The song was titled "Did You Ever Have the Feeling That You Wanted to Stay?" The lyrics include the line: "Did you ever have the feeling that you wanted to go, and then you had the feeling that you wanted to stay?"
These words come from a song made famous by Durante in a 1944 film titled "Two Girls and a Sailor." It had earlier been sung by Durante in another movie, 1942’s "The Man Who Came to Dinner", with Monty Woolley, Ann Sheridan, and Bette Davis.
I share all of this because it sets up a wonderful story that demonstrates how life can sometimes imitate art.
It seems that, at the close of World War II, famed performer Jimmy Durante was invited to entertain wounded soldiers at a certain veteran's hospital. He said he would be able to do only one very short routine as he had two radio shows to do that day.
For this reason, the man who invited him was amazed when Durante didn't rush off but rather gave three complete routines.
"Why did you stay so long," the man asked, "you've probably missed your radio shows?" Durante answered, "Look at the men and you will see for yourself."
There on the front row were two men, each of whom had lost an arm, who were applauding by clapping their two remaining hands together."
This Sunday is Veteran’s Day – the day we rightfully set aside to honor those who have served in the various branches of the Armed Forces in order that we may have the freedoms that we do.
As this appropriate day of recognition unfolds, make certain that you take the time to slow down and stay awhile, and spend a few moments with someone who deserves to be honored for their service and sacrifice on our behalf!
And, in yet another case of life imitating art, use your own hands to applaud them for what they have done when they themselves stayed put, sacrificed their own agenda, and served you and me!