When Herbert Eugene “Gene” Boyd is storytelling, he draws on his past experiences. Stories about being orphaned before he was three years old and being taken in by his grandparents and being raised in the Richland, Missouri area of the Ozark Mountains.
When Herbert Eugene “Gene” Boyd is storytelling, he draws on his past experiences. Stories about being orphaned before he was three years old and being taken in by his grandparents and being raised in the Richland, Missouri area of the Ozark Mountains. He tells about how he and his six siblings were split up after the loss of their parents. He talks about how lucky they were that they were all taken in by loving family members and not handed off to be reared by strangers as sometimes happens to orphaned little ones.
You can see the chuckle in his eyes when he tells about “running to town”. Gene used to run to town a little differently than you or I would today. He literally ran. And town was more than ten miles away. Gene ran so often and so far that his daughters found it odd that their playmates fathers didn’t run like their daddy did. He tells stories about the birthday parties that were thrown for his daughters, different ages, all three share the same birthday. He tells stories about the creek that runs through his family farm.
A story that he didn’t tell, but that his wife brought up was the story about how he missed his chance to participate in the Olympics trials as a runner. The opportunity passed him by because of funding. He wasn’t able to raise enough money in his cash strapped community to make the journey.
Gene doesn’t dwell on chances that have slipped by. Gene is man who will silently sacrifice his wants and desires, even his own needs, for his family and his loved ones -and for his country. Gene is a Veteran, a Korean War Veteran. Two of his brothers, Charles H. Boyd and Raymond L. Boyd, are also Veterans, both having served in World War II. He doesn’t tell stories about the sacrifices that he and his battle buddies made during their military service. But, you can see a hint of them in his eyes. And you can feel them in Gene’s words. Gene is also a poet. He writes poems about the things that he loves- a poem about that little creek on the farm (which he can recite verbatim when asked), and poems that pay tribute to and honor the defenders of our freedoms, his fellow Veterans.
Recently Gene, and his wife & daughters, were able to hear two of his poems read by Rep. Vicky Hartzler during a meet and greet in St. Robert. Rep. Hartzler presented Mr. Boyd with a Challenge Coin from the United States House of Representatives and two more for each of his brothers. Shortly after this meeting, Arlington National Cemetery posted Gene’s poem “Tribute to the Unknown Soldier” to their Facebook page for millions to see and read.
“Strange seein’ something you wrote on there ain’t it?” Boyd responded after seeing his poem on a
*This article was submitted by Pulaski County Tourism, visit pulaskicountyusa.wordpress.com and acebook.com/PulaskiCountyUSA" for more information and events in Pulaski County.national site.