Saturday, July 17, 2010

Out of the mouths of babes

Art Linkletter, TV host of Kids Say the Darndest Things, was born July 17, 1912.

"I must have been an insufferable child; all children are." -- George Bernard Shaw.

When Sully was thirteen his father died and his mother abruptly sold their house, pulled up whatever roots they had and moved them a thousand miles away, to Tennessee. His brother, who at eighteen was still in the tenth grade, dropped out of school and joined the Marines. Sully had had to give away his dog, and for the first half of the trip he lay in the back seat with his arms folded over his face, feigning sleep. Then his mother, who had settled on Tennessee because she liked the sound of it, began to sing:

“Oh, we’ll see what we can see in Tennessee,
Yes, we’ll see what we can see in Tennessee.”

She went on softly singing this verse or variations of it after they’d checked in for the night at a motel and were eating dinner in a restaurant, and eventually he’d come around during dessert.

-- Chapter 20, The Misforgotten

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