Russell Johnson, 1924-2014
By Rob S. Rice
I groped for myself, and watched on the TV
A story about seven souls lost at sea.
A show long put by, yet that show lingered on
And the person who helped me find me is now gone.
Such a silly series, and so long ago.
But it brought me laughter through childhood woe.
Like so many others, it got through to me,
My long love of laughter, my love of the sea.
They called him 'Professor,' at first, just 'The Rest.'
But of all those people, I liked him the best.
Unflustered and gentle, and careful and kind.
He set an example of a well-stocked mind.
He had a calm nature, a strong, noble heart.
He made me believe that it's good to be smart,
That wisdom was useful and helped you to strive
And in peril book-smarts could keep you alive.
The laughter is memory, the example remains.
He made me find value in research and brains.
He also was silly, he could always smile,
Whatever was needed, he did it with style.
I got my degrees, and I learned how to swim.
He's gone--and I think of all I owed to him,
I don't mind the jokes since I borrowed his name.
If you think me wise--he gets some of the blame.
So, farewell, Professor, take with you my thanks.
The Minnow herself ended up loosened planks,
You taught, and you counseled, you knew what to do,
Your mind, heart, and humor all always came through.