Fathers and stories: “Emerson’s Chevrolet”

I've written before about marvelous storyteller Willy Claflin. Today in the car his story “Emerson's Chevrolet” came up in my iPhone's playlist, and it made me cry, as it always does, and I thought it would be worth posting about it.

The story itself, about ten minutes long, is more or less about Claflin's father, who was a fan of the not-very-good Harvard football team in the 1950s. Before each game, for example, he would recite the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V.

And the reason it makes me cry is that it makes me think of my father. I think his father and mine were very different people in some ways; my father had no interest at all in football or sports of any kind, and didn't declaim at length excerpts from famous plays and poems. And he wasn't known for getting horribly lost. But something about Claflin's father's over-the-top emotion and intensity and lack of perspective makes me think of my father. (Well, and I have some of that too—in particular, the part about getting LOST! on the way to a game makes me smile in rueful self-recognition.)

So I thought maybe those of you who had or have fathers like that might like the story. Or, for that matter, those of you who like storytelling. And it turns out that you can buy and download the single track of “Emerson's Chevrolet” from Amazon for only 99¢. Highly recommended.

(To be clear: Unlike Claflin's Maynard Moose fractured fairytales, “Emerson's Chevrolet” is not a story for kids. I don't think it has anything explicit in it, just not aimed at a kid audience.)

(You could also buy the whole album for $6 from Amazon or $10 from iTunes (the latter would likely result in more money going to Claflin), but there are a couple of pieces I don' t especially like on it, so I'm not necessarily recommending that.)

The other Claflin story about his father, “Who Has Seen the Mind?”, is available for free listening online if you follow that link. It sounds like his father was quite a character.

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