Rubinoff Friendship with Will Rogers and His Special Poem

Rubinoff Friendship

Rubinoff friendship with Will Rogers and Will’s Special Poem can help all of us:

Perhaps the words engraved on a pocket watch given to my mentor Rubinoff and His Violin by Will Rogers in 1932 is most appropriate to quote for all of us at this time. Rubinoff admired Will Rogers specifically and all American Indians in general. His apartment was decorated with famous American Indian paintings. Dave even had himself painted as an  American Indian chief, feathers and all. Will, of Cherokee background, was Rubinoff’s mentor in stagecraft. This favorite poem is called The Clock of Life by George H. Candler. What a momento to my own Rubinoff friendship!.

Rubinoff friendship
This is one of many pictures of Rubinoff (left) posing with Will Rogers. Here, Will is attempting to play the violin.

Rubinoff Friendship Poem with Will Rogers

Rubinoff friendship with Will Rogers is etched on the back of  this pocket watch.
Rubinoff friendship with Will Rogers is etched on the back of this pocket watch. as a poem. A young David Ohrenstein heard this poem at every concert given with this famed violinist of the 1930’s. The picture of Dave and me is from the 1980’s

The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power;
To tell just when the hands will stop,
At late or early hour.

Now is the only time we own.
Love, live; toil with a will,
Do not wait until tomorrow,
For the clock may then be still.

The same year (1932) that Will gave Dave the pocket watch; Will took an airplane trip bound to Alaska with his friend Wiley Post. Needless to say, the clock of life stopped for Will and Wiley that same summer: The plane crashed on the way to Alaska. At every concert, Rubinoff recited these inspirational words. I worked with Dave and heard this poem at countless concerts until his passing away in 1986. 

Internal link: Cotton Club Carousing for Rubinoff

External Link: Confusing Complexity with too Many Sharps & Flats

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