Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Casey at the Bat

In the car today, Katie asked, "Mommy, can we listen to 'Casey at the Bat?'" Oh, sugar! Of course we can!

She is referring to a recording that we have on CD that my dad made (we call him Steeley), sometime back in the '80s. He loved to read - what should I call them? - graphic poems. Poems that were stories and had rhythm and inflection. I think his very favorite was "Casey at the Bat," but he also loved "The Cremation of Sam McGee," "I Am America," "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere," "Pershing at the Front," and poems by Robert Frost and Martin Buxbaum. And, man, was he good at it!

Of course when I was younger I thought he was a dork for reading these poems. And even worse? He recorded himself doing it! I was so embarrassed. But now that I'm oh-so-older and wise (ha!), that embarrassment has turned into pride and gratitude. Now that he's gone, I am so thankful that my children can hear him on his CD. He had the most unique voice, deep and gruff. He told me once that he used to scare little kids with his voice, which made him sad.

As I was driving today, my heart overflowed as I heard my dad and my daughter recite these words together:
"Then from 5,000 throats and more there rose a lusty yell;
It rumbled through the valley, it rattled in the dell;
It knocked upon the mountain and recoiled upon the flat,
For Casey, mighty Casey, was advancing to the bat."

Thank you, Dad.

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