Do You Feel Lucky?
That question made Clint Eastwood a household name. I won’t bore you with the dictionary definition of the word luck, or even debate the possibility of such a thing not existing. Call it chance, odds, karma, or whatever, the fact remains that there are things out of our control that could only occur through random possibility. I call it luck.
I first came across this word from watching a television show back in the seventies called Hee Haw. For those of you not old enough to remember this comedy show here’s an excerpt from the opening song to one of their regular sketches…
“Gloom, despair and agony on me-e!
Deep dark depression, excessive misery-y!
If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all!
Gloom, despair and agony on me-e-e!”
Several of the cast members would perform the bit, and each in turn would then give a reason for their bad luck and misery. I learned what bad luck was before the age of ten. It would be quite a few years later before Good Luck and I became acquainted.
Although the good grace of Lady Luck and I have never been on intimate terms, I still consider myself fortunate for the brief encounters we’ve shared over the years. One such meeting happened today, of all days, on Friday the thirteenth.
Next month will mark the thirteenth anniversary of my father’s death, and I went rummaging around on one of my computer hard drives looking for a poem that I wrote him before he passed away. The poem was written at his request. It was the last thing that I wrote for a long time. I can still remember the silent tears he shed as I read it to him.
Someone, I’m not sure who, had the poem printed as laminated bookmarkers that were handed out at his funeral. I’ve never had the nerve to ask my mother if my father had requested that. The preacher also read the poem during the service. I did not cry at my father’s funeral. It would have been too embarrassing, especially on top of sharing a very personal poem in that setting.
My father loved reading the stories that I wrote, and he encouraged me from a very early age. He even sent one to Readers Digest, without my knowledge because he knew that I would tell him not to. They didn’t publish it of course, but it would be twenty years later before I saw the rejection letter. It was in one of my Dad’s notebooks, along with some stories that he wrote.
Writing has always been my personal escape. Although I shared most of these little stories with my father, he never let me read the stories that he wrote. Having been in law enforcement for most of his life, these stories were centered around crime/action/mystery. He was even working on a novel before his passing. I knew about none of this. As you can imagine, it was quite a shock going through his notebook for the first time.
I had the same shock this week while looking for the poem I wrote for him. Although I did not find the poem, I did find an old folder that contained all of my father’s computer files. In that folder there was a screenplay he had written; one I had never seen before.
For the next hour I read it, then read it again. I won’t pretend that it was a literary treasure, but it was still a treasure to me. Lady Luck strikes again. And if that’s not interesting enough, here’s the thing that sent a chill down my spine. Some of you may remember the title to one of the short stories I’m working on; it’s called The Ride. It’s about the relationship between a father and son. My Dad also wrote about this type of relationship in his screenplay, albeit in a completely different way. The title of his screenplay? The Dark Ride.
To me, that was a belated gift from my Dad, and a pat on the back that I’m headed in the right direction. I am the luckiest guy in the world today.