Boys don’t cry, unless they do


“I’ll do my crying in the rain,” the Everly Brothers said.

Not me. I can cry on a cloudless day. How about you?

“It must be raindrops,” Dee Clark said, “it can’t be teardrops, for a man ain’t supposed to cry.”

Ah, but Roy Orbison was closer to the truth: “It’s hard to understand, but the touch of your hand, can start me crying.”

Raise your hand if you cry.

I cry, and Harry wonders why, when I watch old movies.

Take my challenge: watch “City Lights” and be sure to stick around for the ending, one of the most famous in cinema history.

It’s one of Charlie Chaplin’s best films. The flower girl was played by Virginia Cherrill, whom Chaplin fired after filming began, then rehired when he realized she was the one.

I’ll cry if I watch one of those manipulative videos on YouTube that shows a dog being reunited with its family.

The video and call of Secretariat’s Belmont Stakes win in 1973 gets to me.

Jason McElwain.

The first time I watched highlights of his basketball game ending heroics in 2006 it was Niagara Falls.

The headline read, “Autistic basketball player Jason McElwain has game of his life.”

He came in off the bench, and, well, what happened looked staged. See for yourself.

Homemade movies, especially of my father, do it to me too. I don’t have very many of them but they work.

My father and mother died at about the time I bought my first digital camera, so the majority of existing photographs of the Smith family are the printed kind.

There’s one of my father sitting in the stands at a University of Michigan football game with people all around him. But his light-colored hat and coat, and steady gaze and smile at his son who is taking the picture make it look like a competent cinematographer knew how to key on the star.

C.S. Lewis said, “Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.”

My mother cried; my father rarely. They balanced each other in a crisis.

She showed genuine human emotion, but was incapable of solving the problem.

Dad remained calm and solved the problem.

My mother could cry a river. My father teared up a few times, that was it.

“He’s already home,’ Meryl Streep says to Dustin Hoffman at the end of “Kramer vs. Kramer.”

That did it.

I’m mindful that some directors and writers aim for sentimentality. It rarely works on me if I think that’s what’s going on.

A song that comes on unexpectedly is more likely to do it if I can relate it to someone or something.

My father was a Michigan man. The school’s fight song gets to me.

Sad news, bad news affects me, and there’s usually a lot to choose from.

“Family IDs 6-year-old boy shot to death in apparent road rage incident on 55 Freeway in Orange.”

The first time I heard details about Sandy Hook.

The Cure: “I try to laugh about it, cover it all up with lies, I try to laugh about it, hiding the tears in my eyes, ‘cause boys don’t cry.”

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at ­

Craig Marshall Smith, Highlands Ranch,


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