May 27, 2012

Rain, riverbank bring songs to mind


---- — "The rain in Spain falls mostly on the …" You know the rest.

Having been involved with music since childhood, I have tunes running through my head while awake and asleep. Every circumstance seems to hit the "play" button.

As I sat on our enclosed deck along our beloved Saranac River and began conjuring up a topic for this column, the gray matter coalesced. My brain repeated the musical phrase "You and me and rain on the roof." It was as if the drops were falling in time with the tune.

To some, metal roofs are noisy. To me, they are magical. The pitter patter and the splish splash are almost like having a drummer on call. John Sebastian and the Lovin' Spoonful released "Rain on the Roof" in 1966 and, even after 46 years, it still makes me smile.

As I correspond with friends far and near, I find myself using song lyrics often to help describe how I feel. "Rhythm of the Rain" by the Cascades is another one I mentioned recently, and the recipient responded with the exact year it came out (1962) along with a memory it produced.

Just as I typed the song title on my laptop, I glanced up in time to see three beautiful young deer emerge from the brush across the river and pose for me, as if on cue. They nibbled leaves, raised their heads to sniff the air from time to time and continued along the riverbank. I whispered, "Thank you, God," and at that moment, a fawn emerged from the thicket, moved along to catch up with the others. Could it get any better than this? I strained my eyes to see them through the lush spring greenery until I spied the last swish of their lovely white tails, and they were gone.

I love to read, but the best book is written by nature every minute of every day along the Saranac River in Morrisonville. There are myriad plot changes and surprise endings. The cast of characters is better than a holiday parade. On the ground and in the air, stage right and stage left, the curtain rises with the sun and gives us entertainment pleasure in every season.

I don't know what the plan might be for the rest of my life, but I'm grateful for the contentment I feel at this moment. There's a beautiful male cardinal at the feeder less than 6 feet away. The hummingbirds are battling like tiny dive bombers to get to Kaye's special nectar, and the words for this week's column just keep tumbling out of somewhere.

I won't go through the entire list of rain songs I can recall. I'll leave that to you as you reflect over your morning coffee. And, by the way, I read last week that the latest research indicates a longer life for those who consume my favorite drink. The more the merrier, they say. That's good news for me. In almost 36 years on the radio, I drank an average of 30 cups a day. Now, it's only 10 or 12, but I still love it. No cream or sugar, please.

Les Bradford was the last pilot to fly a B-52 bomber out of the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. He was also kind enough to draw the charming illustrations for my latest children's book. Kaye and I dropped in on them recently at their camp on the south side of Cumberland Head. It's called "UPTA," as in upta camp. They served Sanka, and I hadn't seen any in years. It was probably the first decaffeinated coffee ever to be sold here in the United States more than 100 years ago and is still going strong. We sipped as we watched a loon swim on Lake Champlain.

"Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day." I was just going to type the next line to that old nursery rhyme when I looked up and the rain stopped. The next line is "Little Arthur wants to play."

Have a great day and please, drive carefully.

Gordie Little was for many years a well-known radio personality in the North Country and now hosts the "Our Little Corner" television program for Home Town Cable. Anyone with comments for him may send them to the newspaper or email him at