Three Score and Ten in Retrospect
John composed some original verses to Ain't Gonna Rain No More, a song sung time and again in the car (alternating with Clementine) to keep John awake on the late-night rides back home along the winding, pre-freeway road from Coalville. The second verse makes reference to John's prize Chester White hogs which were raised on the farm and exhibited yearly at the Utah State Fair. The third verse refers to a Navajo Indian, Eddie Yankee, whom John hired from time to time to do odd jobs on the farm. The cow was in the pasture. She jumped the fence to flee. The fence was higher than she thought Destroyed her "udderly!" The pig was in the slough With mud up to his back, And when they pulled that porker out They called him Chester Black! Eddie was a Yankee. He never stayed too long, And when the phone rang from his end He'd call out, "Hello, John!" ("Hello, John" was never sung.. .everyone else was quiet while John did his Eddie Yankee imitation followed by guffaws from the family .) This note was found penned on stationery from the Hotel Harrington, Washington, D.C. and was obviously written during the middle of the night: That time of life when an elegant late evening meal is but the prelude to waiting out a night of scrambled thoughts aggravated by a dull but rampant imagination, yea, even punctuated by the disconsolate presence of baseless fears. Are the dollars the cost of the food, or must we measure in the price of indiscretion?