Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Strange Connections

Yesterday my colleague friend and I had lunch at a restaurant, and while there discussed famous people we have met or with whom we had some connection.

I think we all have had these connections.  I bragged about meeting Martin Sheen while working as an extra in the movie "Gettysburg."  I also told him about meeting Stu Cook and Tom Fogerty of the Creedence Clearwater Revival, and also Jorma Kaukonen, Paul Kantner and Jack Cassady of the Jefferson Airplane.  Those groups made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but to kids growing up today, they mean nothing.  I may as well say I once met Charlemagne.   Other famous people I've met include Jack Dempsey in his New York restaurant in August 1974 and members of the band "Chocolate Watchband," who appeared in "The Slender Edge" starring Sidney Poitier.

My friend had some interesting stories to tell as well.  Harry Chapin was a folk singer back in the 1970's and wrote and recorded a song I love (especially during my busy season), called "Cats in the Cradle."  In that song a dad tells how he never had time for his son while the latter was growing up, because he was too busy with work.  Nevertheless, the son hero-worshiped his dad, saying "Someday I'm gonna be like you, dad."  Years passed, and finally the dad had time to spend with his son...but the son was now too busy with his own career and family.  "My son had grown up just like me," he laments.

My friend's former wife had lived next door to Chapin in Long Island, New York and knew him and his family.  Her younger sister dated one of Chapin's sons (perhaps the one described in the song?)   My friend also once met Moe Howard of the Three Stooges, when my friend was only eight years old.

Harry Chapin died in a car crash in 1981.

So in celebration of the life and his great song, which always fills me with pangs of guilt during the busy season, let us listen to Harry Chapin singing "Cats in the Cradle."  Don't neglect your family, kids, time is short.


pjm said...

Always loved this song as a kid. Sadly I related to it... and in same ways followed the same path.

Though now I look back at it, and have nothing but respect for my Dad. He had 7 kids, worked in the trades... worked hard. We grew up with everything that we needed, and learned the value of money and the meaning of personal responsibility.

There are times when I might get down with some of his attitudes, and his inflexible views..... but then I hear myself and I realize that I am definitely my Father's Son.

Stogie Jr said...

Yeah I love that song. Pop there is a band from Santa Barbara called "Ugly Kid Joe" they do a heavy metal version of this song. It's actually really good!