There’s a Lot Going On

A busy calendar.You may have noticed the I haven’t posted much today. Or responded to many of your comments. Or read many of your posts. But there’s a lot going on in my life right now. Some of it good. Some of it exciting. And, unfortunately, some of it not very good at all. I’m not going to bore you with the details, because you’ve probably got a lot going on in your lives right now, too.

So I most likely won’t be posting with my usual frequency for the rest of the year, at least. I do have my daily FOWC with Fandango prompt word posts set up for the remainder of the year, and I’ll try to find the time to push through one or two other posts a day, if I can.

I may also be hard pressed over the next two or three weeks to read all of the posts that those of you I follow publish. And I’m sorry for that. But it is what it is.

In the meantime, though, I want to wish each and every one of you Happy Holidays (for whatever holiday, if any, you may be celebrating) and a very Happy New Year.

And with that, I’ll see ya when I see ya!

Song Lyric Sunday — Just Like Dad

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, Jim Adams chose the theme “Dad/Father/Barbecue” in honor of today being Father’s Day in the U.S. The song I chose is “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin.

“Cat’s in the Cradle” is a folk rock song by Harry Chapin from his 1974 album Verities & Balderdash. The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1974. It was Chapin’s only number 1 hit song.

“Cat’s in the Cradle” tells the story young boy who dreams of growing up to be just like his father. But his father doesn’t have time to be with his son because he’s so busy with his work. Initially, this doesn’t seem like a big deal because of the demands of his hectic life working and paying bills and because his son is so young. Over time, though, both father and son grow into a switching of life roles. The father realizes that his son’s busy life means that roles have reversed and it’s now the son who has no time to spend with his older father. With a heavy heart, the old man realizes that his boy has, indeed, grown up to be just like him.

The song is based on a poem that Harry’s wife, Sandy, wrote. She said the original idea for “Cat’s In The Cradle” came to her when she was on a long drive and would listen to country music, because words would keep her awake better than just music. “And I heard a song,” she said, “I can remember the story, but I don’t remember who sang it or what the title was, but an old couple was sitting at their breakfast table and looking out the window, and they saw the rusted swing and the sandbox, and they were reminiscing about the good old days when all the children were around and then the grandchildren, and how it passed, and now it’s all gone.”

It took the birth of his own son for Harry to decide to turn the poem his wife wrote into a song. Chapin would introduce the song at all his concerts and say, “This is a song my wife wrote to zap me because I wasn’t home when our son Josh was born.”

But Chapin’s wife said that the poem was actually inspired by the awkward relationship between her first husband, James Cashmore, and his father, not as a slam on Harry’s missing the birth of his son.

On July 16, 1981, Chapin died at the age of 38 in a car accident as he was driving on the Long Island Expressway on his way to perform at a free concert scheduled for later that evening.

Here are the lyrics to this melancholy song.

My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say “I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

My son turned ten just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw”, I said “Not today
I got a lot to do”, he said, “That’s ok”
And he walked away but his smile never dimmed
And said, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home, Dad
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
“Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while”
He shook his head and said with a smile
“What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please”

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
You know we’ll have a good time then

I’ve long since retired, my son’s moved away
I called him up just the other day
I said, “I’d like to see you if you don’t mind”
He said, “I’d love to, Dad, if I can find the time
You see my new job’s a hassle and the kids have the flu
But it’s sure nice talking to you, Dad
It’s been sure nice talking to you”

And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon
When you comin’ home son
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad
We’re gonna have a good time then

One-Liner Wednesday — So Very Busy

F96860E1-2AEF-45E4-BBDF-3B074D08583B“Have you noticed that even the busiest people are never too busy to tell you how busy they are?”

Bob Talbert

A few days ago my wife was working on her daily newspaper crossword puzzle and came across a series of clues for a “quip.” The answer (in various places on the crossword puzzle) ended up being “A man is never too busy to tell you how busy he is.”

I was fascinated by this quip. After all, I take hours explaining to my wife why I don’t have the time to do all of the chores around the house that she wants me to do. I am just so damn busy.

I wanted to find out to whom this ingenious quip should be attributed, so I did some Google research. It turns out that the quotation originated with someone named Bob Talbert.

Who the hell is Bob Talbert? I had never heard of him, and so I did another Google search. Born in South Carolina, Talbert was hired as a columnist by the Detroit Free Press when he was 32. His “folksy charm” caught on with Detroit readers and he became a very popular columnist, writing over 9,000 columns during his tenure with the Free Press.

Some of Talbert’s other notable quotations include:

Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching kids what counts is best.
Good teachers are costly, but bad teachers cost more.
I hate television. I hate it as much as I hate peanuts. But I can’t stop eating peanuts.
Time neither subtracts nor divides, but adds at such a pace it seems like multiplication.
Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

Talbert, an inductee into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame, died in 1999. Until I looked him up that day, I had never heard of him, and I’m sorry I hadn’t. I think I would have enjoyed his columns.


Written for today’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.