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A Thought for Today

All life is imagery, but imagery is seldom life. The moral is not to Ďget a life.í Itís to imagine one for yourself then make it happen.


Most people find it hard to believe that anyone would brave their 50th Class Reunion, me too. But fear has never been a strong enough motive to keep me from anything. You can call me stupid, but never afraid. So tomorrow Iíll be joining 175 other brave hearts not just to see how we all turned out, but because Ė while I didnít have much schooling Ė my senior class was made up of some really nice people. There were probably some jerks too, but try as I may I canít remember them. Of course, Iím not trying very hard.

Do I hope that Stanley Stunning now has a pot belly or that Charlie Charming is on his fifth wife? And what about that gorgeous, sweet thing I was wild about who never gave me a second glance? Will I be happy if sheís now the town drunk?

I hope I have a happy hangover on Sunday morning and you know what, Iím sure I will.


Hello Rod, I know you can't believe that 50 years has passed since you attended Oakland Tech. Like you, I didn't graduate from Tech but I am interested in seeing some old friends during the 50th reunion.

If you have already been contacted, please disregard this E-mail. If not, and you are interested, please drop me a line and I will see that they send you the information.

I used to see you when you performed and had book signings in Portland, Oregon. I was in the square dance club with you at Tech and I joined in when my friends would harass you during your radio DJ program. Ah, those were the days! You've come a long way, baby!

Hope to hear from you Arlene Wedell Young

Dear Arlene, Iíll be there this coming Saturday night and Iím looking forward to it, Iíve even written a couple of things especially for the occasion.

Iíve missed the other reunions through the years so this one will mean a lot. While I pride myself on a good memory I have a feeling Iíll be looking at a lot of name tags this weekend. Fifty years brings a lot of changes.

I remember the razzing I got for my radio show ďRendezvous with Rod,Ē especially since its content was pretty steamy. Of course only my classmates knew I was a teenager, once the show caught on the station joined me in concealing my age from listeners.

I guess if we were in school today it would be Ďline dancingí & not the square dance club. Iím eager to see you again Arlene and catch up on where your life has taken you. Warmly, Rod


I was in your English class a couple of years after you left Tech and we had the same teacher. She told us you were a pretty good student when she could get your attention but that you spent most of your time daydreaming and looking out the window. Kathy Nelson

Dear Kathy, She got that right! Sincerely, Rod


Dear Rod, In light of the upcoming 50th a couple of us were reminiscing about basketball tryouts and how you came in ahead of all the guys who tried out. But you ended up quitting the team almost before we started. The coach didnít appreciate that very much and some of your teammates felt the same. What was the deal? None of us could figure it out. ďYou coulda been a contender.Ē George Tubin

Dear George, I was more surprised than anyone that I finished first and was asked to be captain. My secret was that ďBigĒ Don Barksdale worked at KROW where I did and I played a lot of pick-up games with him. He taught me everything about basketball and it didnít hurt my game that he had been a Bay Area All Star. Then I got an extra gig re-creating games for the station on Saturday afternoons and that helped too.

Hereís Ďthe deal.í I was never into athletics all that much and in school my interests went in other directions, basically writing and performing took over my life which is one of the reasons I quit school before graduating. That and the fact that I had to earn a living and just working every day after school didnít provide enough of an income to support the family.

While Iíve looked at many a basket in the years between, I havenít sunk all that many. Donít forget to say hello tomorrow night, George . . .but, no pick up games please. Cheers, Rod


Rod: Are you really coming to the reunion Saturday night? Iíll believe it when I see it! Do you remember Fridayís in detention? Chuck.

Dear Chuck, I do. And not even detention could keep me from this one. Luv, Rod


Dear Rod: has it really been fifty years? Marianne

Yes, Marianne, it only feels like one hundred. Yours, Rod


Dear Rod: Donít forget to send the check. Jack Hunt

Dear Jack, The check is in the mail. Yours Very Truly, Rod

Iíd answer more mail but I got in from Atlanta late (where I regularly visit on the net) and I have a plane to catch. If I survive Iíll let you know how it all turned out. Sleep warm.

RM 5/11/2001 Previously unpublished

It's taken some time but finally we're delighted to announce the posting of a selection of photographs from both the Thousand Oaks and Aurora concerts. You can reach them via the link below.

Concert Photographs

notable birthdays Johann Gottfried o Bernhard Bach o Irving Berlin o Foster Brooks o Ellsworth Bunker o Eric Burdin o Salvadore Dali o Louis Farrakhan o Boyd Gaines o Martha Graham o Doug McClure o Gerald Mohr o Denver Pyle o Martha Quinn o Natasha Richardson o Dame Margaret Rutherford o Bob Ryan Mort Sahl o Phil Silvers o Rudolph Valentino o Henry Wallace o Doddles Weaver
Rod's random thoughts Harmony is thought in motion.

Allow yourself to disallow yourself.

If creativity wasnít such a solitary thing, weíd have more Galileo's.


Bury the dream.
Buy time by selling off
        your yesterdays.
Never reread letters,
retrace places visited
or once lived in together.
Do not open up a wound
you closed at great expense
or talk about Ďthe old timesí
even with well meaning friends.
Forget. It takes a while.
Not lifetimes if you avoid temptations
to wind clocks backward -
               but a while.
Be greedy for the day now coming
be anxious for tomorrowís arms.
Something waits ahead,
              if only death.
But donít look back.

Then she calls and says
Iím coming for a visit.
        Just like that.
No warning note
containing explanations of the last time.
Nothing. Then sheís back. Sheís here.

-from Folio No.35, 1988

© 1970, 1988, 2001 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Birthday research by Wade Alexander o Poetry from the collection of Jay Hagan o Coordinated by Melinda Smith
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