My sophomores and juniors finally finished decorating their weave poems for the county fair. After writing some prose text about a person they remembered from their childhood and writing down the words of a song they remember being sung, they wove the two pieces together with some great results.
One of my students is the son of a local man who recently lost his battle with cancer. Everyone called him “Sputnik”. The name fit him. In Russian, the term, “sputnik” is used to refer to a companion. The word “sputnik” represented something new, a new beginning, the space age. The Sputnik that we all knew was certainly a companion to many and was always trying something new or different. In a way, he represented new beginnings.
His son wrote a great story in English class about the time that Sputnik and his brothers decided to go Christmas Caroling as adults while visiting Sputnik’s mother. The story would be enhanced if I had a photo of Sputnik and his brothers to share. There is no telling whether these guys had their hair combed, if they were clean shaven, or if they had on any nicer clothes than their work jeans and work boots. These brothers were known as being a bunch of “characters.” They told the family whose door they knocked upon that they would sing “Joy to the World”. Then, they broke into Credence Clearwater Revival’s version of “Joy to the World”. You may remember this song if you’re a baby boomer.
Jeremiah was a bullfrog
Was a good friend of mine
I never understood a single word he said
But I helped him drink his wine
And he always had some mighty fine wine
Joy to the world, all the boys and girls
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea
Joy to you and me.
Well, the story ends with the family who received the gift of Sputnik and his brothers singing a Christmas carol not only laughing but also inviting the guys in for some wine.
The story doesn’t really end there because Sputnik left his son and many others hundreds of wonderful memories that bring a smile to our faces. To bring a smile to someone’s face, now THAT is a gift!
With his permission, here’s Junior, Chance Bush’s poem:
by Chance Bush
Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog
Decided to Go
Was a Good Friend of Mine
Went Over To
I Never Understood a Single Word He Said
Were Close Friends
But I helped Him Drink His Wine
And they sang “Joy to the World”
Joy to You and Me!