Driving north on old Highway 1 in Philadelphia, en route to visiting my nursing-home-bound father, I fiddled with the FM tuner.  The goal: finding the university radio station where I’d hosted a country-music show three decades earlier, before moving to the other side of the country and abandoning youthful DJ dreams.

After a string of tracks by edgy artists I’d never heard of, the twentysomething radio host selected a 45-year-old song, John Prine’s “Hello in There,” from the artist’s great debut album of 1971—picked by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest albums of all time. It was an appropriate homage in the year when Prine turns 70, and his fellow septuagenarian Bob Dylan (who once backed Prine on harmonica), was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Prine’s lyrics set the stage for what my wife, our three young sons, and I would soon encounter at the old-age facility where my father is living out his waning months. 

Read more at The Wall Street Journal

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