From the site, I was lead to YouTube to listen to that man's stories singing to me through my headphones in a stuffy campus computer lab.
I've never met this man. I never saw one of his concerts or listened to him from a standing-room-only, sold-out concert. I didn't grow up when his songs were on the radio or go to the store when one of his CD's first came out. But there is no one else who can make me remember how things used to be like he can. No one else can remind me of dad better than this man and his carefully molded words.
Month 4 is coming around very soon. And through these months, I have learned ways that I can feel ok about everything that has become of my life.
Yesterday I was reminded of how much Harry resembles so much of dad. Maybe they formed each other in ways I'll never know. Dad had a way of taking everyday things and making them into this beautiful kind of scene - he romanticized things. Like on Sunday mornings when he would come up from his shower just before we were to leave, he'd say "Wow, Etta, you look so nice." Harry did the same thing in songs like "Dancin' Boy" and "Corey's Coming."
"Folk singer Harry Chapin died in a bizarre 1981 accident on New York's Long Island Expressway," Google let me know. I guess they weren't much different in their death, either. Just change the year and Long Island Expressway to North Dakota's Highway 46.
As I've been writing this, Harry's "What Made America Famous" has been playing on repeat:
"We have the choice to make each man who dares to dream reaching out his hand a prophet or just a crazy God damned dreamer of a fool, yes a God damned fool."
And I now find myself wishing so badly that I could have met this man, perhaps become his wife in some different kind of life, shared his on-fire-passion for those stories he tells so well. But then I know that how things are now is how they are supposed to be. Every part of it. From my heart-ful love for Harry to my heart-heavy want for those Sunday morning compliments just once more.