When my father parted ways with family life, he left 3 albums behind in the big console stereo: Moms Mabley, The Best of Hank Williams, Sr., and Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison. I tried to listen to Moms, but the humor was beyond me and Hank Senior’s voice didn’t do much for me. Ah, but then there was Mr. Cash at what was arguably the first of many pivotal moments in his career.
That album – That I got.
And it gave me a weird sort of disconnected connection with my father. Even tho he wasn’t there and I couldn’t even remember his presence, we were tied together by this album recorded in a prison and it seemed appropriate for reasons that I didn’t understand.
Years later after I met my father, I mentioned the records to him and the memory of them brought a smile to his face as we had something in common to talk about before awkward silence set back in. We never got too deep in conversation, even when he lay in a bed dying a many years later, but we had – something.
So, Happy Birthday, Johnny Cash and thanks for the odd memories.