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The Indispensable Man

Saxon White Kessinger

About The Author

Saxon Nadine White Kessinger, 88, died Saturday, January 2, 2010 of infirmities related to age. Cremation will take place and services will be held this summer with inurnment to take place at White Bird Cemetery.


Saxon was born November 8, 1921, on a ranch in Indian Valley near Cambridge, Idaho, to Alice F. Meade White and Arthur Alfred White. They moved to Council, Idaho when she was ten days old, and due to her father’s work in road construction and at times mining, they lived in various places in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Montana, and California.



She began her first grade of school in White Bird, Idaho, and also went to school in Libby, Montana; Lewiston; Clarkston, Los Angeles, and eventually back to White Bird where she completed the last three years of high school and graduated in 1939, Valedictorian of her class.


She married L. Earl Taylor on November 8, 1939. Two children were born to this union; a daughter, Janis Dawn Scott, and a son, Robert Arthur Taylor. They lived in White Bird, Riggins, Fenn Ranger Station on the Selway River, Nezperce, Moscow, Elk City, and Grangeville. They were divorced in 1961.


She worked for First Security Bank in Grangeville, at the First National Bank in Nezperce, and later the U.S. Navy in Kodiak, Alaska, the Nez Perce National Forest, and later for the Boise National Forest where she retired with 26 years of combined Federal service.


She married Pete Uberuaga in October 1964. This marriage dissolved in 1975.


She was a member of the Idaho Writer’s League for many years and received many awards from contests such as “Writer of the Year” in 1995 and 2002; “Published Poet of the Year” on 1999 and 2001; and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” in 2003. She was also a member of the Gem State Writer’s Guild where she served as President in 1994 and 1998; awarded “Writer of the Year” on 1991 and 2002; “Award of Merit” in 1999, and many Certificates of Award for contest entries. She was a member of the Idaho Press Women for several years and received several Merit Awards from them and a Special Award in 1974-1976. She wrote articles for the Idaho Statesman, The Messinger-Index, and a weekly column of Selway news for the Idaho County Free Press at one time. She had articles and poetry published in several magazines, and published a book for “young adults” or early teens called “The Winner”.


Saxon loved to travel. She went to the Pyrenees in Spain and France several times and spent most of one summer there and in Amsterdam.


She married Robert E. Kessinger in Boise on June 15, 1979. They lived on the “home place” next to the Plantation Golf Course in Boise until they moved to Cottonwood, Idaho in September 1995.


Saxon is survived by her husband, Robert; her daughter, Janis Scott and husband Charley of Grangeville; her son, Robert Taylor of Leyden, MA; three grandchildren, Ruth Brock and Husband Jeff, Heidi Jensen and husband David, and Jim Hart; five great-grandchildren; step-son Robert Kessinger, Jr., and step-daughter, Rhonda Sue Robinson.


She was a member of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.


Cremation arrangements are under the direction of the Blackmer Funeral Home in Grangeville.

About The Poem

The poem ' The Indispensable Man' by Saxon White Kessinger revolves around the thought - Don’t we all have unique value, something special to do here on earth? There are indeed things that each of us can do, that no one else can do; we can each make a difference, leave a legacy. When we go the way of all the earth, nearly all of us will be missed somehow, by somebody. The poem is not saying you can’t be irreplaceable, just that no one is truly indispensable. That is, on a day-to-day level, if you quit your job, someone else — no matter how well you did your work — is going to be able to take your place, and the company will keep on running. 

The Indispensable Man

by:  Saxon White Kessinger

Sometime when you're feeling important;

Sometime when your ego 's in bloom;

Sometime when you take it for granted,

You're the best qualified in the room:


Sometime when you feel that your going,

Would leave an unfillable hole,

Just follow these simple instructions,

And see how they humble your soul. 


Take a bucket and fill it with water,

Put your hand in it up to the wrist,

Pull it out and the hole that's remaining,

Is a measure of how much you'll be missed.


You can splash all you wish when you enter,

You may stir up the water galore,

But stop, and you'll find that in no time,

It looks quite the same as before. 


The moral of this quaint example,

Is to do just the best that you can,

Be proud of yourself but remember,

There's no indispensable man.

'और नही कोई तुमसा'

Transcreated by
'Ambar' Kharbanda

जब हमको ऐसा लगता हो, है और नही कोई हमसा
जैसा हमको बनाया रब ने, और नही कोई वैसा
हम पर इतनी ज़िम्मेदारी, इतना जो भारी बोझा है 
नहीं रहे हम तो रब जाने, क्या होगा इस दुनिया का 
(क्यूकी ... और नही कोई हमसा )

तब हम थोड़ी कोशिश करके इक छोटा-सा काम करें 
एक बाल्टी लेकर भाई! पानी से हम उसे भरें 
अब इसमें इक हाथ को अपने डालें, देखें ध्यान से हम
क्या कहता है पानी हमसे, इस पर थोड़ा ग़ौर करें 
हाथ निकाला पानी से तो पानी फिर वैसा ही है 
जितनी जगह बनी थी बस उतनी हमारी हस्ती है 
पानी बतलाता है हमको, हम क्या हैं और कितने हैं 
हम तो सोच रहे थे हम से ही ये दुनिया बस्ती है 
(जितनी जगह बनी थी बस उतनी हमारी हस्ती है)

पानी में हम लहर उठाएँ पानी को मथ डालें हम  
लेकिन हाथ रुका तो पानी फिर वैसा हो जाएगा 
हम इस दुनिया में रह कर जो भी चाहें कर सकते हैं 
दुनिया से जाते ही... जैसा था वैसा हो जाएगा 

ऐसा कोई नहीं है जिसके जाने से कुछ रुकता हो 
ठहरा हो कभी वक़्त का पहिया और ज़माना रोता हो 
दुनिया नहीं रुका करती किसी एक शक्स के जाने से 
चाहे दुनिया में उसका कितना भी रुतबा होता हो
(ठहरा हो कभी वक़्त का पहिया और ज़माना रोता हो)   

ख़ुद पर नाज़ हो चाहे जितना, इतना हमको याद रहे 
जाये जो भी जाता है! फिर भी दुनिया आबाद रहे...

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