A TRIBUTE TO THE “FEARLESS”

 

 

 

BY ELBERT FORESTER

MAY21, 1945

 

 

FROM THE  “WILDS” OF WILDWOOD, GEORGIA

IN HISTORIC “STATE OF DADE,”

HAILS A MAN WE CALL THE “FEARLESS”—

THE MOST FEARLESS GOD HATH MADE.

 

IN THE SHADOW OF LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN,

THIS SON FIRST CAME TO LIGHT

AND THROUGHOUT HIS EARLY CHILDHOOD

HE HAS BEEN A MAN OF MIGHT.

 

FROM THE BIRTH OF THIS YOUNG SAGER

UNTIL THE PRESENT DATE

HE’S TOPS IN ALL HIS WORK AND PLAY

AND RARELY MEETS HIS MATE.

 

THIS CRIMSON-HEADED YOUNGSTER—

THE PRIDE NO DOUBT OF MOTHER’S,

WENT TO SCHOOL BUT VERY LITTLE

BUT WAS ADMIRED BY ALL THE OTHERS.

 

CARRYING LETTERS FOR “UNCLE SAMUEL,”

HE PAID THE LAW SCHOOL FEE

AND ON THE DAY OF GRADUATION,

A GALLANT LEADER PUT OUT TO SEA.

 

ON THE BASEBALL FIELD ‘TIL LATER TEENS,

EVERYONE HAS ALWAYS SAID—

NO ONE COULD SHOW THE GRACE AND STYLE

AS THAT DISPLAYED BY “RED.”

 

HE STARTED EARLY AS AN ATHLETE

AND WORKED FROM DAWN ‘TIL LATE—

OUR CLEAN-CUT FRIEND WAS GOING STRONG

UNTIL STRICKEN DOWN BY FATE.

 

IT HAPPENED AT NEW ENGLAND, GEORGIA

IN A TOUGH AND JAM-UP GAME—

HE THREW THE BALL FROM SECOND BASE…

THE THROW THAT LEFT HIM LAME.

 

HE PLAYED NO MORE, THIS FRIEND OR OURS,

HIS BASEBALL DAYS WERE DONE…

ON THE SIDELINES HE TOOK HIS PLACE—

THE BASES NO MORE COULD RUN.

 

IN THE COURT ROOM “RED” NEXT APPEARED—

A LAWYER OF GREAT SKILL,

A PROMINENT PLACE IN THIS PROFESSION

THIS YOUNG MAN SOUGHT TO FILL.

 

THIS HE DID IN ALL TECHNIQUE…

WAS HARD TO LICK IN ALL HIS FIGHTS—

THE PEOPLE FOUND BEYOND A DOUBT

THIS WAS THE MAN TO DEFEND THEIR RIGHTS.

 

UP IN THE HALLS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

WE FIND OUR SUBJECT LATER—

OF ALL THINGS NOT DEMOCRATIC,

HE TRULY WAS A HATER.

 

HIS SPEECHES THERE WERE LONG AND LOUD

IN DEFENDING WHAT WAS RIGHT…

TO THIS END AND NOTHING ELSE

HE FOUGHT WITH ALL HIS MIGHT.

 

FROM THE HILLS OF VALLEY JUNCTION

TO THE SLIMY SWAMPS OF WARE,

THIS YOUNG MAN WON COUNTLESS THOUSANDS

WON THEIR FRIENDSHIP, RICH AND RARE.

 

DAN CUPID CAME ALONG ONE DAY

AND SWEPT “RED” RIGHT OFF HIS FEET—

THE FAIREST MAIDEN OF THEM ALL…

MIS EVA FRYER HE CHANCED TO MEET.

 

THIS SWEET GIRL AND CHARMING LADY

WHO THEN BECAME HIS WIFE,

WAS TRULY GOD’S OWN BLESSING

ADDED TO OUR YOUNG FRIEND’S LIFE.

 

IN THEIR HAPPY HOME YOU’LL FIND

AMONG ALL THE OTHER JOYS—

JOHNNY MAC AND ALLEN FRANKLIN

TWO FINE AND HANDSOME BOYS.

 

FAIR TO ALL BOTH FRIEND AND FOE

CAN EVER BE TRUTHFULLY SAID,

ON THE ONE ABOUT WHOM WE’RE WRITING—

THIS BOY WE ALL CALL “RED.”

 

NOW “RED” SITS UPON THE JUDGE’S BENCH—

HIS LIFE-LONG ASPIRATION;

HE RULES HIS COURT WITHOUT FEAR OR FAVOR

AND LEAVES NO ONE IN DESPERATION.

 

WHO IS THIS MAN WE’RE CALLING “RED”—

THE MOST FEARLESS FROM UP IN DADE…

NOT JUST FROM DADE BUT EVERYWHERE,

THE MOST FEARLESS GOD HATH MADE?

 

JOHNSON MURPHY CLAGGETT TOWNSEND,

IS THIS YOUNG JUDGE’S NAME

AND WHEN I SAY I ADMIRE THIS BOY,

ALL OTHERS WILL SAY THE SAME.

 

“RED,” I PASS THESE LINES TO YOU

BECAUSE I’VE KNOWN YOU SINCE A LAD,

AND BECAUSE, MY TRUE AND FAITHFUL FRIEND

YOU’RE THE BEST FRIEND I’VE EVER HAD.

 

“A TRIBUTE TO THE FEARLESS” WAS WRITTEN BY ELBERT FORESTER TO JUDGE J.M.C. “RED” TOWNSEND, WHO WAS A JUDGE OF THE GEORGIA COURT OF APPEALS.

(Used by permission HISTORY OF DADE COUNTY GEORGIA, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, 1981.)

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