These two poems were read at Don Whitney's July 11, 1998 memorial service. They have special meaning to the family as they had been passed down from his father "Bumpy" to Don's children. On the night before he died, Don again recited these to the family.
July 2000 Update: After years of search by the family, Margaret Morrissey at the Southbridge Library found both poems in print. The wording below is as the family recited these poems. There were only slight differences between what is shown and what was in print. Great detective work Margaret!
Little Willie (Author Unknown)
Little Willie from the mirror, licked all the Mercury off
Thinking in his childish error it would cure the whooping cough
At the funeral Willie's mother smartly said to Mrs. Brown
‘Twas a chilly night for Willie
when the Mercury went down.
Tender -Heartedness by Harry Graham
Little Willie in the best of sashes
Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes
Bye and bye the room grew chilly
But no one cared to stir up
Dad and his father Bumpy on See-saw in Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard (late 1920's)
Newly discovered "Little Willie links" -
9-Jul-07 (Ninth Anniversary of Dads death)
I was emailed this Little Willie poem by Steve Marini
(firstname.lastname@example.org) who stated:
"When I was a kid, we a had a book of jokes (The World's Worst Jokes) and a series of Little Willies were in it.
I can still recall one or two.
Into the family drinking well
Willie pushed his sister, Nell.
She's there yet,
The water kilt her.
Now we have to use a filter.
Willie split the baby's head
To see if brains were gray or red.
Mother, troubled, said to Father,
Children are an awful bother!
That's the extent of my memory of Little Willies.
Updated on July 9, 2007