Friday, January 3, 2020

RIP Jack Sheldon

Jack Sheldon?  Who?  Like me, you might now know his name.  But I'm sure you know his work:

Yes, that's Mr. Sheldon, a respectable jazz musician, known more for providing words to one of the most educational songs ever written.  He passed away today at the age of eighty-eight.  God bless him.

Like the rest of the old Schoolhouse Rock mini-specials, his contributions were succinct, clear and, most of all, engaging.  Whether grammar and basic English, math, history or science, each topic dealt with was done in a way so that no kid watching it would fail to remember multiplication tables, nouns and verbs and, of course, how bills come about in our national government.

Generation after generation could name at least three conjunctions, explain Manifest Destiny (before it became America's Lebensraum), and rattle off that Preamble of the Constitution without much effort. 

Of course back then most Americans were on the same page regarding the basics, even if we disagreed over the details.  Now, it's no longer that, and more than one of these little gems has been taken to the woodshed for its failure to live up to our latest daily progressive standards.

Nonetheless, for a generation that grew up with those little treasures tucked between the children's programming of the day, they will not be forgotten.  So thank you Mr. Sheldon for doing such a wonderful, memorable job conveying to so many youngsters what we needed to learn.  If only we had more of the same today.  Nonetheless, peace and blessings on you, your loved ones, and all whose lives you so profoundly touched. 

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