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April 2002

Note: This poem was written by my father when I was a small boy back in the early 60s. When I originally posted it I inadvertently left out the fourth stanza ('Cause then when I came home from school . . . ").

I was horrified when I discovered it (June 2007) and immediately fixed it here as well as here. But I don't know how many copies are floating around in that condition. This is the corrected version. I'm trying to make amends. You could help me out by replacing any deficient copies with this one if you happen to come across one.

I Wish My Daddy Was A Dog

One day when Bruce was just a lad, first starting out in school,
He came into my workshop and climbed upon a stool.
I saw him as he entered but I hadn't time to play.
So I merely nodded to him and said, "Don't get in the way."

He sat awhile just thinking.... As quiet as could be,
Then carefully he got down and came and stood by me.
He said, "Old Shep, he never works and he has lots of fun.
He runs around the meadows and barks up at the sun.

"He chases after rabbits and always scares the cats
He likes to chew on old shoes and sometimes mother's hats.
But when we're tired of running and we're sitting on a log,
I sometimes get to thinking. . . 'I wish my daddy was a dog.'

" 'Cause then when I came home from school you'd run and lick my hand
And then we'd jump and holler and tumble in the sand
And then I'd be as happy as a little boy could be
If we could play the whole day through--just my dad and me.

Now I know you have to work real hard to buy us food and clothes.
And you need to get the girls those fancy ribbons and bows.
But sometimes when I'm lonesome I think t'would be lots of fun,
If my daddy was a dog, and all his work was done."

Now when he'd finished speaking, he looked so lonely there,
I reached my hand out to him and ruffled up his hair.
And as I turned my head aside to brush away a tear,
I thought how nice it was to have my son so near.

I know the Lord didn't mean for man to toil his whole life through,
"Come on, my son I'm sure I have some time for you."
You should have seen the joy and sunlight in his eye,
As we went outside to play - just my son and I.

Now, as the years have swiftly flown and youth has slipped away,
I've tried always to remember to leave some time to play.

When I pause to reminisce and think of joys and strife,
I carefully turn the pages of this wanderer's book of life.
I find the richest entry recorded in that daily log,
Is the day that small boy whispered, "I wish my daddy was a dog."

Elrod Leany

Lots of Memories
(to the tune of Desperado)

Lots of memories
Lurking by each tree and flower
They all have the power to take you away
Back to the time when you led a life without worry
But time in its hurry has changed you today.

Lots of memories
Each one a stroke in a portrait
Together they formed what you are on this day.
You may not know it, but you're seeing inside you.
Those memories guide you along your way

Don't you know these things exist now only in your senses
Those painted shadows you alone can see.
Seems to me the buildings and the fields and roads and fences
Without the past would lose their artistry.

Lots of memories
But are they just incidental?
Is your sentimental side running away?
You live your life in the present, which is just how you ought to
But the past is what got you where you are today.

I Just Call It Home
(to the tune of Turkey in the Straw)

Nestled in the Zuni mountains you will find a peaceful place 
Where the sky is clear and there is lots of open space 
In the shadow of Mt. Taylor's towering volcanic dome 
The sign says Bluewater but I just call it home.

In the early days the railroad offered jobs for everyone 
Then the lumber trade came in when railroading was done.
After that the carrot farmers were where jobs were coming from 
Until one day someone stumbled on uranium.

Elrod Leany was a Utah man with wife and little girls, 
(One of them redheaded and the other with brown curls). 
When he graduated college with a Chemistry degree 
He wound up in Bluewater to raise his family. 

While the Leanys lived in Bluewater they had more family 
And they all grew up in peace if not prosperity 
But when Elrod lost his wife to death one stormy winter day 
And soon Elrod followed her, the kids just moved away.

Now the residents of Bluewater are spread across the land 
Raising their own families just like their parents planned.
But one thing they have in common matters not where they might roam, 
If you ask them they will still say Bluewater's their home.

Bluewater's Our Home
(to the tune of Home on the Range)

We're all coming home from the places we roam 
To see all of the friends we once knew.
Our lives are elsewhere, but our roots are right here
In the mountain home where we all grew.
Bluewater's our Home
Though we visit here just as its guest.
Our lives are elsewhere but our roots are right here
In the valley where our parents rest.

Lee Hassell is gone and George Rowley passed on, 
Joe Nielson is with us no more,
And Patriarch Young's funeral bells have been rung 
Like so many who went on before.
The White Bridge is no more, same with Nielson's old store,
The people we knew are more gray.
The uranium mill disappeared from the hill
But the spirit we felt's here to stay.


He could fly an airplane or skin a D9 Cat.
She could feed an army at the dropping of a hat.
They could seat a legion at a table built for few,
But there were things they couldn't do.

He could never turn the stranger from his door.
She could never turn from pains her family bore.
They could never hide their love for friends and family,
You could never ask for a better model of humanity.

He could build a working truck from just an old rust pile.
She could be in agony and never lose her smile.
They could help out anyone, it didn't matter who.
But there were things they couldn't do.

She could never pause to think about the pain.
He could never leave the stranger in the rain.
They could never count the lives touched by their charity,
I could never find fit payment for their generosity.

And I will be most grateful to them for all eternity.

Frank Leany

The Bargain

Long before time as we know it began
We lived up in heaven without care.
But all of us knew that the Lord had a plan
To send us all off to elsewhere.

Handsome, I was, with a head of thick hair,
And wealthy and witty and bright.
And athletic? I'll tell you, nobody there
Could race me and keep me in sight.

Then the time came to choose families and I
Knew just which of all the kids there
I wanted to raise, I'd decided to try 
To take home the very best pair.

The trouble, of course, was that everyone there
Had their eye on the children I wanted.
I knew it would be hard, but I didn't care. 
I charged into battle undaunted.

A lot of the bidders soon threw in their hand
'Cause the bargaining just got too tough.
They decided to find some kids less in demand
After all, there were children enough.

After some time only six had held out
All wanting to take the same souls.
I knew it was time to get serious about
Negotiating to accomplish my goals.

I drew a deep breath and said "I am prepared
To exchange all my wealth for these kids."
"Deal!" someone said, then he scampered off, scared
That he'd miss out on some other bids.

"I'll take your good looks" another one said.
I conceded, then turned to the rest
And offered the thick colored hair on my head
To anyone who would take second best.

Now only two fellow bidders were left
And I offered up my amazing physique.
If that's what it took, through my life I would heft
With a back that was painful and weak.

Then face to face with one man there I stood
Contemplating "What barter remains?"
If you wonder why this little poem is no good
It's 'cause he got the best of my brains.

So that's how it happened that I have with me
The finest kids—it's cause I paid.
For them I gave all of my hair, wealth, and beauty—
It's the best deal that I've ever made.

Frank Leany

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