Max at 100. Pragmatist. Builder. Dreamer.
Named for his mother’s favorite car, the Maxwell.
Whether she fancied the touring car or roadster,
she imagined life beyond Snow Shoe.
Max lived with relatives after she died.
Uncle Pete taught the ten-year-old to drive.
On a dump truck! A coal truck!
A boy enthralled by planes and dirigibles
crossing the sky. A boy keen to fly.
Max’s deft hands built bridges and roads for the CCC,
drove logging trucks loaded with timber.
Sometimes, the nose of the truck would rise in the air.
If the front end came up, you had no steering!
His eyesight ruled out the Air Corps; he hoped
to fix war planes, but served as a medic in Algeria.
He came home, married Jeanne.
His smarts helped build Automotive Supply Co.
He built a family cottage at Raystown Lake,
taught young Clark and Carol to waterski.
And from a five-dollar Model A and a ’31 Mercedes,
he built a gorgeous creamy white roadster.
The dreamer said, I want to learn to fly.
He bought a blue-and-white Cessna 140.
He and Jeanne flew all over Pennsylvania.
We’d visit friends, family, go out for dinner, see a movie.
He says, I did all right. Says, of his wife of sixty years,
She was a good woman. I wouldn’t change her for the world.
He sleeps beneath the white-on-white quilt she stitched.
You know, some people say, you never got married again.
He chuckles. I’d make them miserable. I’d always compare
them to Jeanne—you gotta face it!
With a slight Jimmy Stewart quaver,
Max Confer says,
I did just about everything I wanted to.
I did all right.
©2017 by Mary Rohrer-Dann