Home > A Tribute to Rex L. Crawley from PUM Contributor Jack L. Daniel

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A Tribute to Rex Crawley from PUM Contributor Jack L. Daniel

 

 

I, like others, knew of Rex Crawley’s courageous battle with a disease not yet conquered by humans.  With the notice of his departure from this world, the following lyrics came to my mind:Top of Form

 

Like a comet
blazing 'cross the evening sky
Gone too soon

Like a rainbow
Fading in the twinkling of an eye
Gone too soon

Shiny and sparkly
And splendidly bright
Here one day
Gone one night

Like the loss of sunlight
On a cloudy afternoon
Gone too soon

Like a castle
Built upon a sandy beach
Gone too soon

Like a perfect flower
That is just beyond your reach
Gone too soon

Born to amuse, to inspire, to delight
Here one day
Gone one night

Like a sunset
Dying with the rising of the moon
Gone too soon
Gone too soon

Rex was literally a Giant among Giants when it came to using his intellect to the benefit of others.  He was the quintessential expression of what the “old saints” at my home church meant by “the glory of doing the unrequired,” the rendering of service to others simply because it was the right thing to do –not in any way because it was something you had to do.  More than that, Rex rendered the service with that magical warm smile that reflected the inner him. 

Rex chose wisely to pursue a project related to enabling Black males.  As a friend of mine recently said, so many of those young males doing seemingly irrational things are crying out for the fathers,  father figures, the male models that are absent from their lives.  Because this project was central to Rex, perhaps we should all find ways to contribute to this unfulfilled agenda.

As we mourn the loss of Rex, let us be ever supportive of those he left behind, especially the members of his immediate and extended family.  Let us stand with them during these difficult times as well as the many days ahead. 

Rex did more than fight the good fight.  Having done so, he now “paints” as Kipling described:

When Earth's last picture is painted
And the tubes are twisted and dried
When the oldest colors have faded
And the youngest critic has died
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it
Lie down for an aeon or two
'Till the Master of all good workmen
Shall put us to work anew
And those that were good shall be happy
They'll sit in a golden chair
They'll splash at a ten league canvas
With brushes of comet's hair
They'll find real saints to draw from
Magdalene, Peter, and Paul
They'll work for an age at a sitting
And never be tired at all.
And only the Master shall praise us.
And only the Master shall blame.
And no one will work for the money.
No one will work for the fame.
But each for the joy of the working,
And each, in his separate star,
Will draw the thing as he sees it.
For the God of things as they are!

 

Respectfully,

Jack L. Daniel

Distinguished Service Professor

University of Pittsburgh

 

(Dr. Rex Crawley lost his battle with cancer on November 25, 2013...a professor of Communication at RMU,  a brother to the community...)

 Click here for more information

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