He Was a Man.

He was a man, no greater compliment would he have desired. 

Harry Back was a grey giant. A be-speckled man who, whenever I saw him, was wearing a grey suit.

   In the unswerving adherance to his ideals he was a giant to his family, friends, colleagues, opponents and me.

 As an attorney he was respected and honored by his peers. Although he was below average height and could barely retain enough weight to fill his clothes, I was in awe of his abilities as a legal seer.

   Mr. Back for I never felt I earned the right to call him Harry, had a small brass plaque on his office desk. It faced the door so that all his clients saw it and perused it even as they seated themselves for consultation and advice.

    It read, “ A lawyer is an honest man; until he takes his first case.”

    And yet Mr. Back’s reputation was flawless. A prior President of the Bar Association, he said the sign was to remind him of his human frailties and that he too could succumb to greed. Greed for money, power or glory it was still greed.

   Mr. Back was a firm supporter of the Boy Scouts of America program and in turn they honored him as a member of their board, so deep was their respect for the man and the attorney.

   The BSA called upon him to set up the Breyer Trust for them. Breyer’s was a household name in ice cream and the Breyer Family were bequeathing a large section of land to be used as a Boy Scout Camp.

    Mr. Back stipulated the land was to belong to the BSA in perpetuity or it would revert back to the Breyer Family, in this way ensuring that none could ever deprive America’s children of this opportunity to participate in the Scouting Program or the gift would be lost to all.

    The  verdant, commodious, well forested acreage on Route 611 was easily accessible to all in the Delaware Valley.

   Breyer Boy Scout Camp soon acquired a following of campers who enjoyed its facilities. Not far outside a major city but far enough to be in nature’s cradle.

    Time passed, the land appreciated rapidly in value and year after year its market price became audacious.

    Soon enough a reason came up to sell the land. But Mr. Back’s codicil was firm.

   What one lawyer can wrought another legal manipulator can dissemble.

    Breyer Boy Scout Camp is no more. Where once was verdant, primordial, pristine timberland now stands man’s monument to man; another apartment complex.

    And Mr. Back’s codicil?

   For perpetuity; on a small plot of ground in front of this cement and steel edifice stands a statue dedicated to the Boy Scouts of America.

rickdogood rickdogood
56-60, F
1 Response Aug 2, 2007

He sounds like a pretty cool guy actually but I can’t say that I agree with the following though. “Mr. Back stipulated the land was to belong to the BSA in perpetuity or it would revert back to the Breyer Family, in this way ensuring that none could ever deprive America’s children of this opportunity to participate in the Scouting Program or the gift would be lost to all.” What he did would not assure that children were not deprived from participating in the scouting program. I would assure that Heterosexual children who were not atheists would not be deprived. Those who don’t meet those criteria, the BSA itself would deprive.