Monday, December 30, 2013

Poem for a New Year

New Year's Rockin' Eve premiered in December 1973,
40 years ago, but Dick Clark wasn't the host until the second year. 
Though he reported live from Times Square in 1972,
he wouldn't become host of the show until December 1974.

1974 would be the year my father married my mother, making it one of the biggest years of his life.  It was also, then, the year I was conceived, probably on their honeymoon to San Francisco, based on the dates (go figure!).  But before 1974 arrived, 1973 was coming to a close.  That makes this poem 40 years old now, folks!  Exactly 40! 

So put yourself in the brain of Dick Brennan circa late December 1973, so much going on his life, widowed and about to re-marry, to start life all over again at 47.  But none of this was his job to write about.  His "job", instead, was to write a short poem for The Commuters Club for New Year's Day 1974.  The poem is 40 years old, but the sentiments may sound familiar...

New Year’s 1974

After all the feasting, we’re feeling weary.
The weather tends to be cold and dreary.
The news is awful – high prices – low fuel –
How can we keep warm when we can’t keep cool.
In the midst of this talk of our pollution,
It’s hard to decide a New Year Resolution.
But facts are facts – we must do our best.
As citizens we’re now being put to the test.
Let’s show the world we have the will
To prove that we have the best country still.
May the blessings of God down on you pour
In Nineteen Hundred and Seventy-Four.

Forty years later, so much still resonates!  And beyond the bulk of the poem, the closing wish is no less sincerely felt than it is today.  God bless you and yours in this new year ahead!  May 2014 be filled with an abundance of love, joy, and peace!


Monday, December 2, 2013

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas

I missed an opportunity to give you all a Thanksgiving poem from my dad, but it'll just have to wait until next Thanksgiving.  Fear not, lots and lots more coming from him through this blog in the mean time...including this little gem!

It's fascinating to read a poem describing human life this way from someone who's now part of the bigger picture in Heaven.  I hope you enjoy! --Sean

Thanksgiving is over; we all had a bash.
Now we’re sick and tired of turkey hash.
Christmas is coming, shopping lists are long,
Even razor blades for Old King Kong.
From store to store, to and fro,
God help us—I hope it doesn’t snow.
Easily assembled, instructions within:
Don’t try to buy it—you cannot win.
With heavy traffic you have to fight,
On Christmas Eve, you’ll be up all night.
But then you sleep—you get no applause.
The credit goes to Santa Claus.
But the feeling within you tells you God is near:
Happy Christmas to all, and a bright new year!

Dick Brennan

(no specific date available yet, I'll keep looking!)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Poet Laureate, An Astronaut Said So!

My father was lauded by a great many people for his beautiful writing skills, particularly his poetry.  The personalized poems he wrote for birthdays, weddings, and retirement parties, not to mention many more special celebrations, eventually earned him the greatest title of his lifetime.

As a 26-year employee at Kennedy Airport's Eastern Airlines, Dick Brennan was known by so many people around the airport.  His friendly smile and heavy Irish brogue were just the first things people noticed about him.  His mannerisms with his cigarettes, his hands folded behind his back, and his particular look were all part of the second.  But it was the man behind the mannerisms and the accent that really affected people who met him and knew him. 

A gate agent at Eastern Airlines, Dick Brennan had many brief interactions with thousands and thousands of people from all around the world.  Celebrities, superstars, and famous musicians alike came through his airline gates.  Maureen O'Hara, The Beatles, and the list goes on. 

As people from all over boarded their flights through his gates, my father had to deal with every complaint imaginable, people yelling and screaming at him as if he was the one who made the rain pour and winds blow.  But it wasn't people like this who kept him there so long, or loving his job so much.  It was his friends and colleagues at Eastern Airlines and Kennedy Airport who made each day so very enjoyable.

And poem after poem, newsletter after newsletter, Dick Brennan quickly became the go-to man for personalized poetry.  He no doubt had to turn many people down, as the requests must have come from all over.  But as his reputation as a great writer grew, so too did his esteem from his friends and colleagues.  He eventually earned the amazing title, "Poet Laureate of Kennedy Airport".  In 1975, he wrote a "We The People" poem and an Employees' Constitution for the Eastern Airlines team at Kennedy Airport.  It was so well received in fact, it was framed and hung in the executive offices.  More impressively, it got the attention of one very special man.

Frank Borman was an astronaut at NASA, and as the Commander of Apollo 8, he manned the very first mission to fly around the moon.  When he eventually retired, the Congressional Space Medal of Honor recipient took over as CEO at Eastern Airlines, a position he held for the next 11 years.  But in his very first year, he heard about my dad.  And in a letter to him dated October 17, 1975, Frank Borman wrote:

Dear Dick:

Jack Piverotto showed me copies of the "We The People" poem and the employees' "Constitution" which you authored for your local Employee Sales Program.

With your unique talent, it's no wonder the people of Kennedy consider you their poet laureate!

Thank you for your interest and efforts in this most important program.

Frank Borman

A career and a life filled with poetry.  An honor from one of the greatest Americans in history.  A title given him by his peers that he proudly held his whole life long.

Today, November 6, 2013, is my father's birthday.  He was born in 1926, so if he were alive today, he'd be 87 years old.  No matter.  The life he lived, with its ups and downs--just like the airplanes he watched each day--was a good one.  And his greatest honor is one I celebrate with his soul today. 

Happy Birthday, Dad!  May your proud legacy continue forever!

I love you and miss you, and look forward to the day when I board my flight to see you again!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Dick Brennan was most well known for all the personalized poetry he wrote for weddings, birthdays, and other special events.  But do you remember some of his many "theme" poems as well?  This one would have been written for one of his many newsletter contributions to either Eastern Airlines at Kennedy Airport or the Commuters Club in East Rockaway, New York.  Date unknown, so as always, please let me know if you have more info on this or any poem! --Sean


We’ve come once more to the month of October,

The weirdest of months—to keep anyone sober.

What with ghosts and goblins and foggy nights,

We hear strange tales of awful sights.

Headless bodies, clanking chains,

Thunder and lightning ‘midst blinding rains.

Out late at night, avoiding the park,

Searching each shadow where it seems most dark.

But the scariest of all, when out in the street

Is encountering youngsters shouting “Trick or Treat”.
Written by Dick Brennan

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Introduction to the new site

For a long time now, I've been collecting and piecing together my father's poetry and writings.  My dad, Richard Andrew Brennan--known better as Dick Brennan--was born in Ireland in 1926, and since he passed away in 1999, his writings have gone mostly silent...until now!

Beginning this month, I will start sharing his poetry and reflections here on this new Website.  I hope you'll bear with me, as typing them up and loading them here will take some time, but thankfully, I've got a head start already.  In the past few months, I've been slowly working through the pile and typing them into the computer.  Since there are A LOT of poems and other writings of his to go through, this project will undoubtedly continue for quite some time.  I welcome any and all encouragement and suggestions, as well as requests for certain poems, but if you have a poem or note from him you'd like to see included here in a future entry, please write me privately at  From time to time, I'll also feature some stories about my dad...some which you know already, and some which you probably don't.

I'm really looking forward to sharing some old favorites with his family and friends, and introducing many "new" works you may not even realize he wrote!  Please share this blog with others who you think might be interested.

This part of the World Wide Web is all for him!

Circa 1940s, Dublin, Ireland. Dick Brennan helped build the modern
Irish railway system. He's pictured top left in this photo.