A Farewell
A Poem by Cecil Argue as told by Cecil J. Argue, Jr.


"My father was Cecil J. Argue, Sr who was a native and long-time resident of Arcadia. He and my mother owned the Arcadia Dairy freeze during the 1960's. When they first bought it, it was yellow, and a very small diner called The Canary Cage and consisted of what is only the kitchen now. They added the front dining room and turned it into a full-blown restaurant. He passed away in 1994. I read this poem at his funeral, and I had promised people there that I would someday get this to the Arcadia Museum.

"He was born Sept 21, 1921 and contracted polio at age 2. He used to tell me stories of how the local train engineers would let him ride along on the logging routes and how sad he was the day that the sawmill closed.

"When I was just 7 or 8, Dad and I were drilling a water well near his mother's house, so we went there for lunch. She took us up in the attic and gave us three things: She gave me a lawn dart that dad made as a little boy from a corn cob, nail and chicken feathers. She gave dad a letter that his friend mailed him from Detroit. There was no return address and the only writing on the envelope was the address which read "Hell on Wheels, Arcadia, MI". Somehow they knew to put it in Dad's mailbox. :-D She also gave him this poem that he wrote in 3rd grade and it made the local newspaper. Dad always told me stories about riding the logging trains as a kid and about the local sawmills. He wrote this poem about the closing of the Arcadia sawmill. It seemed so appropriate that I read it at his funeral."