[Editor's note: the graduation speech below is a continuation of Slim's column from last week, which can be found here.]
Greetings to you, graduates from this year high school, and your families out there who don't have no caps and gowns like this year one I got and the kids got.
It is a memorizin' day when people reach this millstone in their lives, and thass why we're here to celebrate their futures and culminate stuff down from their prehistory.
I personable want to thank Mr. Albertson for lettin' me use this year hat and gown and for givin' me the chance to talk with you about all the good work you kids done to get here. I think we should also thank Mrs. Vinegar from the First Baptist Church for sharin' her skills at hand signals in translatin' this address for those who can't hear it. What's that? Oh, sorry. It's Mrs. Van De Gar a-doin' the signin' today.
Lookin' down on all yore happy faces puts me in mind of the time I, too, was wearin' a very similitude of one a-them my ownself. Back up on the Rio it were. Nossir. That ain't it. Was more up on the ridge jest above Thompson Ridge. You know ... the one what ain't got a name? Thass it.
And there I were, on this year ridge and I was thinkin' about all yore happy faces these years in the future, and it made ol' Windy here smile no end. Yessir. We grown-ups given you our best trainin' and good food and let you play ball, if you was of a mind to, and it's all leadin' up to this year moment when we coagulate you all together and say, go get 'em!
Mrs. Vineyard, you okay? Somebody get her a hanky, okay?
You know ever-dang one of us here today ... and prolly a bunch more that didn't come ... wishes you well. That oughta give you a little spurrin' to go out there and do right. Gotta remember that life is jest about all you got 'til you go and die on us, so be good to it.
Have fun bein' a grown-up, kids. You deserve it. And remember, when life gets bumpy, take a deep seat and a short rein and spur it over the shoulders on the first jump.
And you can tell 'em I said so.