They Don't Make Those Men Anymore

They Don't Make Those Men Anymore

A Poem by Tate Morgan

He treated me as if his own and for that I honor him too by eighty four, he had done more than any man I had ever knew


The day started as many do

I ran up the hill of the grounds

I'd lept from bed, in fear and dread

that I would be late to the Downs

We had so many horses then

thirty one as I now recall

Only two men, to jog back then

 rushed to finish before the squall


We had six horses in that night

each hurried to finish in time

We'd bathed them all, cleaned each ones stall

life was hard back then in my prime

The rain was roiling from the west

black clouds had portended a storm

All were ready, stout and steady

for us this was just the norm


On that night between the races

I spoke with an old friend of mine

his the mystique, the most unique

of any horsemen you could find

His dad named him Elmer Conrad

he was a product of the old school

At eighty four, or maybe more

this young man thought he was so cool


As the oldest racing driver

I must admit he held great sway

In him I'd found, a lonesome sound

as he'd outlived all from his day

One night Elmer was in a wreck

his temper puffed a powder keg

There on the ground, a cracking sound

he lay picking bones from his leg


But this night he drove his rig home

it was late and the roads were wet

He'd had bad luck, and wrecked the truck

I'm sure he blew it off, "no sweat"

That was the last I saw of him

someone thought him too old to drive

With no great ease, took Elmers keys

and with that his desire to thrive

Elmer hung himself in the barn

beside the home family owned

Looking back now, I wonder how

any of us could have atoned 

 Next day I heard my hero died

where-bye we'd lost a man so great

Scrawled on a note, that he had wrote

"I am the Master of my Fate"


He treated me as if his own

and for that I honor him too

By eighty four, he had done more

than any man I had ever knew

He was the last great gentleman

I had known of four and four score

There died our best, eternal rest

they don't make those men anymore

© 2018 Tate Morgan

Author's Note

Tate Morgan
Men like Elmer led their lives by a code unlike the average man. Elmer Conrad was such a part of the track his was the template from which we were all created. He was the constitution and conscience of us all. The old ones respected him. But I admired him. The secrets he had learned followed him to the grave, as did our feelings and admiration for his spirit. As a young man I felt a little poorer for the loss of such a spirit. He had been the guest on the Carson show the year before as the oldest living driver. I remember watching him and thinking he is so cool!
I am not one who believes that finishing third is winning. I think we do our children a disservice by awarding them trophies for participation. It is the truth of life that excellence is the key to success. Life is meant to be hard. I use to look at Elmer and knew from the tip of his hat to me that he approved. He watched me work night and day. He saw with what deference I paid homage to my own father and in me I hoped he had found something of himself and the times that led to the man I so admired. He was one of a kind.
May God Rest His Soul

My Review

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Featured Review

Holy moley. Jeewhizz. Jaw dropping. This poem is like being hit by giant hammer through a pillow. It took my breath away. The imagery, the sense of nostalgia. This is so far my fav Tate Morgan work. It's inspiring in its briliance. You should be out there, Tate. Your works touches people should be on the cover of TIME. Great. Really great.

Posted 5 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Tate Morgan

5 Years Ago

thank you rooster


Everything about this poem, your note, the beautiful song is so inspiring!

Posted 2 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

2 Years Ago

oward so nice to see you here thank you sir. Ill send you a friend request
i agree
There are no men like that anymore

Posted 3 Years Ago

Lingering Soul

3 Years Ago

its alright
how are you
Tate Morgan

3 Years Ago

i am finer thank you doing as best i can
Lingering Soul

3 Years Ago

you are not alone :)
Another fantastic piece of work my friend!
Wonderful tribute piece to what sounds like one heck of a man,
and if you say he was cool, then he was definitely cool:)
Thanks for sharing and b-blessed!

Posted 3 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

3 Years Ago

Thank you jamestown He was as i said one of a kind. His great grandchildren read this just today and.. read more

3 Years Ago

Wow, that is really cool my friend!
a very touching write and a wonderful tribute. and in verse, too!
you're an amazing poet, Tate.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

3 Years Ago

thank you I hope you like them. they are named Heart, Ole Farley,Fast Eddie, Granny,Peaches oh I can.. read more
Tate Morgan

3 Years Ago

Im sorry i am working on painting a room and trying to be here same time Ill get done what i can

3 Years Ago

not to worry, Tate. I know how it is.
What a sublime and majestic way to honor the man. Your poem impresses upon me a sense of grandeur in the man and the depth of your esteem for him. An excellently composed symphony of words.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

3 Years Ago

Thank you very much

3 Years Ago

You're very welcome.
Tate, you've covered so much in both your poem and commentary. Collecting it is feat enough, communicating it more. It's not just generations, there's difference there enough, but when someone can notice, appreciate and emulate the unique ones, the men or women who stand apart and through their nature become lasting institutions of humanity, that is simply something wondrous. The future of mankind needs more individuals, very much like the man you introduced here. Hive mind demographic societies won't last no matter how much technology is infused into it. We need strong, true, individuals to set the example in hopes we can find a way to follow it. Good stuff here Tate.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

3 Years Ago

Thank you Roarke I agree. Today i found the grandson of Elmer and sent this poem to him on facebook... read more
You seem to have an amazing talent at not only telling a story, but to convey a life lesson within it--- make you feel as if you are there... touching the heart with the memories, the emotions, the fears, the love, the feelings you masterfully express.. I feel the respect, the admiration, the love, the loss, the shame, the pain... it is evolutionary as the piece takes me on the journey of that exposure, and life that so deeply touched yours... another awesome write, Tate...

Posted 3 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

3 Years Ago

Thanks April many of the characters that populated my life are remembered in my writing. This one wa.. read more

3 Years Ago

yes, I am sure of it.. and such beautiful tributes they are my friend...
This is a beautiful poem keep them coming

Posted 4 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

4 Years Ago

thank you dear

4 Years Ago

Your welcome
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A beautiful tribute indeed

Posted 4 Years Ago

Tate Morgan

4 Years Ago

thank you very much for reading my work

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85 Reviews
Shelved in 3 Libraries
Added on March 23, 2013
Last Updated on June 28, 2018
Tags: poetry

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