30 December 2019

Music's Impact

I'm in a melancholy mood. A family emergency is unfolding.
My Bride and Son are in Chicago, providing comfort and support to my extended family.
I'm left alone in Arizona caring and supporting our aged pup, Lucy.

At times like these my mind thinks of songs that fit my mood.
Today, this piece by Elton John is one of those.
I had never researched the situation that motivated him to write it.
If you are interested, the story is HERE.

22 December 2019

I got home from Viet Nam late in 1969.
At some point soon afterwards I saw these guys sing this song at a club in my hometown of Indy.
I'm a free speech kinda guy. I think you ought to be able to say whatever you want, however you want, so long as speechifyin' is all you do.
I'm not positive what these guys are trying to say. I suspect in 1969 they were trying to convey some sort of anti-war sentiment. But the tune has stuck with me all these years to the point that when I'm in a club with a good bluegrass/country band and they ask for requests, I ask them to sing "Two Hangmen".
Most bands know of it.
Most of 'em won't do it, claiming it has "Too many words!"

For some reason it's been on my mind all day. So I thought I'd share it with you to see if I can get it out of my head.
Hope you enjoy it.

07 December 2019

Pearl Harbor and Dad, Redux

I almost never repeat an old post.
Today I'll make an exception; I first published this in 2005:

My Dad was born on 7 December 1921.
So had he lived, he would have been 84 today. Dad started smoking when he was 13 or so, and succumbed to lung cancer two years ago.
He was truly a part of what we now call "The Greatest Generation."

Dad had joined the Indiana National Guard when he was 19. When the news came on his 20th birthday that Pearl Harbor had been bombed, I wonder what he thought about this surprise birthday present?
At 20, I suspect he was frightened, but like most of his generation, knew there was a job that needed doin' and was ready to get to work.

My Dad was typical of many Dads of that era. He didn't talk a lot about what happened to him during the war, but in the jewelry box I had found the Purple Heart and knew my old man was special. He was like that about life too.
He didn't brag. He was not formally educated, but he was the type of guy the neighbors would bring their broken appliances to because they knew if Greybeard's Dad couldn't fix it, it was genuine junk!

He was a carpenter, mechanic, bricklayer, roofer, electrician, concrete finisher... you name it, he could do it, and he could do it better than average.

I was proud of him for a thousand reasons.

When I reached manhood, I started hugging him and telling him THE WORDS.
You know "THE WORDS" don't you?
He was uncomfortable saying them, as were all the macho guys of his generation. And because he was uncomfortable, I was too... at first.

But over the years, the hugs and the words came more easily, 'til finally he was the hugger, and I was the huggee...
and he freely said THE WORDS...
"I love you."
I was glad I had made him uncomfortable for a little while.

So now you know, for our family this day is important for more than bombs and battleships, although we had family directly under the bombs on the West Virginia at Pearl, too.

I'd like you to share the importance of this day and honor my Dad by being the hugger.
Give all those you love a hug for me today, please, and say THE WORDS.

I know my old man would like that.
Happy Birthday Dad.
I love you.