Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Newland was civic leader and poet

Sent to The Frederick Leader and The Frederick Press, September 20, 2011

Newland poems promoted work
ethic and Frederick business
Imagine writing a poem for publication every day, year after year, while also running a demanding, fast-paced business. That’s exactly what John Lynn Newland did for more than 30 years.
Frederick Leader Building, circa 1920
Newland purchased half interest in the Frederick Daily Leader in 1910, then bought full interest in the newspaper in 1917.
Until his death in 1941, Newland served as editor and publisher of the Leader. In addition to writing, managing a full staff of employees, and overseeing all details of printing and distributing two daily editions of the newspaper (morning and afternoon), Newland wrote a daily poem that was printed in each issue of the Leader as “Poem for the Day”.
The poems were in varying lengths, meters and styles. Some rhymed while others were more free verse. Some were light in tone. Others were serious.
Newland’s poetry topics were diverse. His subjects included special occasions and holidays, celebrations, the inspirational and devotional, as well as his thoughts on life, death, and grief.
Newland was a strong civic leader in Frederick who believed in shopping at home and supporting the local economy. He also believed in the virtue of hard work.
Following his death in 1941, the Leader reprinted a J.L. Newland poem in each issue of the newspaper until the Newland family sold the publication in 1964.
Following are several Newland poems which were reprinted in the Frederick Daily Leader in May 1954.
Today, 70 years after Newland’s death, his poems are still wonderful and the message of these particular poems is still true.

May 5, 1954

I knew he would succeed because
His interest in his job no pause
Was ever known to manifest.
He always gave his work his best,
It was the object of his thought,
Improvement was the goal he sought;
To do things better day by day
Gave him more joy than higher pay.

And so while others watched the clock
For fear their nerves might get a shock
If they should give the boss too much
This boy whose interest was such
Quite naturally was boosted fast
Until he came to be at last,
By toil, which duty never shirks,
The manager of all of the works.

And drones who’ve watched his sure advance
Complain if they had had “his chance”
They would have gained the same success.
But in his climbing chance and guess
Had no part – they never do.
The reason he went sailing through
Was that whate’er the job in hand
He smiled and worked to beat the band.

May 4, 1954

The dollar that at home you spend
Will cheer the ardor of a friend,
Who rushes out to pay a bill
And decorates a neighbor’s till.
The neighbor hands it to a clerk,
With others, for his weekly work,
The clerk forks it over to his wife
Who spends it for the needs of life.

The grocer sticks it in his bag
And makes deposit of his swag,
The banker lets a farmer make
A note, and then the dollar take
As part of funds to make a crop,
To plow and plant and weed and chop;
The farmer pays it to a hand
Who spends his cash to “beat the band.”

And thus the dollar does its part
To keep the life blood in the heart
Of business bounding in your town,
And soon it’s made the trip around
And back it comes to you again
All smiling like a long lost friend.
For home spent dollars are first aid
In keeping business on parade.

May 21, 1954

The cash I spend in thee, home town,
Is like a string of pearls to me,
As I go up the streets and down,
On every hand its work I see;
Each dollar seems to do its stuff
In keeping business on the move,
Each dime keeps trying, hard enough,
Its usefulness at home to prove.

From store to store, from hand to hand
They move in joyous, quick exchange,
A mighty cheerful booster band
Which keep prosperity in range.
When to the house that trades by mail
We send our cash, then it’s a loss;
But spent at home ‘twill never fail
To come across, to come across.

May 3, 1954

Together we have bucked the line,
Full many years, dear friends of mine,
In rain and drought, as seasons go,
With prices high and prices low,
With money flush and money tight,
We’ve pulled together, day and night,
The lean we’ve taken with the fat
And, sure, we’ve done right well at that.

O, we have had our ups and downs,
And with the smiles have come the frowns,
Sometimes, I’m sure, with patience sore
You’ve vowed we would be friends no more
For we have had our ins and outs,
Some brisk campaigns and likely bouts,
But that’s all part of life’s great game,
And here we are – friends just the same.

May 6, 1954

Perhaps of jobs you’ve had a bunch,
The kind you like and those you hate;
And sometimes you have had a hunch
The future held a better fate
If you could only find the task
That suited your fancy’s turn –
A job with all that heart could ask
Of pleasant work – with cash to burn.

What’er the job for which you yearn,
I hope it may be yours, my friend;
That soon the pathways you may learn
Which yield you treasure without end.
No matter where your talent lies,
What be the changes time may bring,
May you think well of one who tries
To teach a typewriter to sing.

Joe Wynn is a member of the Tillman County Historical Society’s board of directors. He can be contacted by e-mail at tillmanokhistory@gmail.com.

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