Manteca detective Stephen Schluer ended the “Every 15 Minutes” high school drinking and driving program’s funeral by reading a poem to the attending seniors and their parents: “The Man in the Glass.”
“My focus was for the kids who have been through the two-day experience to make the right decision when it has to be made. Don’t drink and drive. I charged them being able to look at the man in the glass……Don’t be a fraud,” Schluer stressed in being in charge of the entire event.
“The Man in the Glass” has been a favorite of Alcoholics Anonymous, whose members are said to appreciate the unintended pun on glass as being a drinking glass. It was authored by Peter “Dale” Winbrow, Sr. and was first published in 1934. Legend had it that the poem had first been written on a wall in San Quentin Prison by an inmate.
Officer Schuler read the following poem to the students and to their parents:
“When you get what you want in your struggle for self
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
Whose judgment upon you must pass.
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the one staring back from the glass.
“You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum
And think you’re a wonderful guy.
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.
“He’s the fellow to please, never mind the rest,
For he’s with you clear to the end.
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.
“You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass.
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.”
The Every 15 Minutes Program in Manteca is the result of an entire year’s planning by a dozen emergency, educational and health professionals in the community hoping it will keep at the very least one high school graduate from losing their life in the upcoming graduation festivities.
The funeral for the “deceased” was held at the Manteca Christian Center on Button Avenue last Friday.