The Rest of the Story

Other than the half-time show and the last ten minutes of the 4th quarter, I didn’t watch much of the Super Bowl yesterday, which means I didn’t see any of the commercials. There’s always so much build-up, so much hoopla about the millions of dollars advertisers spend for a thirty second spot, but to my mind, most of the commercials are unremarkable.

I talked to the Senator this morning and he asked if I’d seen the Paul Harvey commercial about farmers.

“Who’s Paul Harvey?” I said.

The Senator gasped. “You’ve never heard of Paul Harvey? You’ve never heard of Paul Harvey and ‘The Rest of the Story’?????”

“I don’t think so,” I said, ashamed of myself.  “At least not that I remember.”

The Senator went on to explain that Paul Harvey was a radio broadcaster who had a twice-daily radio show called “News and Comment,” and another show called “The Rest of the Story,” during which he told a story, revealing only at the very end, the identity of the person whose life he’d just talked about.  He always ended the segment by saying, “And now you know the rest of the story.”

“I listened to him all the time when I was a kid,” the Senator said. “Maybe you had to live in a rural area to hear him. Everyone listened to Paul Harvey.  ‘And now you know the rest of the story.’ Man, I can’t believe you never heard of him.”

After The Senator and I hung up, I found this YouTube video of a Paul Harvey broadcast. It’s pretty “All American” if you know what I mean, but I liked it anyway.  Have a listen.

Anyway, back to what I was saying about Super Bowl commercials . . .  As you already know, I have a thing about farming.  Maybe it’s a fantasy; maybe it’s just me being naive and a hopeless romantic, but there’s something about working with my hands, with the land, watching things grow, that I’ve always found appealing. I’m not interested in raising animals–that’s waaaaaaay too much work.  But a little plot of fruits and vegetables?  I’d seriously consider it.  But, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I got a little choked up when I watched this commercial. It’s a bit sappy, but the photographs are beautiful (there’s even one of strawberry farmers in Independence, Louisiana!) and I think it captures that thing about farm life that is part of the American imagination.

P.S.  I’d change two little things about this commercial.  I’d change the word “he” to “she,” and “son” to “daughter.”  I’m just saying . . .


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