Come Sail Away

I’m Sailing Away
Set an open course for the virgin sea
‘Cause I’ve got to be free
Free to face a life, that’s ahead of me

I loved Come Sail Away by Styx when it came out in 1977. I loved it so much that once I had I saved enough birthday money, I walked two miles to the downtown record and pipe shop and bought The Grand Illusion on cassette.  It was the first money I ever spent on music.

On board I’m the captain
So climb aboard
We’ll search for tomorrow
On every shore

And I’ll try,.. oh Lord, I’ll try
To Carry On

The song lyrically captured how I saw my future at age nine: Scanning the horizon, wind in my golden flowing hair, dagger strapped to my waist, my trusty parrot and I gazing confidently into the future. A sentinel. A colossus. A leader among men.

I look to the sea
Reflections in the waves strike my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends, and the dreams we had

The childhood dreams we had?  Well, I wanted to be one of the Hardy Boys and I recall my brother dreamed of building a Hot Wheels track from the top of the Empire State Building.

And we’ll try
Best that we can
To Carry On

< guitar solo >

What exactly did I need to carry on from?  Fourth grade?  The cancellation of Battlestar Galactica?  I’m not sure. But I was sure that this song defined me. It was my guidepost to the future.

As it turns out, the future self I pictured at age 9 didn’t quite come to pass. I don’t have flowing locks, though at 17 I did sport a sweet mullet.  And instead of piloting a noble galleon through uncharted waters, I just try to back my Hyundai down the driveway without hitting the mailbox.  Still, life is better than I imagined.

Figure 1. The closest I ever came to being a buccaneer

I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that it’s been a difficult year, a difficult summer, and an exhausting, terrible last few weeks in particular for many of us, especially those of you from my hometown.  These are real, complicated problems, unlike those I faced as a kid. But in each case our approach needs to be the same.

Going forward, this week and onwards, we’ll try, best that we can, To Carry On.

< guitar solo >

Thanks for reading,



P.S.> Featured Product: This bumper sticker makes me laugh:

P.P.S.> Featured Cartoon:  This one was published in Private Eye magazine, the UK’s top periodical for cartoons:

A reader liked it so much they wrote the magazine to say: 

” ‘Flasher’ cartoon on the letters page…what a masterpiece.  I keep my back-issues as I plan one day to plaster the best cartoons on the bathroom walls in lieu of wallpaper. Pride of place will be reserved for this cartoon, just above the loo-roll holder.”

I don’t usually try to make a point with my cartoons, but in this one I was saying a little something about two modern trends- how ‘authenticity and vulnerability’ in expression, and people’s desire to be non-judgmental, can both go a little too far at times. 

P.P.P.S>  As always, to help my middle-age dreams come true, please support my comics, the stuff I make, and this newsletter!  Or just drop me a line to say hi and/or share your love or hatred of Styx.