Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Maybe (Maybe Not), (Fulghum)

Maybe (Maybe Not), Robert Fulghum, 1993

In the mid-90s, I had a 50-mile, one-way commute to work to Parsippany, NJ. I got a library card for the Morristown library (which was easier to get to than the Parsippany branch) and started checking out books on tape, mostly abridged.

This was the book that I had checked out in 1996 just before a blizzard, which dropped two feet of snow in New York City and more in New Jersey. I listened to this book on my Walkman over the course of a two-and-a-half-hour commute by subway and railroad. I bring this up so that you can get a complete picture of how early I got up, how long I traveled and how much snow was piled on the ground outside that Morris Plains station where I waited for a bus that went near my office complex. Imagine that you were in a car driving down that street just as I was listening to Fulghum explain the events surrounding the time he conducted the Minneapolis Chamber Symphony as it played the last movement of Beethoven's Ninth.

You would have asked yourself, why is that guy in a suit, carrying a briefcase and standing in a three-foot drift with the frozen wind blowing snowflakes in his face laughing hysterically??

When I saw a copy of this book years later, I had to read it unabridged. It was as good as it was eight years earlier although I didn't have Fulghum's voice reading it to me. Even if you don't read self-help or inspirational or religious books, this is one to read.

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