That is my father, I believe upon graduating high school in the mid-1940s.

This is the fourth of several “song blogs” I’ll be doing to tell the stories behind the songs on “Protest Songs“. (You can listen or download for free or whatever you want to pay here.) For this morning, this one is for all of us with aging parents.


Obviously, this song is intensely personal. My father is 87 as I write this, and his mind is slowing down due to some very normal aging and some dementia. I visited one time not too long ago, and for the whole first day I was there, I’m pretty sure he knew I was family, knew I was special to him, but had no idea what my name was. It was one of the great shocks of my life.

But… it was tempered by the fact that I knew I had taken advantage of the opportunities years before to tell him how precious he was to me, and by the knowledge that I have been mightily blessed in my life to have him as a father. I knew I had told him, and I’m pretty sure it stuck with him.

Tell your loved ones how precious they are. Today. Now. Seriously.


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