(Posted: July 15, 2012)

My friend, Joe O’Donnell, is a poet.  If you’ve read any of the posts regarding his “The Shoe Leather Express” books, you would already be aware of this.  Following is a poem that he sent to me in 2008 with the Subject line:  A Friend . . . . . .


When your trials and tribulations turn to dire despair.

Just look over your shoulder, I’ll be there.

When your storm clouds gather and your weather is not fair.

Just look over your shoulder, I’ll be there.

And when your straight and narrow road has a sudden bend.

Just look beside you, I am your friend.

by Joseph P. ODonnell’

This verse is a treasure!!!  Joe ODonnell has been the greatest of friends.  Whenever I had a question – a question that I was no longer able to ask my Father – Joe was there; always!!  What better person to ask than a former B-17 Ball Turret Gunner and POW.  He always had time for me and he never made me feel that any of my questions were foolish.  It began as Joe being a great source of information but I found that we could talk about everything.  He was more than a mentor; he became “a friend.”   Through our correspondence I grew to know and love his wife, Dot.  I had the good fortune to travel to New Jersey in 2007 to finally meet the two of them.  Joe is “a friend” in every sense of the word.

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