Tag Archives: loss

Barber Jim

song written and performed by John Richter

He come from West Virginia
Oh, such a long ride
On the back of that Harley
sat his pretty young bride
He said we’re going to Indy
Mrs. Barber Jim, yeah
But that’s where it ends
Yeah, Barber Jim

I walked into the door
He said sit down Johnny,
I’ll cut your hair some more
what do you think
about that baseball score
Light up a smoke
and have a joke

Come on over tonight
gonna put some burgers
on that grill
Mrs. Jim gonna make
that cucumber salad, yeah
you know, I grow em in the back
my daddy taught me that

Tell me Johnny,
who’s that guy watchin’ me
I think he’s been ’round since three
and he sure is scaring me –
Johnny

Old Jim he left for a while
worried his wife won’t stick around,
missed his uncle
went West Virginia town
never said goodbye.

Never said goodbye,
never said goodbye…
Jim took his own life.
Now I see a Harley,
I see Jim and his wife…
Ridin’ to West Virginia

Many years ago i worked for the Indianapolis Police Department where I kept a kept a flat-top haircut, in the barbers a lot and I met Jim, who was new to Indy and was a really nice guy.  We became friends over a couple of years, got to know him pretty well, dined with Jim and his wife a few times.  But one day I suspected Jim had some mental problems because he seemed like he was turning a little paranoid of people following him.  The last time I saw Jim he told me his Uncle had passed and he needed to get back to West Virginia to be with his dad, who I think was a having a grieving spell.  And I never saw Jim again.  One day, a few months later I heard a 10-Zero come over the police radio while I was just rolling around the district and the address sounded familiar.  10-Zero is code for dead person, suspicious.  I wasn’t on the run but drove by to see why it sounded so familiar.  The other officers were already on scene and I could see Jim’s wife on the front lawn, just as she collapsed, sitting with her head between her knees.  Jim had taken his own life…  Words can’t describe.  But this is my song – if it describes how I feel, I don’t know…  But it is what it is.

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© 2015 John Allen Richter
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Death Awaits

Death declares her mighty blow
upon the sleeping hours –
when silence muffs the bells below
for eternity to devour.

We hope, we pray to know the time,
for orderliness to last our while –
but death sheds her cape divine
and steals away goodbyes.

As forever more the bell should strike,
our masses join in memory –
to shed our tears for those beloved –
now gone to history.

Death awaits, atop her perch
living only to die.
And so beseech thee death – dark visitor –
“Why not I?”

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© 2014 John Allen Richter
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