Hank Reinhardt was well-know not only as a science fiction fan (he was one of the founders of the Atlanta Science Fiction Organization, back in 1950), but as a writer (he had notable stories in Spaceway, and in the anthology "Heroic Fantasy" from DAW -- which he coedited with Jerry Page), and as an authority on edged weapons. He is the author of "Hank Reinardt's Book of Swords" (Baen, 2009) and is featured in the feature length documentary film "Reclaiming the Blade.")

Inasmuch as the holiday season is upon us, and inasmuch as so many of you remember Hank Reinhardt so fondly and admiringly, I thought the following poem might not be innappropriate.


Said Reinhardt to Old Santa,
"I'll help you out this year!
Deliv'ring toys
To girls and boys
And spreading Christmas Cheer!"

Said Santa to Old Reinhardt,
"I'm glad you came along.
I simply lack
Someone to pack
My sack -- but you look strong."

So Santa took Hank Reinhardt
Inside his store yard gate.
Said, "Pack it tight
And get it right.
And rush! I can't be late!"

As soon as Santa left him,
Hank Reinhardt toured the ground;
Saw toys in piles
For miles and miles
And miles and miles around.

"I have," said Hank, "A job here.
But Reinhardts never slack.
A jillion toys
for girls and boys
All crammed in one small sack!"

So Henry went right to it
With speed and strength combined
And packed that sack
For Jill and Jack
With all that he could find.

And when the bag was bulging
And nothing more would fit
He saw a tall
Child's basketball
That he'd left out of it.

He emptied that old toybag
And packed it up again.
This time left out:
A doll (with pout).
Hank simply gave a grin.

Six times Hank Reinhardt packed it.
Six times was something left.
Hank Reinhardt swore
And stomped the floor
And six times thought of theft.

But no! For children counted
On Santa, Christmas morn.
To let one down
And cause a frown?
Hank's conscience was reborn.

At last, old Santa found him
Collapsed upon the floor,
A wagon there,
Unpacked with care.
Said Hank, "This is a chore."

Nick pulled out a second sack,
One that would hold a lot.
"Why, silly me!
Ha! Ha! Hee! Hee!
I guess I just forgot."

Reinhardt made a snarling noise.
Said Santa, "Now don't whimper.
As one grows old
The mind grows cold."
Said Hank: "But not the temper."

But Christmas Spirit did prevail
For every childhood faction.
For Hank himself
Played Christmas elf,
While Santa was in traction.

-- Jerry Page

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