MAURICE MORGAN LITERALLY would pick and grin for elderly residents as he plucked his stand-up bass. After his bandmates put away their instruments following gigs at Ripon-area residential centers, Morgan, inset, would visit with residents, putting his hand on their shoulders and asking them how they were doing. 				     	             Tim Lyke photos
MAURICE MORGAN LITERALLY would pick and grin for elderly residents as he plucked his stand-up bass. After his bandmates put away their instruments following gigs at Ripon-area residential centers, Morgan, inset, would visit with residents, putting his hand on their shoulders and asking them how they were doing. Tim Lyke photos

     As the new Republican Legislature and Democrat governor assume their seats in Madison this week, the political rivals should pause, take a deep breath and consider a song and the life of a public man who embodied its lyrics.

     “When you’re smiling,” the classic strain goes, “the whole world smiles at you.”

     Maurice Morgan lived by those words, dealing with others joyfully, gratefully and with a song is his heart.

     He once told the Commonwealth, while smiling from ear to ear, that his trademark grin was “my weakness.”

     Don’t be fooled. His smile was as powerful as it was sincere.

     For this, the poor farmer was rewarded richly: Others couldn’t help but return the town of Ripon resident’s ray of sunshine. ...

     Maurice died two-and-a-half weeks ago, nine days short of his 97th birthday.

     Those who knew him grieve the loss of this marvelously positive person.

     But they can harken back to the old song.  

“Now when you’re cryin’ you bring on the rain
“So stop that sighin’ be happy again
“Keep on smilin’ cause when you’re smilin’
“The whole world smiles with you.”
                                           — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the Jan. 10, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.