Saturday, February 29, 2020

Warren Sparrow's Weakly Reader

The Weakly Reader
Volume VI, No. 1
Forest City, North Carolina 28043
29 February 2020
Welcome once again to The Weakly Reader. Life is good in the North Carolina
foothills. It has rained too much. Some folks got water in their basements and a few
roads took hits that made them impassable. We are blessed with good health and good
friends. We keep paddling, virtually unaffected by things we cannot control. We do not
have a basement, only a slab beneath our one-thousand-square-foot, one-story condo.
It is with humility and a joyful heart that I thank you for this opportunity to deliver
another edition of my favorite publication. Let us begin.
The original template for The Weakly Reader called for the inclusion of an “arts”
section. It did not take long for this requirement to be discarded. On this bright
Saturday morning, the last day of February of Leap Year 2020, please assist me in
fulfilling the promise I made eight years ago. Read the following 11 lines. Perhaps you
have read or heard them at another time and place. Whatever the case, the power of
these lines is undeniable. Shall we begin?
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chast’ning rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our parents sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered;
We have come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
Those words were written in 1900 by James Weldon Johnson as a birthday
tribute to Abraham Lincoln. His brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1905 set them to
music. They are the second verse of Lift Every Voice and Sing. More than likely you
can find all three verses in your church hymnal. I did.
* * * * *
The Weakly Reader
Warren Sparrow, Editor and Publisher
165 Fox Run Road
Forest City, NC 28043