Poem clebrates Tonganoxie friend’s hardware store
Thanks to a friend's way with words, John Lenahan, the owner of Lenahan's Hardware in downtown Tonganoxie, now has a tribute to his store in verse.
The poem, which celebrates the nation's vanishing breed of small, independent hardware stores, was written by Asa Kesinger, a long-time friend of Lenahan's.
Lenahan, 79, underwent balloon angioplasty at Providence Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan., on Friday, a procedure needed because of blocked coronary arteries, explained his wife, Jean.
Lenahan was released from the hospital on Saturday, and it is expected that his downtown business will be closed for about three weeks while he is recuperating at home.
Before he went to the hospital, Lenahan asked his old friend to write the poem, and Kesinger was happy to oblige and started writing. The 83-year-old Kesinger said he's been writing poetry since he was in high school.
"The hardware stores like John's are going out of business," Kesinger said. "And that's one reason why John wanted a poem written."
Kesinger unveiled the poem Monday.
By Amy Kessinger
Welcome to my hardware store
On five-fifteen East Fourth Street.
Thirty-one year in business
And old friends meet.
Lawn mowers and chain saws
And locks for your door
Wrenches of all size
Nuts and bolts galore.
Fertilizer for your flowers
Garden hose to buy
Just drop in for a visit
Or merely to say "Hi."
Been in this area
My entire life
A father of a son and two daughters
With a friendly ambitious wife.
Antiques of yesteryears
History of the past
Respect for my customers
And memories that will last and last.