The Cumberland Post

The Cumberland Post
My Backyard, Six Miles from the Cumberland River

Friday, June 25, 2010

Don't Worry 'Bout Me

1961. A good year. We were one year married, living in a cramped 1 BR apartment in Vet Village at MTSU. In September of that year, our son was born. The Fiat Bianciana was gone by then and we were bumming rides. Our student neighbor across the way took us to the Hospital for the birth. Joyce was calm, I was in a state of total panic.

We had a limited income. Joyce had worked through the previous fall and winter, but stopped in August because of the pregnancy. I was taking 21 credit hours at old MTSU so I could finish all my requirements and graduate in January of 1962. That fall, I somehow managed to work 40 hours a week at a local drugstore, from 2 till 10 PM. I was either in a sleep deprived haze or a no-doz frenzy most of the time. I do remember listening to this song on our radio (we didn't have a TV). Joyce and I loved it. It reached #3 on the Hot 100 that year. Marty wrote it and sang it. The fuzz guitar got most of the publicity though. Great song...


  1. Now here's the strange thing... I dunno about you, Dan, but it seems to me, looking back and with each and every caveat about hindsight in full-force, that the happiest times in our respective lives were also the poorest times, from a strictly material standpoint. I need to think on that a bit... specifically as to why that might be... but it none the less seems to be true of everyone of my acquaintance. Like I said: I need to think on it.

  2. Dan, one of my fondest memories of childhood is when Momma would put us four kids all down for a rest in the hot Louisiana afternoons. She would put Marty Robbins' album on (I think it was Gunfighter Ballads & Trail Songs...but don't quote me).

    I truly came to love Marty Robbins music. I got to meet a lot of the old country music stars when I was a youngster...but never Marty. But, I can sing along word-for-word with darn near any tune he ever recorded.

    As to what Buck said, and what the real thrust of your post was. Yep! I'm just a pup at 50. But when I truly ponder the past, it seems that in my "really broke" times I seem to recall my happiest memories.

    I'm gonna' study on this one, too.

  3. Buck and Andy, I've been thinking about what you all said in your comments. Here's my take on it. Those poorer times for most people come when they're young and full of hope and expectations for the future. On some level they know that because they live in a free country with unlimited opportunities, they have a good shot and making something of themselves in the future. So they may be poor, but they know that if they have the get up and gumption times are gonna get better.

    There's also possibly something to be said for the work you're doing on the journey being more important to happiness than the goal you achieve at the end. I would say something like that except it sounds a bit like a bad poster from the sixties.

    Barry the Barbaria over at Born again redneck recently had a post on a book by Arthur Brooks about the new culture war. His book defends capitalism and free enterprise against the marxist/socialist who're running things into the ground now. He says free enterprise is the fairest system going.

    "A fair system is not one that levels outcomes — it is one that rewards hard work, merit, and excellence (while penalizing free riding and laziness). Fairness is a concept that we in the free-enterprise movement have to take back."

    That's another reason why we're often happy when we're young and poor; we know we live in a place that gives everybody an equal chance. an equal shot at success and that if we work hard enough we can achieve it. If you're confident enough in your own abilities, that's got to make you happy! Because it means that to some degree you're in control of your own fate and destiny.

  4. "There's also possibly something to be said for the work you're doing on the journey being more important to happiness than the goal you achieve at the end."

    Dan, I think you nailed me. I believe the happiest times had much more to do with the work I was doing, and my commitment to it, than any regard to what was in the bank account.

    Man...I guess I'm too old to start over, but if I could. happens.

  5. Well, there's all that and I'm not taking anthing away from what both y'all said. But there's also something to be said for "shared adversity" between you and your Beloved. Adversity being entirely relative, of course... the emphasis is on "shared."

  6. Buck, you could not be more correct. The "shared" struggles always seem to forge bonds of familiarity that "shared" successes do not necessarily.

    There IS something about those times that bring about the fondest of memories. And, no doubt, having a partner in the whole deal with you pulling the wagon has MUCH to do with the ability to remember the gladness of it all.