NATIVE SON, NUMBER ONE

 

    Salinas 1910.JPG (41633 bytes)John Steinbeck was born here in Salinas on February 27, 1902, when it was still a young and rowdy cowtown.  Even in my 40's-50's boyhood days Salinas was very rural in nature, and in John's time it was naturally much moreso--somewhat feral even.  He could, and no doubt did, shoot rabbits and ducks in his own backyard.

 

    My neighbors had chickens and rabbits, with a Holstein dairy farm here and there, and the not so unusual horse and donkey, but his had full on plow teams and livestock.  His work is pepper-shot through with the lexicon of the farmer's trade, and his easy way with it it was honestly acquired.

 

    Chinatown.jpg (58585 bytes)Being from Salinas is naturally a double-bonus for a Steinnie guy like me, for I have, beginning when he was still a local lad, quite literally followed in his footsteps all over this burg. I have trod his fields, sloughs, and the back yards 'round his old neighborhood, shot pool in the same halls, watched flicks at the same theaters - hey, I've had a pull in the same alleyway as did Cal Trask.  I have even chased down soldiers to buy me a six-pack in the same Chinatown that John so often prowled and dipped into for clime and character.  I have... a feeling I'd better shut up.

 

    132 Central.jpg (44958 bytes)His fame has far surmounted his not-that-humble origins (check out the Steinbecks' great old Victorian), but this multiple literary award winning guy grew some sort of garden everywhere he went right up til the end.  In this he was, black tie or no, always within, a Salinas Valley boy.  And though the state of California proclaimed February 27 John Steinbeck Day in 1995, and though he criss-crossed this state extensively, it is in Salinas that he truly is the Native Son #1.

 

    We use this quick little ditty to sing "John" on and off the stage in Steinbeck Country; give him a chance to shuffle through the crowd.

    

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NATIVE SON, NUMBER ONE

Larry Hosford

 

INTRO:

Ladies, gents, and folks,

I'll dispense with all the jokes,

And I'll give you the number one,

California Native Son,

With no further ado,

I will introduce to you,

John Steinbeck, John Steinbeck, Oh-ho,

Native son, number one, John Steinbeck.

 

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OUTRO:

Ladies, gents, and folks,

We are done with all the jokes,

Say goodbye to the number one,

California Native Son.

With no further ado,

We will say adieu to you,

John Steinbeck, John Steinbeck, Oh-ho,

Native son, number one, John Steinbeck.

 

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