Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Such a waste
All my life I have heard of ‘wasted genius’. Men and women who had the ‘brains and ability’ to succeed in many walks of life. One I had heard of early in life under Mrs. Grill in the 7th Grade. She was very taken by the story of Stephen Foster.
Early in our traveling we visited Bardstown, KY. A very pretty town and the place where Stephen Foster wrote “My Old Kentucky Home”. We toured the home where he was visiting when he wrote the famous song.
There is a nice open air theater where his life in song is portrayed. Songs like "Oh! Susanna", "Hard Times Come Again No More", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "My Old Kentucky Home", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", "Old Black Joe", and "Beautiful Dreamer".
We visited twice and enjoyed it immensely.
Later we camped at Stephen Foster State Park in Northern Florida on the banks of the Suwannee River. With all his talent and success, he died in Bellvue Hospital after falling in his hotel in the Bowery. His leather wallet contained a scrap of paper which read, "Dear friends and gentle hearts", along with 38 cents in Confederate script and 3 US pennies in his pocket. He was only 37 years of age. Bardstown, KY is big on Bourbon. I read that drinking was one of Stephen’s problems.
Here in NC, we were just visited by a man who is an expert in wood. He can talk intellectually on most levels. He knows most blue collar trades on a top notch level. Yet, he has never had a SS #, never paid income tax, nor had a checking account or credit card. He has the voice of a radio announcer and is in demand by several builders. He only works for cash and it is gone within a couple days for drugs and booze. He seems happy, but there are some hints in conversations.
He knows he has wasted his genius.
In life there are many folk who have not and will not reach their potential. Many because of fear, some who are lazy and some who are carefree, happy and enjoy going with the flow. Then the few who get side tracked with booze and drugs.
Genius is wonderful but does not spell success. If one’s genius keeps them stressed, or if their pursuit of fame and fortune does not bring happiness they have wasted their pursuit for success.
Health nor happiness cannot be bought. You can abuse your body in a pursuit for happiness and lose it all.
Sorry to wander, but seeing my friend Henry again, brought it all back.