by Bill Daniels, Po8

MIDWAY upon the trail of his life,
Jack found himself lost
Dammit, where was his wife?
For he came to a three legged fork in his path
and his sense of direction
well, friends, that’s a laugh

Ah me! he sighed deep
as a trial lawyer will
I suppose I must choose
and guess someday I will
and he would have just lingered up there on that pass
if a handsome fine stranger hadn’t given him a kick in the . . .

“Well, howdy, Virgil,” Jack said.
As he spied the cowpoke.
How is Wyatt?” he asked
(That’s a bad tombstone joke)

Let’s get movin’, said Virgil,
I’m here as your guide.
And I brought you a horse.
Do you know how to ride?

Well, Jack snorted and mounted
and pointed his horse
which was very well trained
as a matter of course

So it didn’t balk once
When old Virgil said, “Well,”
“We’d best go and explore,
take that left fork. It’s Hell.”

And they rode down that canyon
so arid and steep
and from Jack there was nothing
not even a peep.

Now you’d think he’d be chatterin’
bout’ hellish delights
but it turns out our hero
is afraid of heights

And they spied a campfire
out there on the ground
a coyote was howlin’
that cold, lonesome sound

Take a load off, Denove
Morris Dennis said slow,
and I’ll tell you a story
of life here, below.

It was in ‘89
While awaiting a trial.
In Judge Margolis’ court
they’d been waiting a while.

Turned out judge and lawyers loved horses
and started a group
I suppose just to see
how low down they could stoop

Here’s Wilkie and Becky and Margie
It’s true.
Their names all end in vowels
They could be Italian too.

Likewise Marlene and Tamia
Luty and Patty
Nelson and Katzman, well
nobody’s perfect

Cowboy Lawyers we are
and we’re close and we’re proud
if we ride just too hard and
we yell just too loud

Don’t forget it’s our roots.
We draw fast and talk slow.
And our wild western ways
are why we’re here down below.

Well, our Jack, being refined
and most moral and upright
struggled hard with those souls
kept him up most the night

And by the time Virgil urged him
not to join as a resident
Those low Cowboys Lawyers
had elected our Jack as their president.

(Seems Italians and Cowboys
share the same predilection
by making Denove
their common affliction)

By the clear light next day,
Jack and Virgil rode slow
from that hellish ravine
Cowboy Lawyers in tow

And found that middle trail
leading high on a hill
it was quiet and peaceful
for some moments until

In the long far off distance
there carried the sounds
that most noble of noises
the baying of hounds

Then a regal troop galloped
up from a ravine
with their horns and hunt hats
looking oh so serene

And though most coats were blue
That’s the garment of riches
There were some who wore red
Lucky son’s of a bitches

“Who are these?” Jack asked Virgil
His eyes opened wide.
“It’s the hunt” Virgil said
Then Jack quickly replied.

Oh I’ve heard of these folks
From the West Hills of town
And I’ve heard from good sources
they keep women down.

(No female president. Ever.
Friends, that’s what he meant.
Let’s turn back to our story
And we’ll see who’ll relent)

Well, Dave Wendler, Mike Jacobs
and Mike Zacha heard
As Mike Magloff and Scott Tepper
both met and conferred

They scratched at their heads
Then they scratched other places
Blew horns for awhile
and made mad hound dog faces

Till Wendler spoke up to reply
to the slur
of misogynist leanings
He said to Jack, “Sir!”

“We know that you’re liberal
and think that’s perfection
(We suppose we’ll all know
by November’s election)”

But Phyllis Smith French
sent us hunt coats of blue
To hunt with good hounds
not a hound dog like you

And it would suit us not
for a lady to lead us
cause this is purgatory, Jack
I mean, shoot,
they won’t hardly breed us

Well, Jack saw their reason
figured he couldn’t win
did some short calculations
bout the wages of sin

He turned to his guide and said
Virgil, I think
That with all this discussion
I could use a stiff drink

With a wave of his hand
He inspired that throng
West Hills Hounds Cowboy Lawyers
To follow along

So they cut to the chase
headed toward paradise
where the truth to be told
life is so very nice

The Italian Americans
filled up the place
they were drinking good wine
and a stuffin’ their face

Father Raniero Alessandri
Gave an elegant blessing
While Casa Italiana waiters
poured an elegant dressing

At every dinner the pasta they eat is Mostaciolli
Father Allesandri blesses it first
Which is why their Mostaciolli,
is holy.

Ed Baretta was present
a warm, welcome fellow
While maestro Julius Thompson
played a tune oh so mellow

Old Mario Clinco
smiled down from on high
The bartender, Ugo
Made sure no one ran dry

Yes even the families
By name could do worse
For the father-child pairs
sound like operatic verse:

Paul & Carey Caruso
Charlie & Chris Frisco
Bruce & Tim Sottile
Bob & Phillip Scuderi
August & Diana Carloni

And Italian Americans we learn
have their angels in residence
and some the IALA
have elected as presidents

There’s Diana Carloni
and Dale La Casella
Judy Cannavo
and dear Pat Lobello

The media Italians
keep close to keep face
So they even selected
Met New’s Jo-Ann Grace

And Claire Ambrosio
that name sounds of heaven
Steve Mesi’s up next
But he’ll have to cool his heels
until the end of 2011

Rick Kraemer and Executive Presentations
Are always most willing
To donate their talents
and so get top billing

But Jack scanned the throng
things were looking quite hairy
and he needed some guidance
He sighed. Relief! Mary!

My Beatrice, Jack cried.
She said, what is it now
Then she saw his parade
didn’t quite have a cow

But Jack’s Mary she knew
there was just one solution
West Hills Hounds and Cowboys Lawyers
required absolution

She said, Jack, over here,
led the throng there to see
the Italian Lawyers homegrown version
of the holy trinity

No, my friends, wasn’t God,
To whom Jack led his nation
It was Schiavelli, Crispo and Sottile
Granting their dispensation

So my story ends here
though we’re just at the salad
thanks for listening so long
to my fake eye-tie ballad

As for me, I will ask
that you join in my toast
Italian American Lawyers Association
Thank you for being our host.