While puttering through the Glenville Mercury archives, I found another poem dedicated to Gray Barker in the May 17, 1949 issue’s Poet’s Corner. This one isn’t an acrostic. It appears to be a poem from an underclassman. After an oh-so-brief stint as a teacher (a fact Gray would obsfucate to lend himself an air of authority and respectability throughout his life), Gray returned to Glenville to work in the local movie theatres. This poem reminds us that he was still very much around in 1949 and that there was one thing about him that was very hard to ignore!
On His Tallness
To R. Gray Barker
Of all the friends that I have known
You stand above the rest.
‘Tis not that you’re exceptional.
My nose comes to your chest.
Your form looms high up in the sky,
When you’re in front of me.
It blocks my view of Heaven, too.
How tall you seem to be!
I guess you’re only six foot five,
A monster of a man.
How did you ever grow so tall?
I, too, will if I can.
– James L. Harper ’49