“I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses”*

by chuckofish

Today is Cole Porter’s birthday.

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This makes me want to SING!

Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in
Let me be by myself in the evenin’ breeze
And listen to the murmur of the cottonwood trees
Send me off forever but I ask you please
Don’t fence me in
Just turn me loose, let me straddle my old saddle
Underneath the western skies
On my cayuse, let me wander over yonder
Till I see the mountains rise
I want to ride to the ridge where the West commences
And gaze at the moon till I lose my senses
And I can’t look at hobbles and I can’t stand fences
Don’t fence me in
Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide country that I love
Don’t fence me in

Why this song comes to mind and not one of a dozen more sophisticated ones–well, that’s just moi I guess. Love those internal rhymes!

It also makes me want to roadtrip to Peru, Indiana!

Seven Pillars natural rock formation in Miami County

Seven Pillars natural rock formation in Miami County

Peru, you will recall, is where Porter was born and raised. It is the county seat of Miami County and is located on the Wabash River. Among its many claims to fame is the fact that Public Enemy John Dillinger robbed the Peru police department armory in 1933. And did you know that Peru was the winter headquarters for several famous circuses, including Ringling Brothers, Hagenbeck-Wallace, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, and others?  That is why for years it was called “The Circus Capital of the World.”

But you know Cole Porter is definitely the most famous son of Peru. His maternal grandfather was James Omar “J. O.” Cole, “the richest man in Indiana,” and he had plans for his grandson. Young Cole was sent to Worcester Academy, funnily enough, and it is reported that he brought an upright piano with him. This helped him win friends; he was always the life of the party. Although he seldom returned to Peru after going off to school, he is buried there in the Cole/Porter family plot.

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Are these the strangest headstones ever?

So a toast to Cole Porter! And you can listen to old blue eyes while you do.

 

*Cole Porter, who else?