Remember the days

when vacations were fun

Time off work

and we were on the run

Traveling as far as

our imaginations could reach

To the mountains

ride the train

and fun times at the beach

Coming home exhausted

and ready for a rest

Back to work on Monday

Vacations were the best!

I took this photo in 1976, when one of my students, Sharon Ulrich, won the My America contest for the state of Virginia. It included a week long trip across the state of Pennsylvania, stopping to visit all the historic sites. It included her parents and her teacher (me) and winner representatives for each state. By the time we got to Lancaster County, to ride the Strasburg Railroad, many of the folks were worn out and needed a rest… as you can see in the photo!


Bunky’s Shack – Dwight L. Roth

Bunky died today!

He called me just last week from his Shack on the mountain. Seems, his wife sold the house, left, and had gone to Florida. For him, the Shack was his place to get away from the heat of the summer. She stayed home by herself. Her daughter came up and helped. They liquidated all in just a few weeks.

When I worked for him, we always enjoyed long conversations filled with stories of growing up in Eastern North Carolina. He was strong willed, opinionated, and had done just about everything in his seventy plus years. Now, my friend was calling for a listening ear.

Sadly he shared, “When it was over said and done, it was a time, and there never was enough of it.”

Bunky had slipped on the side of the mountain and hit his head on a rock!

Bunky – Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, we are writing Prosery. This consists of writing a short story, flash fiction or true, exactly 144 words, and incorperating a line of poetry given to us by Lillian. The poetry line is taken from a poem by, “A Time” by Allison Adelle Hedge Coke.

The lines we were given were:

“When it was over said and done

it was a time

and there never was enough of it.”

The story above is a true story from a few years ago, when my good friend died suddenly in an accident at his place in the mountains.

Join us at:


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Before I moved to North Carolina, I thought gumballs were those giant bubblegum balls you could get from a machine at the entrance of a store.  You put your nickel/quarter in the slot, turn the handle, and the ball would drop and roll into the cup below.  Then, I moved into a house with five giant sweetgum trees. They are a Southern specialty, very prolific in their production of spiky gumballs. The balls produce seeds that open and drop out or get eaten by birds in the Fall. The hard shells, covered in sharp spikes, keep falling all winter long. Just when you think you have raked the last of them, the wind come through and down comes another layer! As you can tell, I like the sweet bubblegum balls much better!

Sweet gumballs // all sugar

Not found on a Sweetgum Tree

Fall gumballs dropping


Hard prickly seedless shells

Hundreds cover my backyard

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth


Dwight painting with Little Chippie

When the cheers die down
The last race is won
My life’s work complete
What now
Time for reincarnation
A change of direction
A new challenge
A little slower pace
A bigger smile on my face
No need to assume it’s over
The Rocking Chair can wait
There is new life in reincarnation
Not as great
Not as loud
Rewarding just the same
My work does not define me
I am defined by reincarnation


Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Read Little Chippie’s Big Adventure on Amazon Kindle:

Mr. Ed


One of the things in life I value most are my friends. Good friends make life so much better. Mr. Ed, as everyone at Siding Associates called him, was a great friend. We had a lot of common interests. He came from the “old school” and had his ideas about what should or should not be. We had many great discussion from religion to politics. He was our driver who delivered and picked up siding for our business. I was very sad when he passed away from pneumonia one of the last years I worked there.  This poem is my tribute to him.

Found a good friend at my last job

We called him Mr. Ed not Jim or Bob

A kindred spirit we hit it off right away

Shared many discussions and stories along the way


In the winter of his life he wanted to work

He was not one to sit at home and perk

Drove our old Ford pick-up all across town


Delivered supplies and siding all around

To the bank, to the job, and picked up our biscuits

At Oak Level Café as regular as the clock ticks

Our go-to guy dependable as the sun

In spite of emphysema he was not really done

Forty years of puffing had clogged his lungs

But that didn’t stop him from having lots of fun

Sales were slow wooden pallets were many

He wanted a Rocker so I got him one ready



Recycled oak

cleaned, sanded, and finished

Copied from an old one in spite of nail blemish

We rocked together between his runs

He was a joy to know and a lot of fun


His dry sense of humor was filled with wit

Gave us many laughs that left us in a stitch

I loved him like a father he returned the love

Until pneumonia brought his calling form above

He fought it bravely but his body was done

We lost Mr. Ed and all of his fun

I lost a good friend but not the memories

Of his smile his jokes and all of his stories


I see his old truck and it makes me smile

He loved to drive he put on many a mile

He was a great friend as I sat by his side

Gone but not forgotten

He was born to ride.



Photos: Dwight L. Roth & Dan Neice

Pallet Rocker made by Dwight L. Roth




Leaving His Mark


At the beginning of the twentieth century my grandfather left his mark on his community in Central Pennsylvania. Being a concrete mason, he did every kind of concrete work you could imagine.   A few years ago my brothers and I went looking for pieces of his work and found several that still had his name and the date carved into them.  The little town of Allensville had his sidewalks until the 1990’s. My brother-in-law was there when some of his sidewalks were being torn up and replaced. He salvaged a few pieces with names and dates on them . I took the 1914 piece, in the photo, and embedded it into a brick wall I built in my back yard. There it can live on. This poem is a tribute to  my grandfather, Christian Roth.

In 1914 he made this mark carved in wet concrete

Lived on the sidewalk for ninety years

His hard back breaking work complete

With progress comes change and new town walks

Grabbed a piece while being broken up

Saved for conversation memories and talk

The quality of his work was undeniable

A hundred years later still solid as rock

A fine lasting piece still carrying his label


C. Roth found in concrete all over the valley

1912, 1914,  and many more were there

Leaving his mark too many to tally


Walks, Watering Troughs, Sinks, and Ponds

Bake Ovens, Cow Stables, Root Cellars and Walls

A century of quality was his lasting bond


Now I plant this piece of stone from a century long gone

A tribute to my Grandfather

For the next hundred years on…



Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Headstone made of concrete and crushed glass was made for his son who died in a car wreck in 1926.

The wash house stove hearth was made in 1912 for my Great Grandparents.

The bake oven was built on a farm an is still in the yard. It was repaired and repointed by my uncle and my cousin over fifty years ago.

The 1914 piece from the town sidewalk.



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I enjoyed watching swimmer Michael Phelps and his team mates winning their gold medals at the summer Olympics in Rio. He says this will be his last Olympic competition.  After winning 23 gold medals in his career, what does he do for follow up.  Being only in his thirties, he has over half of his life ahead of him. If he is going to survive retirement, he will need to find a way to reinvent himself. This is my own personal idea of retirement reincarnation


When the cheers die down

The last race is won

My life’s work complete

Hiding our the bird nest 001

What now?

Time for reincarnation

A change of direction

A new challenge

A little slower pace

A bigger smile on my face


No need to assume it’s over

The Rocking Chair can wait

Rocking Chair

There is new life in reincarnation

Not as great

Not as loud

Rewarding just the same


My work does not define me

I am defined by reincarnation

My choices make all the difference

Ebb & Flow