Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)


Shel Silverstein FTW

Easter rapidly becoming something of a Christmas-Lite in the commercial world, my wife wanted to buck the trend and get a few small things for the girls, concentrating on handmade items. As such, she got them nice handwoven barrets for their hair, and then t-shirts with a hand embroidered T-Rex and Mermaid. Feeling I owe it to the economy to spend some cash on something, I gave in to the crush of commercialism and bought them the original Bambi DVD, and, in an inspired decision, the 30th Anniversary Edition of Where the Sidewalk Ends, by Shel Silverstein.

My older daughter has not put that book down more than 5 minutes in the last day. I think that she spent a full hour yesterday afternoon reading poems out of it to her younger sister in their bedroom. The Easter Bunny scored big. I'm glad they liked it as much as I remember liking it as a kid.

While the kids were enjoying their new book, it led to a 'discussion' between my wife and I regarding Mr. Silverstein's status. I swore he was still alive and kicking, and my wife was pretty sure he had passed away. A quick trip to Wikipedia, where nothing is ever wrong, revealed my wife was right...passed away back in 1999.

What I didn't know about Mr. Silverstein is that he was also a song writer, and actually won a Grammy back in 1970 for writing... 'A Boy Named Sue' for Mr. Johnny Cash!!!!?!?!?  

Never would have guessed that in a million years, although now that I have the data, it makes perfect sense, and feels right. 

Shel is also responsible for writing what I consider one of the top 5 most depressing stories of all time...'The Giving Tree'.  This story doesn't become sad until you are a parent, and I am at the point where I can not read it to my girls anymore without a box of tissues available.

I'm sure he would be proud to see himself making a bog impression on another generation.  A guy can't ask for much more out of life. 


  1. and don't forget "Freakin' at the Freakers' Ball" for those of us coming of age in the 70s (and much of Dr Hook's Medicine Show works)

  2. I saw on Wikipedia that he wrote a bunch of stuff for Dr. Hooks Medicine Show, but I have to admit I wasn't familiar with their stuff, other than 'On the Cover of the Rolling Stone.'