Father’s Day Reading

Scanning through all the Father’s Day posts and tributes on Facebook this morning, I decided to post my own (it’s here at my personal blog, The Warped and Faulty Reservoir). Then I got to thinking about what might be an appropriate thing to read for Father’s Day. I first thought of one of my go-to authors… Among Kurt Vonnegut’s many memorable short stories is one called “This Son of Mine,” which I read as part of that authors Bagombo Snuff Box collection. I never posted about that story specifically, but I did post about the collection itself here.My buddy Dale at Mirror With Clouds did devote a short post to this story last year, though. It may be read here.

The more I thought about it, though, I decided I should read something particularly related to MY Dad. To meet these ends, I chose to re-read the great Robert R. Service poem, “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” (I was also reminded of this great poem just last night while playing Buzztime Trivia at my local bar. The question of where Sam McGee was from was the easiest 1,000 points I got all night. 🙂 )

This was a poem that Dad had memorized and liked to recite aloud – a tradition my younger brother has carried on (I think, anyway – I’m not sure if he does the entire poem). Robert W. Service, a.k.a. “The Bard of the Yukon” lived from 1874 – 1958 and spent some time in the Yukon Territory not long after the start of the great Yukon Gold Rush. That area and era were the source and inspiration of much of his work, among which perhaps most famous is his poem “The Cremation of Sam McGee.” (I’ll include the entire text of the poem after the fold.) Also, if you’d prefer, you can listen to this reading by none other than Johnny Cash.  (Very good, but I still prefer my Dads rendition). Or, maybe even better, a reading by the poet himself 

(Below: Robert W. Service)

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What about you? Will/did you do any Father’s Day-Specific reading? What made the cut for you and why? I’d love to hear some of your stories…

I found a great illustrated version of the poem at http://belatednerd.com/robert-service-a-la-john-severin/ I included a couple frames of the illustrations below.

The Cremation of Same McGee by Robert W. Service (publ. 1907)

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

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