HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES FRANCIS CAGNEY (July 17, 1899 – March 30, 1986)
A friend wrote this to me a bit ago about the far away fella business: “Yes, I’d say Pat gave you the right designation. You’re a far away fella in any number of ways. As a kid you used to look at other people and say to yourself, ‘I wonder what it would be to be like them?,’ and so you grew up to be a man with the gift of wonder, which allows you to observe people and places analytically. You became a man out of the common run of activity who loves the solitude and the elements—a non city man from the city. You’re a man with the reputation of being a semi-recluse when actually—and here’s the drama of the thing—you’re more involved with living than the vast majority of the churning bowels of the city. In these ways and more, you were born and you will die a far away fella.” If the foregoing is true, and I’d like to think it is, it has come about through things I had very little to do with. My parents were a gift, and so was my family; I was lucky enough to marry the girl I did, and have the children I did; my good friends came to me unbidden; my job was one I enjoyed; and I’ve lived my life trying to be true to all these.