The following poem was written by lighthouse keeper Ralph C. Norwood while stationed at Maine’s Ram Island Light Station. Mr. Norwood served as a keeper at Great Point Light, MA (1929), Boston Light, MA (1929-41), Ram Island Light, ME (1945-50) and Spring Point Ledge Light, ME (1951-54).
A Star on Our Vest
By Ralph C. Norwood,
Ram Island Light, So. Bristol, Me.
Some keepers write about snowstorms
And some about hunting coons,
While others are always a-bumping their gums
Of the beautiful paint on their rooms.
Some tell of the marvelous exploits
Of a wonderful fellow called “Moe,”
But I never have yet heard anyone speak
Of a little old keeper named Joe.
He doesn’t write stuff for the papers,
He works on without any rest.
I think we could all take a lesson from him,
And perhaps wear a star on our vest.
The “star on the vest” that keeper Ralph C. Norwood was referring to in his poem was the much-desired U.S. Lighthouse Service’s Efficiency Star.
“…devotion to duty is always praised and rewarded. Keepers in charge of stations who attain a high efficiency, as shown by inspections made during the year, are entitled to wear the superintendent’s efficiency star, and those who win this star for three successive years are entitled to wear in lieu thereof the commissioner’s star.” – The United States Lighthouse Service, Edition of 1923