Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Only Song I’ve Memorized

My daughter asked me querulously, “What is the 'Frozen Logger'? I was singing to Zeke (my grandson) last night and he said Grandpa always sings ‘The Frozen Logger.’”

First, I was overjoyed that this seven-year-old liked my singing enough to remember it. Second, that he liked the song, since he rarely laughs at my jokes. Does his best to appear sophisticatedly unamused.

“Well,” I told my daughter, “it goes like this. ‘As I sat down one evening / within a small cafĂ© / a 40-year-old waitress / to me these words did say.’”

“That’s the song?”

“It gets better. ‘I see that you are a logger / and not just a common bum / ‘cause nobody but a logger / stirs his coffee with his thumb.’”

I don’t know if I need to memorize more songs. One seems to do just fine. I was at a wedding in Taiwan once, held on a street covered with tents and with a stage for karaoke. The emcee saw me and asked in Chinese if I’d like to sing a song. I demurred, mostly because I’m not sure I know all the words to the only other song I’ve kind of memorized. “I’m back in the saddle again / out where a friend is a friend / where the longhorn cattle feed / on the lonesome jimson weed / I’m back in the saddle again.” I think those are the words.

I’d better check. After all, a man should know more than one song. And when I was six years old, I was seriously thinking of changing my name. My dad explained how you do this, explaining to a judge who will order the change. “And by the way,” he asked. “What would you like your new name to be?” “Gene Autry,” I answered.