Sad News

18 Years Ago

Sorry for the lack of recent posts, but Wifey and I have been painting the granddaughters rooms and making some major changes for them. But that will be another post here in a day or two.

I’m not filing this post under my usual “What’s Stuck In My Head” category, although it would fit nicely there. This is a remembrance post for one of my guitar gods. It seems that on this day, 29 November, in 2001 we lost George Harrison. It was a tough day for me.

George was probably the second person to be put on my “guitar gods” list (Michael Nesmith of The Monkees was the first – I was very young when I started said list). The list isn’t ranked in any way. In fact it’s quite fluid as to who is on the top of the list at any given time. And don’t let the masculine term “god” worry you, there are ladies on the list as well.

George’s music, from the early Beatles, to his solo work, to The Traveling Wilburys is always on any of my playlists. “Don’t Bother Me” would be the first solo written credit, appearing on the 1963 album “With The Beatles”.

His “Handle With Care” was supposed to be a “B-Side” to European single but the record company said it was too good for a “B-Side”, and wanted an entire album. Thus was born The Traveling Wilburys.

I would imagine that the one song of George’s that everybody knows (even Frank Sinatra called the greatest love song ever written), would be Something. Written for his first wife, Patti Boyd. I believe Ms. Boyd should be known as the greatest muse of 70’s British rock and roll. Not only did George write this beautiful love song about her, Eric Clapton (another on the “guitar gods” list), penned the iconic “Layla” about Patti. Clapton wrote several other songs about her before, during, and after their marriage as well.

There are so many great songs of George’s to include in this post. It took a long time to decide which on to use. I picked this video because, one it’s a great track, and this live version has both Harrison and Clapton. And you can’t go wrong with two guitar gods! Enjoy!

Peace,
B

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Where Were You?

I’m sure there are many videos, articles, blog posts, and even conversations about the events of 22 November, 1963. All of them will be better than this one. I remember where I was on that day. When I heard that the 35th President of the United States had been assassinated.

I was sitting in my 1st grade classroom. Luckily back in those days, we didn’t have streaming news everywhere. My little school had maybe 5 black and white TVs on carts that they would move around the school (usually the upper grades used them more than the 1st or 2nd grades). So I’m not sure if any of the students were watching live. It would have been about 1:30PM when it went down (eastern time).

I do remember the announcement that was broadcast over the loud speaker about the assassination. It didn’t really mean that much to me at that point in time. I was 5. I knew what the president was, I knew his name, but that was it. I was not yet emotionally synced with the adult world. But the adults were in shock. There wasn’t much schooling accomplished that day.

The two things that captured my young mind were first; it was Friday, just like this year. And Friday meant grocery night. Even as a young kid, I have always enjoyed going to the grocery store. As the baby of the family my mom took me everywhere with her. When we went to the grocery, I felt like I had a hand in planning the meals for the week. I really didn’t, but it felt that way. Mom would ask me if I wanted a particular dish that week. No matter what I answered, mom bought what she wanted. Her queries were nothing more than to keep me occupied. But I still enjoy the event.

More importantly to my 5 year old brain was the fact that the next Monday would be my 6th birthday. That meant a party, and gifts, and food!!! Did I mention presents?!?!?!

But then came the funeral procession on that Monday. And it was on the TV in the family room. And that’s when it all hit me, and hard. I vividly remember lying on the living room sofa crying my eyes out. When my mom asked what I was crying about, all I could say was “They shot the president!”. She sat down with me and held me until it was over. And her mentioning the upcoming party made it that much quicker.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy may not have been the best president we’ve had, but he certainly isn’t the worst either. It may be the way his legacy has been passed down that I see him in such a favorable light. It is tough to disparage a leader when they’re cut down at the height of popularity. His involvement/build up in Vietnam polarized my generation and left great rifts between generations. But the social reforms he started, albeit way too slowly, are still encouraging democratic leaders today.

In some small way, I still miss him.

Peace,
B

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Lest We Forget

4 May 1970 members of the Ohio Army National Guard opened fire on unarmed student demonstrators at Kent State University, Ohio.

I am not going to lay the blame for this tragedy on any person or origination. Events like this are never simply the responsibility of a single entity. While there may be a single source for the idea, whether it be a book, a person, or an ideology, there were bad decisions on both sides.

I believe the students at Kent State, who had a history of protests (which was their right!), up against the National Guard troops who were mostly young guys as well. The 60’s and early 70’s were a very tough time for America. And I sadly see some of the same ideologies coming back.

I had a graphic arts teacher in 1971 that was a member of that class at Kent State. He brought in the year book from 1970. Where the pictures should have been for the four students that were killed, were just black boxes.

In total, four students were killed, and nine wounded. This image has been forever burned in my mind.

May it never happens again. Anywhere.

Peace,
B

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R.I.P. Buster Cat

Last night we lost our buddy Skitz. He was brutally attacked and killed by a stray dog.

Skittlez as son-the-younger® named him came to us about 14 years ago when he was found 0221151122.jpgas son-the-younger® was leaving work one night. Someone had left a box of very young kittens outside of his work. The kittens were all taken home by other workers, we were lucky enough to get Skitz.

For the first three years living with us, Skitz was an inside cat. Then one day he had to do the cat thing. He just had to know what was on the other side of that door. He remained an outside cat for 10 years or so. And then about a year ago he decided he wanted to sleep in a nice comfortable bed again, and he became an inside/outside cat. He would go in and out damn near every time the door was opened. A lot like a kid, going in and out, in and out, knocking anyone and anything out of his way.

During his outside phase, he would hang out with us when we would be grilling, or just on the back porch. He was always a very social cat. He loved to sit beside you or just lay around where you could scratch his ears.

As sad as I am at his passing, the thing that bothers me the most is the way he went. To be attacked and killed is not something I wish on any living creature. I can only hope that the care that we gave him in his last moments help take away the fear he must have had.

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I will miss my buster cat greatly. He won’t be there when I’m running my smoker. But I know one day I’ll see that same sparkle in the eye of another cat. The little sly look that says “Give me treats, dude!”

 

Peace,
B

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A Sad Day In Music History

27 August 1990 – the day Stevie Ray Vaughan died.

Son-the-younger was almost named for Stevie, but at the last-minute we changed it to honor his maternal grandfather.

From http://ultimateclassicrock.com/stevie-ray-vaughan-dies/

After the second of two shows on Aug. 26, everyone from Vaughan and Clapton’s bands and crews boarded four nearby helicopters to take them to Chicago. Vaughan himself was on a craft with Clapton’s agent, bodyguard and assistant tour manager. Reports indicate that there was fog and haze as they departed around 1 a.m. and attempted to fly over a 1,000-foot ski hill.

The helicopter didn’t make it — it veered to the left and crashed into the hill. Everybody on board was killed, including the pilot. An air patrol team wouldn’t locate the accident site until hours later. No drugs or alcohol were involved in the tragic crash. And contrary to rumors, Clapton did not hand over his seat to Vaughan.

One of my favorites of Stevie’s The Sky Is Crying

Peace,
B

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