ROLAND M. CLAYTON
My father Roland Clayton owned a local gas station, “Clayton’s Texaco”. He often told his regular customers “Tell ‘em where you got it!”. It became such a habit of his that he would even tell us, his six children the same thing when we left his house; especially for Sunday dinner! Although he had many sayings, my siblings and I chose “Tell ‘em where you got it” for our square cut from a pair of his coveralls we have submitted for the quilt!
The following poem was written by his brother in law and read at his funeral and says a lot about the man he was:
THE EMPTY CHAIR
(In memory of Roland Clayton)
An humbled man of simple birth spent eighty years on God’s great earth. He lived his life for all ‘twas worth and balanced the misery with the mirth. He always seemed to find the good and reveled in memories of his childhood. He learned life’s lessons as few would from parents who taught him as they should. He served his country in its defense; those formative years were so well spent. And there he learned to recompense form freedom shared at great expense. He labored long when work he found; wrestling that black gold from the ground. He gave himself with ne’er a sound and helped those in need rebound. He gave himself to that Trinity of God, work, and family, And now we know at last he’s free from pain and sorrow and misery. As our eyes glance upward and our hearts just pause, we know he loved his Billie and with just cause. He worshipped the young ‘uns despite their flaws; He urged them to live by their God’s laws. Outwardly, he seemed so gruff and course, but inwardly he relied on that loving source, and found it so easy without remorse. To say, “I love you!” with sincere force. And consolation we do now seek, in assurance of the destiny of the meek. At some yet unnamed day and week we’ll join him and the God we seek. But until that appointed time, we crouch in the life’s corner with hope sublime; looking for reason and rhyme, ‘til we leave this realm and upward climb. Forgetting as we step inside that household door, we glance to the chair where he sat before, recalling briefly days of yore when he greeted us eagerly midst the roar.
We’ll miss his voice, his love, his care. We’ll miss his laughter, miss his prayer. We’ll be reminded by the empty chair. But let us now come to decide though the empty chair dies yet abide that days ago he took that ride to sit forever by his Savior’s side.
Let us thank God that he has been healed.
Harry T. Methvin