It was more than the brightness from the spring sunlight that sparkled in everyone's eyes at last weeks Kenai Chamber of Commerce meeting. It was the star spangled hope that shown through the eyes of eight-year-old Jake Darrow, as he recited his forensic piece "The Old Ragged Flag."
Jake is a second grader at Aurora Borealis Charter school, and the nephew of Chamber President Cherie Brewer. The piece written and originally performed by Johnny Cash in the early '70's, concludes, " Yeah, she's getting' thread bear, she's wearin' thin, but she's in good shape for the shape she's in, cuz she's been through the fire before and I believe she can take a whole lot more. That's why we raise her up every morning and we take her down at night. We don't let her touch the ground, we fold her up rightOn second thought, I do like to brag because I'm mighty proud of that ragged old flag."
Young Darrow, who recited the poem with the drawl of an old southern gentleman, had the phone ringing off the hook at radio station KSRM the next day after Merrill Sikorski asked him if he'd like to say the poem for his local feature program. In closing, an audibly moved Sikorski could only say, "That from eight year old Jake Darrow. Now take the way that makes you feel, and hold on to it America." You can hear Jake recite The Old Ragged Flag by going to www.radiokenai.com and clicking on American Flag.
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