It's getting late, but I couldn't let the day slip away without a post in honor of my Pop's 116th birthday. Happy birthday, Pop!
I love this picture of him. It's his law school graduation picture; he received his LLB in 1935 from Columbus University, which later merged with Catholic University's law school to become Columbus School of Law. And he did it without earning a bachelor's degree first! He went to law school at night and worked as a service adviser for a Packard auto dealership during the day.
After graduation, he went to work for the Federal Housing Administration as an investigator. He served in the Navy during World War II, then came back to FHA. In the 1950s (I think), he left FHA and, with a partner, started a private law practice in real estate law called Peed and Wise. His office was in a building at 1707 H Street NW, in Washington, DC. Occasionally Pop would take my little sister and me down to the office on a weekend. He'd finish up some work while we played with the fancypants electric typewriters.
Anyway, I found this sweet poem that one of his mates at FHA wrote upon his departure for private practice. It's typed on a large sheet of paper -- the poem on one side and the signatures of all of his coworkers on the other. It's great!
A Testimonial to Joel
To FHA from naval hitch
Came Joel Wise to carve his niche;
He'd left the booming auto trade
His Government to serve and aid.
Detailed to investigation
He gumshoed across the nation;
The suede shoe jerks in Title I
Were chased by Joel from sun to sun.
This training stood him well of late,
With windfall boys in 608,
And under Capehart - 803
He helped the Air Force mightily.
The program for the elderly
Was run both Wise and Cleverly.
But he's a man of many sides
With talents that he sometimes hides:
In bowling he gives all a fit
He's at his best when he's half lit;
In football you can always get
Joel lined up for a sucker bet;
To really get him in a whirl
Point out to him a well-shaped girl.
If you need a fitting story
Joel knows jokes - all bum and hoary.
We sure will miss this happy lug
Who ashes flicked on Mason's rug
While on the boss' polished desk
His run-down shoes were wont to rest.
It is our hope he'll reach his goal,
We wish the best for wise man Joel.