Big Phil – For All Seasons



He wore a fedora, lined satin and labelled inside,

Ribbed ribbon round it, doffed to all women outside.

He wore a crombie, woollen and heavy, so warm,

Mints in deep pockets, shared, with small hands, in their turn.

He wore his brogues well, polished and spat to high shine,

Lasted new soles on, tingles all tapped in, his signs

That values were priceless and what you had you protect,

Laboured and worked for, the type of man to respect.

He wore a bunnet, on days of the week, for the graft,

Workboots and parka, donkey-jacket, all part of his craft.

He wore his years right, he wore them till fifty and eight,

He wore a coffin, early death a part of his fate.

He wore the long walks, the countryside, he wore the earth,

He wore his heart out fending for, feeding those birthed.

He wore trade unions, he wore them and stewarded cause,

He wore Keir Hardy and wore them for life, all because

He wore for workers, he wore the rights that we hold,

He wore no-nonsense, he loved, we did as were told.

He wore his laughter, deep in his chest, where it grew

Rumbled and burst forth, head thrown back, and we knew

He wore his heart done, giving his all wore him out,

He wore a family that appreciate better his type.

A man for all seasons, he wore them and wore them with pride,

Big Phil was the daddy, a working gent till he died.

He wore a gravestone, it wears the dates of life here,

I wear his hats now, his legacy, wear with no fear.




15 thoughts on “Big Phil – For All Seasons”

    1. He was, as you say, a very special man and dad. Too short a time with him. And he never got to see one of nineteen grandchildren. He’d have been in his element. Such is life. Thank you for reading and commenting. This all because colleagues and I were talking about old-time traditions. Men wore hats, removed them indoors, walked the kerbside of the pavement when with their wife or children. Protected and cherished. Sent me down memory lane again. Been a bit of a week of that.

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  1. Your dad was a special man, and those little things that you spoke of were the making of real men who were shown respect because of that attitude.
    Sadly this world has lost that to a great degree, and to be honest it is frowned on. Each time I go to pull out a chair or open a door, the female population has it in their heads that it is trying to force a subservience upon them, where in truth it is showing a caring and respect.
    Be proud of him momus, he wore a badge of honour in the heart he wasn’t afraid to wear on his sleeve 🙂

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    1. Oh, he wasn’t big on the words of love, Mark. Almost like effusive sentiment would spoil you. But, his actions spoke for themselves. Strict but fair and a guardian of what he held dear in belief and principles. I had a fair few arguments with him on politics and some of his more old-fashioned ideas that didn’t fit the world we were growing up in. Then I’d just appeal to my mum’s influence when he wouldn’t be swayed. 😉
      The whole seat and door thing bugs me. I get more annoyed at folk who let it shut in your face – regardless of their sex. Good manners have nothing to do with gender. And I don’t see what’s wrong with showing consideration for people. It must be a difficult path to weave for guys, wondering if they’re going to be thanked or slated. I’d just keep right on doing it, Mark, and then if anyone objects, slam it in their faces! They’re getting the wrong end of the argument to worry about stuff like that.

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      1. It was a time where they were much harder, but I think that was just the harder times. Plus THEY were brought up by a parent who was going through even tougher times so it had to come through somewhere 🙂
        The amazing part is that considerate attitude survived those times….or maybe it was because of it 🙂
        And I have finally learned to just be me in my manners momus (and wasn’t that an argument 😀 ), and I just do what I know is the right thing. If I get ‘set on’ I just smile and keep going. I’m now where I need to be comfortable within myself 🙂

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  2. I got a great picture of your dad, almost 3D, including a sense of his character and personality.
    My grandfather was rarely ever seen without a his cap.
    You lost him way too young, what a huge character he’d have been in all your lives. Beautiful tribute.

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    1. Even then, at 26, I knew it was too young. Now, at 55 myself, I think how much he lost out on. How much I would lose out on if life were cut so short.
      There seem to be so many being cut off in their prime recently. It’s stirring conversation and reflection everywhere. Not a bad thing in many ways. Makes you value life all the more.
      Thanks, Tric. He would have made a great granda. And, most likely, would have been still doffing his cap.x

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  3. oh how this grabs at my heart and all the better parts of me – I still have my Papa’s (Sunday) fedora – his horseman’s boots – and his butcher’s aprons along with some of his workaday knives – my own fedoras that I used to wear to business are on the shelf in my closet, available to any of my interested heirs

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