I've been told all my life that I'm kin to the late Newspaper Columnist-Political Humorist Will Rogers. I wouldn't know how to go about proving or disproving that. I guess I could join one of those on-line ancestry sites but I might find that I'm also kin to a serial killer or perhaps the helmsman of the Titanic - the one who heard the Captain shout: "No, your OTHER left!"
I don't think I'm kin to the leader of the Randy Rogers Band either; however he and I used to exchange e-mails back when he was a college student in San Marcus, Texas and I lived in the Dallas area and was writing lyrics. I remember one time he wrote to tell me, "I'm not sure I'm cut out for this (music) business." I replied that was spoken like a true Rogers.
Despite his early misgivings, the Texas-version of Randy Rogers has gone on to do very well. I guess he was cut out for the music business after all - and I'm now happy to sign autographs on his behalf.
Back to Cousin Will. Have you ever thought so much about something that it carried over into your dreams at night? It happened to me. I dreamed I saw Will Rogers sitting on a cloud doing some rope tricks. When I approached him, our conversation went something like this:
Me: Hi Will. It's good to see you.
WR: You can't see me. I'm a ghost.
Me: Yeah I know. It's just a figure of...
WR: You been telling people we might be kin? Besides our having the same last name, what in the world makes you think that?
Me: Well, since we both write for the newspaper and we don't think too highly of politicians, I figured we might be related.
WR: Uh huh, could be. Let me ask you a question: Do you think politicians have changed that much since my day?
Me: Well, I don't know, but it sure seems like it.
WR: Really? Tell me, have you seen a politician go to Washington lately and come back poorer than when he went in? And what's the deal with CSPAN? Who came up with the bright idea of giving politicians a live microphone? The hot air that bunch generates could fill the Hindenburg. You give them a microphone and, before you know it, they'll spend less time working on problems and more time trying to get reelected. Then you'll have what we called back in my day - total gridlock.
Me: Well, that's kinda what...
WR: And you're from Louisiana, right - the home of Huey Long? You think you should be writing about politics? You've got to be kidding me. You guys put more political leaders in jail than Castro!
Me: Well, maybe so. I really came here to ask you if we were kin to one another. All I know is I've been told that all my life and my paternal grandfather, Benjamin Cleveland Rogers, favored you somewhat and was considered to be pretty witty back in his day.
WR: Well, it's hard to say. Have you tried joining one of those Internet ancestry sites to find out?
Me: Yes, but I'm afraid I'd find out I'm kin to a serial killer or the helmsman of the Titanic.
WR: "Your OTHER left?"
Me: Yeah, that one...
WR: Well, I wish you luck. I AM kin to some kid named Randy Rogers who has a band down there in Texas. You might want to look him up and get his autograph...tell him his Cousin Will said hello.
Randy Rogers is a published book author, newspaper columnist, and song writer. His new book, "Give My Regards to Dubach" is a collection of his writings and now available on lulu.com. All proceeds from his book sales go to Dubach High School.