Flight Plan


  23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th February, 1st March, 2015











Rod & Boots photographed by Christian Tabor February 13, 2013
2013 Stanyan Music Group. All Rights Reserved

A Thought for Today

Anything that is done with love is done with care.


Rod McKuen



Some thoughts and memories from Shasta, Sherilyn and Debbie.


I traveled with McKuen from book to book, song to song and may have met him in the early 1970's at ASCAP in Nashville.

I was 27 years old promoting my country songs and my book of poetry and lyrics. I taught myself how to write from reading his words and listening to his music. He was my mentor, he will live on forever in my heart. Thank you for your kindness and friendship.


Shasta Sue Moles


I first saw Rod at a book signing in ATL in 1970 and met him a couple of years later, again in ATL, after his concert. He was so warm, so engaging, as he invited audience to stick around and chat. Yes, he and his Converse tennis shoes were the epitome of Southern charm.

Rod is the only 'star' to whom I ever sent a written letter (yes, before computers!), and he responded.

Over the next 4 decades, I was fortunate to see him perform a few more times in both ATL and SF. The last eye-to-eye with RM was the Spring of 2004, in SF, at Rusting in the Rain book signing.

When I first read RM poetry (a book from a 'boyfriend'), Rod was 'owned by' Mr. Kelly, his Old English Sheepdog. That is significant because through his love of the OES, I became almost obsessed with those magnificent dogs. I made chances to thank Rod for all the love I've shared over the years--a total of six shaggy boys--two of which were paediatric therapy dogs. Rod's caring ways definitely influenced me in positive ways. Now, I have little ZigZag, who got a weekend of RM music, and tempered Mommy's tears! Rod introduced me to the love of sharing love with dogs. Hallelujah!

Then, as thousands of readers know, Rod's writing truly digs into one's soul. Years ago, I'd conveyed some Rod-isms! and books to a post-Viet Nam friend, who suffered tremendously. About 40 years later, he still claims that some of Rod's wisdom enabled a friend to 'get it' that fighting his depression and living life again WAS what he needed to do. Hallelujah!

Equally as profound for me personally, in reading/enjoying his earlier writing and music, Rod's love for San Francisco permeated my soul in a myriad of wonderful ways. I just had to see Stanyan Street and Sausalito. I scheduled vacations to be in SF when Rod was appearing. As noted above, I even relocated to SF and spent 16 of the most wonderful years of my life there. I got to thank Rod many times. The experiences and friends I loved (including Rod's dear friend, Bruce Bellingham, an ASPTL writer) have enriched my life. Thank you, again, dear Rod. Hallelujah!

I'm slightly easing my grief by vowing to continue to share Rod's open-hearted goodness in hopes of continuing to make others happy. And, Ken, Edward and all of the ASPTL and Stanyan House supporters, thank you! for helping keep us near to Rod via the website. Now, our hearts will continue to keep him near.

Love, love, love,


Dear Ken,

It was quite a shock for all of use to lose Rod. He managed to join and touch the hearts of so many people all over the world, including myself.

I first heard of Rod McKuen in the early '70s when I was lent a copy of Stanyan Street and Other Sorrows. As an impressionable teen I then typed out my own copy, started buying books of Rod's poetry and then albums wherever I could find them. I must have indulged fairly thoroughly as I can still read, almost by memory, those words that touched the soul.

I played "Greatest HIts Vol 1." to my parents disgust until it was worn out. Rod's voice, sincerity and almost everything about him hit me like a rock. Then he came to Sydney for the Opera House opening series of concerts and my group of friends all went, dressed up to the nines. That concert was worth every penny and more.

Well the years past, and about 18 years ago I bought a computer. The first thing I looked up was Rod McKuen. I landed in a Safe Place to Land and never did stay away for very long. What an amazing person, we exchanged emails a few times and Rod was always kind enough to reply.

Indeed I met a few McKuen people and find them all kindred souls. I do sincerely hope the web page continues due to your kind efforts. We will miss that man and never forget him or stop loving him.

All the very best,

Debbie Sweeney

Click on the Stanyan House logo to buy Rod McKuen books, CD's and lots more

Click on the heart logo to subscribe to the Rod McKuen mailing list

More Rod McKuen info!




notable birthdays

Monday 23 February

Sylvia Chase o Regine Crespin o W.E.B. DuBois o Victor Fleming o Peter Fonda o Jon Hall o George Frederic Handel o Karl Jaspers o Ed “Too Tall” Jones o Howard Jones o Tommy McCarthy o Samuel Pepys o Patricia Richardson o John Sandford o William L. Shirer o Martin Sidwell o Donna J. Stone o Diane Varsi o Johnny Winter o Jim Youngblood

Tuesday 24 February

Barry Bostwick o Enrico Caruso o Linda Cristal o James Farentino o Wilhelm Grimm o Rupert Holmes o Winslow Homer o Steven Jobs o Mark Lane o Charles LeBrun o Michel Legrand o Joe Lieberman o Marjorie Main o Pico della Mirandola o George Moore o Victor Moore o Eddie Murray o Chester Nimitz o Edward James Olmos o Lance Reventlow o Zachary Scott o Renata Scotto o Richard Shull o Joanie Sommers o Abe Vigoda o Billy Zane

Wednesday 25 February

Jim Backus o Diane Baker o Anthony Burgess o Tom Courtenay o Benedetto Croce o Adele Davis o John Foster Dulles o Mildred Dunnock o Gert Frobe o Larry Gelbart o Christopher George o Carlo Goldoni o Philip Habib o Chelsea Handler o George Harrison o Justin Jeffre o Neil Jordan o Lisa Kirk o Nancy Ann Lauritzen o Tea Leoni o Zeppo Marx o Tommy Newsom o Sally Jessy Raphael o Pierre Auguste Renoir o Emitt Rhodes o Bobby Riggs o Ron Santo o Bob Schieffer o Faron Young

Thursday 26 February

Robert Alda o Erykah Badu o Lazer Berman o Michael Bolton o Buffalo Bill (William Frederick Cody) o Godfrey Cambridge o Madeleine Carroll o Johnny Cash o Mark Dacascos o Fats Domino o William Frawley o Jackie Gleason o Victor Hugo o Betty Hutton o Margaret Leighton o Priscilla Lopez o Tony Randall o Witold Rowicki o Mitch Ryder o Sandie Shaw o Bingo Smith o Levi Strauss o Robert A. Taft, Jr.

Friday 27 February

Marion Anderson o Joan Bennett o Chelsea Clinton o Peter DeVries o William Demarest o Lawrence Durrell o Mary Frann o Mirelia Freni o Reginald Gardiner o James Leo Herlihy o Howard Hesseman o Lotte Lehmann o Henry Wadsworth Longfellow o Ralph Nader o David Sarnoff o Irwin Shaw o Grant Show o John Steinbeck o Elizabeth Taylor o Franchot Tone o Van Williams o Joanne Woodward

Saturday 28 February

Mario Andretti o Stephanie Beacham o Milton Caniff o Ray Dawn Chong o Charles Durning o John Fahey o Ketti Frings o Gilbert Gottfried o Ben Hecht o Brian Jones o Robert Sean Leonard o Eric Lindros o Gavin MacLeod o George Malcolm o Vincente Minnelli o Michael D. Montaigne o Zero Mostel o Linus Pauling o Bernadette Peters o Earl Scheib o Bubba Smith o Joe South o Stephen Spender o Svetlana Stalin o Dorothy Stratten o Tommy Tune o John Turturro

Sunday 1 March

Jensen Ackles o Cathy Bach o Harry Belafonte o Dirk Benedict o Booker T. o Harry Caray o Robert Clary o Robert Conrad o Roger Daltry o Ralph Ellison o Mark Paul Gosselaar o Joan Hackett o Ron Howard o Nik Kershaw o Robert Lowell o Glenn Miller o David Niven o Donovan Patton o Pete Rozelle o Raymond St. Jacques o Dinah Shore o Deke Slayton o Alan Thicke

Rod's random thoughts
The best guest we’ve been given is understanding. Alas we do not use it often enough.

Without the singer, there is no song.

In love there are as many majors and minors as there are in any symphony.


It's only the rope
finally uncoiling,
the glacier melting at last.
It's only the wind
licking its fingers.
The bird in silent prayer.
The mudlark down
by the river's edge
helping to build the farm.

Only the boatman
crossing the river,
passengers arriving
at The Isle of the Dead.
The derelict hanging out
at the station
thinking God lives
in package stores,
grocery shops.

It's only the boy
who promised forever
losing you in his
soft blue eyes.
Only the dustman
emptying cans.
A little band
at the corner playing
beautiful, difficult lullabies.

Only the miracle
you always prayed for
but certainly didn't expect.
It's only the lovers
down in the park
giving their summer performance.
Only the girl
with blood stained eyes
saying the song is over.

It's only the roadway
still unpaved
with holes the size
of empty pockets.
Only the locket
you lost or pawned
with nobody's picture
still inside of it
struggling to get free.

Only the spout
of the teakettle whistling,
holding the cup
and saucer hostage.
It's only the cat's eye
fixed on a hen
with spangled plumage,
a red hat on
and no party to attend.

It's only the artichoke
peeled by experts
dropped in the gutter
and sailing beyond
the neighborhood corner,
the edge of the world.
It's only the sound
of the head exploding.

It's only erosion
having its way,
invisible algae eating the sea,
having The State
for bed and breakfast.
Only the melon
being recalled
back to Detroit for repairs.
Nothing but Armageddon.

It's only the shadows
turning to substance
as darkness shudders
and closes its hand.
The eye of the hurricane blackened.
Only the beast
you keep in the basement
coming topside for air.

A messenger only
coming from heaven
to shore up our dreams
and take us away.
Speak in a softer language.
Smile without showing your tongue.
It's only me
on a Thursday evening
coming to you
with a bright smile on.

-from "Valentines," 1986


© 1970, 1986, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2010, 2013 by Stanyan Music Group & Rod McKuen. All Rights Reserved
Webmaster: Ken Blackie • Media Consultant & Sound Supervisor Eric Yeager • Birthday Research by Wade Alexander • Poems from the collection of Jay Hagan • Stanyan House: Ben McMillan • Editor at Large: Bruce Bellingham • Emeritus: Melinda Smith

Want to comment on today's Flight Plan?
See our Contact Page for how to contact Rod or Ken.

home page   today's flight plan   flight plan archives   search this site   site map