Tom Canning at War, Global Province Letter, 19 February 2014

We Never Knew. You will find all sorts of fine things by and about Tom Canning, our Global Poet Laureate, on the Global Province.  We recommend every mention.  His witty limericks and loving puns.  His plain good humor.

We drank so many martinis with Tom and had such long steak lunches with him that we thought we knew all there was to know.  All the Cannings loved him to excess, and he cherished them.  You will find a eulogy delivered by Tom Canning, Jr. which radiates all the warmth that courses through that family.

We have essayed on his love of family, and home in Sea Cliff, and the hate-love relationship every NewYorker has with Manhattan.  There is no where else in the universe one should be than New York, but one also needs to escape it:

                           February, month of Presidents,
                           When I devoutly wish my residence
                           Were far
                           away in a tropical clime
                          And this hot toddy were a gin with lime. 

We thought we knew all there was to know about Tom.  That life for him was summed up sitting around the family piano singing Rogers and Hammerstein songs. 

But after he met his maker, his children put together a book of his writings entitled Verses in a Paper Dummy & Other Selected Writings.  In it we learned that he had nobly done his part in the Allied retaking of Europe from the Germans, something we never knew despite our closeness. Read his account of Normandy Beach and more.

The Quiet Men.  We have had cause to celebrate several Americans who did a stint in World War II, acquitting themselves well under fire.  But like Tom, they did not talk about it a lot.  They just came back to the States, tried to forget about it, and turned to making a life in a country without war.  The Quiet Men wanted to forget life in Europe and Asia.  But we should not forget them.



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