GOD'S GAME OF CHECKERS
by Red River Dave McEnery (who also wrote "Amelia Ehrhart") RECITED OVER MUSIC!
Once upon a time there was a little boy who stood beside his grieving mother and watched a saddened nation bear, with pomp and ceremony, its president, his daddy. Far across the country in a western state, a silver-haired cowboy watched the scene on television with tear-dimmed eyes. His heart was burdened with sorrow as he sat down and wrote the little boy this letter:
I feel I must call you son because today your daddy has gone to be with the hallowed heroes, and I never had a boy. I wanted to write you a letter and send you a present--a toy or a game. I'm enclosing a game called Checkers. I want to tell you, son, of a great American legend called GOD'S GAME OF CHECKERS.
According to history checkers is the world's oldest game dating back to the time of the ancient pharaohs. Thousands of years before Christ, our lord and savior. The checkerboard is a checkered square teaching us that we should all live on the square and always treat our fellow man fairly. There are twelve dark men and twelve light men--opponents on the board. In life we have men with souls the same way: some dark--evil, and some light--good. The dark checker makes the first aggressive move. The light must answer with skill not to be overcome. So it is in the world today. The aim of the men on the checkerboard is to reach the kingdom. So it is with us on earth. He who reaches the kingdom has won the ultimate game--the game of life and eternity. A man moves toward the king row and there are many traps and dangers of which he must be aware. Sometimes a man must be sacrificed so that others, in time, may win the final game. So it was with your daddy, boy. Old Glory is still waving, son, across our nation from the silver sands of Hawaii to the rocky coast of Massachusetts. And just like the great Americans--Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln--your daddy believed in God's game of checkers. In time a way will be found for all men to live as brothers. God grant we live to see that day. Some day the checkerboard of life will lead all men who believe to that great kingdom.
The old cowboy then saddled his horse, carried the letter and the package to a small United States post office where Old Glory rippled at half mast. That evening, as the stars filled the sky, he placed a kerosene lamp in a cabin window facing east. And somehow that light seemed to spread across the nation and join another small flame amid the heroes at Arlington.