forth and sing until you fell asleep. It was probably just to stop the noise I was making.

Later on, I taught you to do a cartwheel. I could do one then. Now, I fall down putting on my underwear. You were about three feet tall and I was six feet. Now you’re 6’2” and I’ve shrunk to 5’10”. You run about five miles a day and I stumble trying to cross the street fast. It’s the changing of the guard. It was great watching you grow, but a little daunting watching you shoot by me. Grandma and I wish you every good thing in life, and very few tears. But there will be some. If we can help, please let us! I have written a sequel to “Walking With Jack” but there’s no music. It’s just called, “To Jack, On His Graduation.” I’d say, “Make us proud,” but we already are. Have a grand and glorious life.

Oh Lord, the time does go so fast, it seems he just was born,

That winsome child first greeted us one cold mid-winter morn.

The child who wept upon my chest till lulled by stride and song,

Has grown into a handsome man, he stands both straight and strong.

Oh, child of child, those perfect ones, were ever they not so?

We watch with careful guardianship the time ‘pon which they grow.

We have few duties to perform — that’s mom and dad’s domain,

But guidance comes in many forms — and we can ease the pain.

He grew so quickly through the years, by leaps and bounds it seems,

And now he’s poised to go beyond to reach for greater dreams.

He has become a man – I know – but how did that evolve?

‘Tis but a problem faced through time that man will never solve.

So, now he’s reached a parapet, one every man must face,

To move into a shattered world and try to find his place.

At times he’ll find it lonely, as if all betray his heart,

But ere that I can breathe and move, I’ll fight to do my part.

The parents and grandparents are the bedrock for the young.

We need to see them settled in before our song is sung.

So, fly my little Jackie, spread your wings and breathe new air.

Just know that if you need us, look back and we’ll be there.- JDF

Joke: An older woman went to an art show for a young artist. The paintings were all blue swirls, polka dots and lines leading nowhere. She said to the artist, “I’m sorry. I really don’t understand your paintings.” He answered haughtily, “I just paint what I feel inside of me.”
She said, “Have you tried Alka-Seltzer?”


Live your life the best that you can. There are no replays.

What would we do if we actually got all the government we pay for?

My people skills are just fine. It’s my tolerance for idiots that needs work.

That’s it! Congratulations to all the grads out there. Enjoy life! -JDF


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