NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Monday May 21st 2018

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Our DAD, Virgil Welna

By VIRGINIA M. MAGNER

 

He unlocks the door and cranks down the awning.
Then turns on the lights. A new day is dawning.
It’s eight o’clock sharp; all merchandise in its’ place.
For the next 10 hours he’ll keep a steady pace.
Serving the needs of the young and the old.
And listening with his heart, I have been told.

Down creaky stairs, he heads for the basement.
To a child’s eyes, it is a place of amazement.
Wood beams on the ceiling and limestone for walls.
And whiffs of machine oil I do recall.

He cranks round and round to thread and cut pipes.
The sweat on his brow he stops to wipe.
Threads of metal, litter apron and floor.
No need to sweep for there soon will be more.

He hears the buzz signal; he’s needed upstairs.
The store’s humming with customers with many cares.
For nuts and bolts and paint tinted red,
For shovels and grits and a brand new sled!

“Where’s Virg?” He’s now found at the back of the store,
Surrounded by windows and glass galore.
His mother is eating her box lunch at the bench,
And doesn’t seem to mind the glazing iron stench.

To the front of the store is where he next goes,
To check out customers, he keeps on his toes.
The crank brass register, all shiny and bright,
Sits next to the nail scale, it’s quite a sight.

Off to the side sits his father on a stool,
Paging through a huge catalog, which is really cool.
Preparing and placing the order each week.
Going back several times to give it a tweak.

All through the day at the front of the store,
A merry bell rings above the door.
Signaling customers as they enter and leave.
Their lives creating a beautiful weave.

At the end of the day, the floors are all swept,
Aprons are hung where they are kept.
He cranks up the awning and turns out the lights
And turns the key and locks the door tight.

Virginia M. Magner is a daughter of Pat and Virgil Welna

Jim Welna said, “Dad, lived and imparted the wisdom that the last 5% of any task was the most important; thoroughness and going the extra mile.”  Mark Welna said, “Dad did free delivery 60 years before Amazon.”
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