Tribute to Thomas Joseph Magrann, Sr.

By his son, John J. Magrann


Oh, what a man!

O Mr. Dunderbeck!

O Finnegan's Wake!

You loved flowers,

Now you are immersed in them.

Your day of glory has come and you are gone.


Upon your knees I did lean it,

Black and white and Jew or whatever.

Did it matter?  No!

All the same we trod the earth,

Made crisp imprints and passed on,

For others to measure the depth of the prints -- not us.


When I first became aware of his greatness, it was cold and blustery;

A knock on our humble Holmesburg door announced a black, tattered man

With little hope but for a crust of bread.

Oh, no!  Not a crust of bread at this house, but the best!

That is, the best of what we had.

And to the last course, this black was treated like a brother in 1937,

 A cigar to top it off,

And then a fond farewell as if to launch a precious shi,

or send forth a loved one from our breast.

From this one night (Knight) I learned that white was black and day was night.


Oh, bless you, strongest of the tribe!

I hope this tribe to be my own.

I hope my blood to run with the same sweet thoughts.

I hope my sinews to be as strong as yours,

To make me worthy so to carry on.


Next came the many told stories of Dolinky, a Jewish tribe from Russia land.

Through toil and sweat they made it in this land and big,

But never to forget their Irish brother.

Hand in hand they toiled, laughed, and wept,

But with success, they forgot not with whom they met,

 And wanted him to join in their success.

"Another time, another day, perhaps", said Tom.

But this man they were to thank for the kindest thoughts of all.


And from his knees his sons did hear,

All this and except for moments small and mean,

did forever become the lover of all men,

Black and white and Jew and whatever.


Upon this lap for years I heard of deeds indeed the size of Old Abe Lincoln,

This diligence at work, the honesty above all,

For even the least and smallest penny, there would be accounting of them all.

A task to start must always be one that was finished.

A word once spiken was never to be withdrawn.

And total all above and add to it with love,

The flowers, animals and all,

This makes and made a man most awfully tall.


The tallest man mine eyes have ever seen.

The gleam of those eyes were indeed most keen.

In mirth and laughter.

Now add to all above his love of jokes and laughter.

Here, then lives a man forever after.


John J. Magrann

August 25th, 1973