HenryFord had only been making cars 8 years when I was born
It wouldbe three more years before World War I ended
You thinkyou are depressed? I lived through the Great DepressionÉ get over it.
When Iwas a kid we really did walk to school in the snow
We skatedon the river and on ponds and survived without our parents watching us.
CÕmon howsmart do you have to be to know your standing on thin ice?
Let metell you about myself
I wasborn in 1916É.in a house. Who needed a hospital?
I was thesecond of five kids
My realname was John and I really didnÕt have a middle name.
I wasquite an athlete in my day
I couldkick it, throw it, catch it, run it, bank it, curve it, jump it, and hit it.
I coulddribble and shoot like crazy
I evenwon a free throw shooting contest one time.
We didnÕthave three pointers back then but IÕm sure I sunk a bunch from that range
Yes, Iwas deadly with the jump shot.
Football?Oh yes my friend, quarterback, running back, punter, defensive back
Yes, Iwent both waysÉ.heyÉ.it was a small school.
I had acool nickname too, ŌSwivel hipsĶ
Nohelmets back then, just a thick leather cap and brute force to get through theline.
Man, didwe have fun.
The housewhere I grew up was literally across the street from the country club
I startedcaddying at a young age
I guess Ijust picked up the game naturally
By thetime I was a teen I was teaching the old guys how to swing
They hadto hate that
I won myshare of matches and tournaments
I knowwhat it sounds like to hear your own knees knocking standing over a 3 footer onthe 18th to win.
I couldreally play my friend.
YouwouldnÕt want to bet your last $5 against me on a shot that counts.
IÕllgladly take your money though
I couldbend it, loft it, fade it and drain it.
3 holesin one, count Ôem, 3 É and just wish you could know how it feels.
The lastfell in on my 80th birthday. How cool was that?
Eagles?Birdies? Heck, IÕve lost count but they all felt sweet.
In mylife I have loved and lost and loved again
IÕm was ablessed man
I worethe uniform and served my country
Heck yes,I was scared to go, but I went
Andbecause I went, and so many others like me, you can sit here today and enjoyyour freedom.
It was nofun sleeping in the mud in the Philippines,
Gettingready to invade Japan,
Wishingthe whole thing would end.
But thenwe dropped the big one and my life was spared
Think ofall of the golf I would have missed
I workedhard when I had to and played hard as well
Heck, Isnow skied for the first time at age 67
IÕve beenthe employee and the boss
Gottatell you, being the boss is better
Once, Istopped a man from robbing my bank and another time I chased a robber down thestreet until he pulled his gun out.
Thinkingback, maybe not the smartest move at the timeÉ
IÕve seenthis country from the west to east and north to south
I lovedthis place.
Bestplace on the planet. DonÕt believe me? Then why havenÕt you moved somewhereelse?
IÕm anOhian and a Texan
A Buckeyeand a Mustang
I was aCowboy fan before anyone knew who they were
NewCowboyÕs Stadium? LetÕs talk Cotton bowl, Don Meredith and Bullet Bob Hayes
Moonwalks, computers, ipods, cell phones, internet, rap music, Starbucks
I washere a long time before any of that stuff.
We werepretty happy without it too.
So far 16presidents have enjoyed my tax money
I may nothave always remembered your name
Especiallythese last few years
But Iknew who you were
I knew Iloved all of those who are here and meant so much to me
I knowthat I am blessed to have had this long life
To havehad such an amazing love affair with my wife
To havefathered and grandfathered, great grandfathered and great-great grandfatheredso many wonderful kids
I mayhave forgotten some things
But Iremember who is on the throne
Who hasled me on this path and leads me still today on streets of gold
I did mybest to live it right
I prayyou will do the same
And thatyou will have been so blessed.