The Sign of the Griffin

Title: The Sign of the Griffin

Author: Don Stone

Publication: The Outcrop, January 2001, p. 12

[Note: At this writing (Dec. 2) a long-time RMAG member, Earl Griffith, is fighting for survival in the hospital after bypass surgery with complications. “Griff” is a past president and honorary member, has been a volunteer for many RMAG activities over the years, is a founder of “the Denver Study Group” and has many friends in the petroleum industry. The attached poem was written in 1989 for Griff’s 70th birthday celebration.]

The Sign of the Griffin

At the sign of the Griffin there’s a man standing tall,
a mustachioed, pipe-smoking friend of us all.
Now he’s reached a great milestone so let me recall
where I met this remarkable man.

‘Twas in old Trader Vic’s known for Cantonese fare.
It’s been twenty-six years (true, it’s no longer there).
We talked of “D” sands , (but then why should we care?
Three martinis made it hard just to stand!)

And not long after that ’twas my fortune to link
with Griff’s group of geologists able to think
about science and oil fields while sipping a drink.
One must lecture in turn or get canned.

Then I learned that young Griff owned a Niconos Two.
(That’s a watertight camera, not a Japanese stew.)
And he’s traveled the world just in search of a few
scuba havens with coral and sand.

To a depth of two hundred this crazy guy dove,
where ambient pressure can crush you, by jove!
But he’s come back alive from that Mexican cove.
And now he’s a snorkeling fan.

World traveler, oh yes. In his office, it’s clear,
there are photos of lions and rhino and deer,
of Maasai taken sideways with specialty gear.
‘Cause the front-on’s are generally banned.

A traveler for sure and it’s all very well,
but he tells me of places I can’t even spell.
Have you heard of Mauritius? He says it was swell.
Found it east of Madagascar, by damn.

Now it’s seven times ten. Do you see a slight frown?
His cholesterol’s up, but his verve is not down.
Packed away his ripe pipes, checks his weight, every pound.
But cheer up, it’s all part of a plan

Yes the smile is still there, the sparkling eye,
The sunny “Hello!”, the friendly goodbye.
Libido’s still strong, that, Eileen won’t deny.
His acquaintance has been simply grand!