Friday, October 9, 2009

What Kinda Guy?

Today we start a new feature at the ol' blog spot, the "Guess Which Obscure 70's Song Is Referenced In Today's Post" game! Once a week (or whenever I feel like it), I'll use the title of an obscure 70's song as the title of a posting.  Your challenge is to guess the artist responsible for the song.  Match wits! Test your Knowledge! Have Fun!  Let's Go! 

I'll give you this one.  It's Steve Forbert.  In the late 70's, Steve Forbert wrote three of the best songs ever written: "Steve Forbert's Midsummer Night's Toast"; "Goin' Down To Laurel"; and "It Isn't Gonna Be That Way".  He continues to produce insightful, well-crafted music, thirty years down the road, that never makes you feel depressed, the way, say, listening to Rod Stewart wheeze his way through "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You" makes you feel depressed.  But I'm turning into a Nick Hornby character, so I'll stop.

Not many of the people I expected to read this family history blog have actually bothered to read this family history blog, which has surprised me.  On the other hand, we've had a customer from Finland -- Finland! -- which is really amazing  (I'm hoping it's Teemu Selanne, The Finnish Flash, or perhaps Esa Tikkanen, the legendary "Grate One" -- Tervetuloa, boys!)  The writing has been good for me.  It's opened my memory to a lot of things I'd nearly forgotten, and it's led me to uncover information that had been long-buried, and I really enjoy it.  I hope some of you do, too.

One reader has complained that it's hard to follow the narrative, because I skip from individual to individual, from family line to family line.  I am going to try and figure out a way to post an actual "family tree" of some sort, to help with that.  When I was a kid, I loved the family tree Norman Rockwell painted, with its Billy Yank and Johnny Reb and its eye patched pirate and the Grizzly Adams dude with the Lakota wife.  I'd love to produce something like that, but my art is limited to stick figures, crudely drawn hockey goalies, and, weirdly, endless doodles of a bulbous nosed, squinty eyed old man in a baseball cap -- Casey Stengel meets Popeye meets W.C. Fields -- so it won't be anything even vaguely artistic.  I am working on it, though.

Please don't expect a change in the flow and format of the postings.  My intellect is like a chocolate labrador puppy: curious, sloppy, wildly enthusiastic and easily distracted (a professor at BYU once evaluated a paper I'd written with the comment, "You have a very undisciplined mind."  I think my admittedly unsuccessful effort to work a "? and the Mysterians" reference into an essay about Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" has a lot to do with it.)  There are mornings I wake up and my head is filled with interest and enthusiasm for exploring the life of Jacob Anguish.  There are mornings that I wake up with an ache for that little house on Sixth Avenue, eating french toast dusted with confectioner's sugar, the way my Grand-Pa made it.  There are mornings that I see the mist rising from the Erie Barge Canal, feel the dull spikes of chestnut husks, thick and green, in my hands as I root for treasures under Mr. Smith's big trees.  So I write about it.

I am doing this because I want to remember who I am.  And I want to know my people, so I can make sense of who I am.  And I want my kids to know who they are.  

Have a good weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Family tree? Great. But boring. Anyone can do that: like, say, maybe one of the relatives that complains about what you're doing, but doesn't actually DO anything themselves. But write like this? Ah, there's the gift, my friend. Don't stop. 'Tis the gift to be simple.....