Friday, April 25, 2008

Thoughts and songs of spring


By CHRIS MILLSPAUGH

The mountain closes and the snow begins. All is normal in the Valley of the Wood River. Soon, it will flood in the south county and it still won't be enough water for the ranchers. The seasons pass and yet they remain the same. The rich get richer. The poor struggle to stay alive. Forests are protected for awhile and then, it's open season on them. Political contests are settled by fear instead of hope. The flu shot is effective on only 44 percent of the nation because the wrong viral strands were targeted. More banks are designated to open. The IRS put together spells "THEIRS." Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Hi, how are you doing? It's spring in the Wood River Valley and that should signal a new beginning and a period of hope and promise. So, let's work on that premise for comedy relief, shall we? Let's sing:

"I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm. I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string. I'd say that I had spring fever, but I still think it's that flu thing," wrote Rodgers and Hammerstein in the 1940s. Then Rodgers teamed with Hart to write "Spring is here, why am I still coughing ..." Or, something like that.

And, who can forget, "Younger than springtime am I, sicker than usual am I ..."

Remember that Ella Fitzgerald song, "Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most?"

Well, I'm here to tell you, it can. My favorite spring song, though, has to be Franz Leibkind's immortal ballad, "Springtime for Hitler and Germany, U-boats are sailing once more ..."

But enough about flu and springtime. I just want to be healthy again and go out and party with you folks again.

Look, it's clearing up outside. There's hope! There's snow on my car and on the mountains, but it's spring, I tell ya. That's what the Weather Channel said this morning. Why would they lie?

Now, everybody's leaving town. They're going to Mexico or Europe or Phoenix or Paris. All I want to do is drive to Boise and see some friends. They say it's spring down there. I wonder what it's like?

Maybe I'll see you in the summer.

Nice talking to you.




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