Roland Winslow Junkins, Brother

The following article and a poem written by Roland's brother Donald, on the occasion of Roland's 70th birthday, appeared in JFA newsletter no. 11, May 1996.

On October 8, 1995, Roland turned 70. His brother Donald and wife Kaimei Zheng invited a large group of Roland's friends for a surprise party in his honor at THE HOMESTEAD in Bristol, New Hampshire, on Saturday, the 7th at 3:00 p.m.

A large group of fiends and relative gathered from as close as his next door neighbor, to friends and cousins coming from neighboring states, from new found friends through the Junkins Family Association, to old friends from years almost forgotten. All awaited eagerly in the private dining room, which had been provided by the Homestead.

At approximately 3:45 o'clock, Donald, Kaimei, Yun Wei and Roland arrived for what Roland thought would be a quiet birthday dinner with his brother and his family at Roland's favorite eating place. For the next three house, Roland remained speechless and in awe over the number of people, brother, sister, in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews and just plain friend from the past, that his life has touched in one way or another. Many kind words were spoken and gifts large and small, but the finest of all was a poem written, printed, framed and presented by his brother…Donald.

Roland Winslow Junkins

Something goes with him across the fields
as the seasons turn,

something, at first, in Massachusetts
and Maine, something to do with glades
and old meadows in the sun,

the old poetical lea (from the German -loh,
as in Waterloo) meaning "grassy field,"
but something also in the other lee,
the quiet in the middle of the storm, rocking
alone on a childhood porch in the lightning

gale, standing alone in the bow of the rising
and falling transport ship

heading into the dark of Europe;
something goes with him in the war
and in the peace, in Iowa and Boston,

in the corner of the field where the deer
stands at dusk, where the markers

shield the dark from the names, deeper
than Scotland and Denmark, this keeper
of the fields, tender

in his care, steady in his touch, something
goes with him from the start.

He knows the long walk home through the woods by heart.
Donald Junkins

-on the occasion of his 70th birthday, October 8, 1995.

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