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Shel Silverstein

May 16, 1999

Shel Silverstein died May 10 and I am sad. I never met the man, nor ever talked to him. But his thoughts, his words, his sense of life touched my heart.

His sense of sharing and giving and sacrifice in "The Giving Tree" touched a root so deep inside. The love and sacrifice one gives to a child as a parent--to give everything for one you love--with feelings so strong.

And the hours of joy and laughter and fun he gave in "Where the Sidewalk Ends" and "A Light in the Attic," allowing my son and me to share and laugh through his stories, words and pictures. Of Lazy Jane who waits for it to rain and Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who would not take the garbage out and the brave snowman who tried to see July and of being eaten by a boa constrictor.

He taught through laughter and feelings to take a look at the world with one's head slightly askew. He let us learn that silly can be serious and serious silly. His words and pictures will always be a part of me, and for that I am glad.

BOB LEWIS, Castaic


Your obituary of Silverstein gave short shrift to the hundreds of wonderful, poignant and humorous songs that he wrote. I became acquainted with him in the early 1960s when Judy Collins recorded his song "Hey Nelly, Nelly," which was written about Abraham Lincoln and the equality of the races.

Later, Shel wrote most of the songs for the group Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. His "Cover of the Rolling Stone," which poked fun at rock stars, became a national hit. Shel had a keen social conscience and a self-deprecating sense of humor. He was one of the best songwriters of our era.


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