For John Morgan, who stood up for the rights of his fellow people – even the ones who irritated him.
From time immemorial, people have told stories of giants.
Through those handed-down stories, giants become real to us,
fee-fie-foe-fumming around in our subconscious minds,
and becoming part of our collective cultural experience.
As a storyteller, John kept many of those giants real for us,
Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, and the like,
whether in the classroom or the living room,
John brought those hallowed dead back to vivid human life,
as looking-glasses for us to examine ourselves and our time.
While storybook giants are always with us,
it is in the nature of individual giants to pass into history,
and so become their own stories.
We, who had the good fortune to know him,
will now tell stories about John,
keeping him real for all of us
so that we can stand on his shoulders,
and stand up for the rights of our fellow people,
even the ones who irritate us.