Saturday, February 22, 2020 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Stephen Foster

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Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away,
Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe."
--
Old Black Joe, Firth, Pond & Co. (1860).

 
Stephen Foster

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Janis knew more than I did about "how it was", but she lacked enough armor for the inevitable hassles. She was open and spontaneous enough to get her heart trampled with a regularity that took me thirty years to experience or understand. On the various occasions when we were together, she seemed to be holding in something she thought I might not want to hear, like older people do when they hear kids they love saying with absolute youthful confidence, "Oh, that'll never happen to me." Sometimes you know you can't tell them how it is, they have to find out for themselves. Janis felt like an old soul, a wisecracking grandmother whom everybody loved to visit. When I was with her, I often felt like a part of her distant family, a young upstart relative who was still too full of her own sophistry to hear wisdom.
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