My favorite Harry Chapin song of all time. Wish it was louder.
By Mike Gibson
As a young man, I was into the music of Chapin.
Not Chopin. Chapin. Harry Chapin.
Saw him at a concert at the old Temple University Music Festival. He played there about six or seven times and I saw every Chapin concert.
There was something about his music that touched a, pardon the expression, chord with me.
The old Temple Music Festival drew huge crowds.
Temple University photo
All My Life's A Circle, Taxi, etc., great, great songs.
A Chapin concert was an almost spiritual experience. No one put on a show like Harry. He'd do six, seven, eight encores. Plenty of good-looking women at these concerts, too. Just a fun, fun time.
As long as the roadies and the crew were into it, Harry would play.
The songs, to me, are timeless.
There was one thing, though, I wondered about Harry, who died in an automobile accident on the Long Island Expressway on July 16, 1981.
After every concert, there'd be a big gathering in the back of the tent, what is now the Ambler Campus parking lot. Chapin would sell T-Shirts and other memorabilia to combat "World Hunger."
At first, I was really into it.
"Yeah, let's eliminate world hunger," I'd say after the first year.
Then the second year came.
And the third.
And the fourth.
Harry collected all this money and world hunger was getting worse, not better.
Billions and billions of dollars were collected for world hunger by well-meaning Harry Chapins of the world and it was not solving the problem.
Heck, it wasn't even making a dent into the problem.
I came to the conclusion that there are some things you could throw money at and not make a difference, like World Hunger.
That there are other problems that money could solve.
Like Temple Football.
After that Epiphany, I came to the conclusion if I ever had millions I could throw half of what I had toward Temple football and I could solve much of what had ailed the Owls over these last 25 years.
Think about it. Saturday's powerball is now $365 million. If I win, I promise right now to give Temple football, via the Xtra Point Drive, half.
What could Temple football buy with a, say, $182 million donation?
- Here are some ideas:
- Half payment (about $90 million) on a 40K campus stadium, to be completed sometime after Temple's current 15-year lease runs out at Lincoln Financial Field;
- 10,000 season tickets to be given to the 10,000 students currently living on campus or players on high school football teams in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware in order to create a cadre of young fans;
- Enough commercial minutes to sponsor live TV for every Temple road game (to also help build a following);
- A weekly coaches show on Comcast with current coach Al Golden providing highlights and commentary on each Owl game;
- A revolving contract that would reward Golden, and his staff, based on performance and guarantee that if the performance (i.e., wins) warrants it, Temple would have the financial resources to match whatever offer he'd get elsewhere.
Unlike its impact on world hunger, money would help Temple build a following and win and winning would solve Temple's football image problem. It bears repeating the powerball for Saturday is $365 million.
I know there's not a snowball's chance in heck I'll win but, if I do, do I really need the $365 million to live a lifestyle that would make me happy?
All I need is a modest hurricane-proof house in the Tampa area for seven months a year, a new Subaru and a new place in the Poconos.
The Florida house would be $500K, the Subaru $20K, the place in the Poconos $500K. Max. Throw in a couple million a year for spending money for the next 10 years and I'm good to go.
What else would make me happy?
A rampaging group of angry Owls kicking some serious college football butt, exacting their revenge for 15 years of humiliation with 15 years of glorious victories.
I know it's selfish, but it's my money.
I'd settle for half the lottery winnings, minus annuity and taxes and the like and give half to Temple football.
Sorry, world hunger.
Been there, done that.