Copyright

Copyright: (n) the exclusive right to make copies in music

I had just turned nineteen years of age when I was sitting in the back area of my mother and father’s loan company which they had opened in our small town, and for some inexplicable reason, there was a piano situated in one of the corners.

I don’t know how it got in there. I don’t know whether someone was unable to pay their loan and offered their piano as penance—but it was there.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I was also present—with my new wife, whom I had only been married to for about seven months, but we already had a first son. (You do the math.)

Long story apparently being made longer, I decided to walk over to that piano and write a song. I had sung songs for years. I had done my karaoke versions of popular tunes long before the “Kary” came from “Okie.”

I don’t know what gave me the idea that I could write a song. Maybe it was because I was nineteen and pretty convinced I could do anything. Somewhere in the expanse of the next hundred and eighteen minutes, I wrote two songs. I had no idea if anybody would think they were good—I was so damn impressed with them that the notion of seeking another opinion seemed redundant.

I did not know if I would ever write another song, so I immediately wanted to make sure these two songs were not only recorded, but copyrighted—to make sure that no less-talented individuals would steal them, attaining great notice and gain.

There were two ways to copyright my songs. I could make original copies of the lead sheet and words, and mail them to myself, and never open that envelope because it would have the stamped date on the outside from the official Post Office.

This did not sound dramatic enough to me.

So instead, I pursued the other avenue, which was to contact the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C, and receive innumerable forms, which I filled out, paying a small price for each composition. From that point on, once it was cleared that my songs were indeed original, I would have a copyright for all time.

My God. Who could resist such majestic red tape?

I went through the entire process, and even today, somewhere buried deep in a box in one of my closets, is a certificate informing the whole world that my two songs made a visit to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and returned home again—sanctified.


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Bothersome

Bothersome: (adj) troublesome

When I was eighteen years old, I got my girlfriend pregnant. So by the time I was nineteen, I was a daddy. Perhaps better stated, a father in name only.Dictionary B

Being unprepared, unaware and barely beyond the scope of a child myself, I had no idea what to do. Matter of fact, from the time I was nineteen until I turned fifty-six, I parented seven young men–four of my own and three I adopted.

Can I tell you how I would describe the experience?

Bothersome.

Why?

Because children do not come into the world to confirm our intelligence and prowess, but rather, to challenge it.

Yet anyone who questions my personal authority and space is annoying. If they happen to live in my house, eat the food I provide and nag me for money, it is even more treacherous.

But in the process of realizing that parenting is bothersome, you come to an understanding that living is not about finding a sense of well-being, but instead, taking the chaos, calming yourself and stilling the storm.

In doing this, you find your sense of satisfaction, purpose and achievement.

Life always arrives at eighty-five miles an hour.

It is up to you to be the traffic cop to slow it down.

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Befriend

Befriend: (v) to act as a friend to someone by offering help or support.Dictionary B

$500.

That’s how much they were charging for a 1970 Corvette Stingray.

I was nineteen years of age and could not believe what I was reading in the advertisement.

It was a beautiful car, late-model, and my dear God…it was a Corvette. And they only wanted $500.

I just about broke my neck getting there, to see the vehicle, and when I arrived I was astounded that nobody else had shown up for the auction.

Now, even though $500 was well beyond my means, I would have done almost anything to get the money to buy the Corvette.

The gentleman selling the car explained that there was one big problem: a man had committed suicide in the car and no one had discovered him for three weeks.

It did creep me out a little bit, but I thought I could get over it–until he opened up the door and I sniffed the problem.

The odor of the decomposing body of the suicidal owner was absorbed into the fiberglass of the car.

Nobody was interested in a car that stunk.

It was beautiful on the outside and smelled rotten inside.

I passed.

Over the years, I have remembered that story in my dealings with human beings.

Even though it seems noble to befriend others and help out people in need, you have to make sure that no matter how good things look on the outside, that these individuals have taken time to go inside themselves and clean out the garbage.

Rotten people continue to do rotten things, until they decide to stop being rotten.

  • You can befriend them.
  • You can love them.
  • You can help them.
  • You can encourage them.
  • You can send them to a seminar to learn about self-esteem.

But it is up to them to remove the stink.

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