Wednesday, February 01, 2012


Suicide is not funny, but "A Long Way Down" by Nick Hornby has a lot of humor. Story centers on four people who met on New Years Eve atop a tall building all intending to end it all by jumping. One of the jumpers calls another a bag lady intending to insult her. Other than that, nothing about homelessness in the story thus far. Almost done reading it, but as has been the case with most books I have read lately, story getting boring.

Lots of interesting stuff, thoughts to ponder within novel's pages. I stopped reading last night to look up Beck's Suicidal Intention Scale or questionnaire thinking it might be a bit of fiction and found that it was not. I was thinking of my blog post on the topic, which I may do at some other time.

This post interrupted by unexpected news of a suicide ~ apparently Mr. Soul Train, himself, Don Cornelius put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger. No peace? No love? Gave up his soul for eternal hell fire ~ if one believes in that type of thing.

I was just thinking upon the man the other night as I watched a Soul Train music video. I guess I think about him whenever I watch a Soul Train music video ~ but that night I re-listened to the video ~ just to study his face, listen to his voice, without re-watching the group's performance. I am so old I no longer recall watching the show with my oldest daughter, but we must have ~ many a time. Many years into her adulthood she started signing cards "love, peace, and soul" ~ something I had forgotten Cornelius said at the end of Soul Train episodes.

Back then when people asked me what kind of music I liked, I did not know. After going through my 45RPM  record collection, I decided I like Soul music ~ heavy on the Motown, Tamla, Soul, Gordy ~ other artists like Lou Rawls, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Sam Cooke ~ I had exactly one Beatles 45. Only competition was with Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Thus when Soul Train hit the television airwaves, it was an instant hit with me.

Don Cornelius made a positive difference in the life of others. After years of an all-white American Bandstand, there was now a show for black teens to showcase their dancing styles. Yes, Bandstand featured black artists as did Ed Sullivan, but it must have been odd for a black child to watch Jackie Wilson singing to an all white audience ~ all those white kids dancing to a black artist's tunes. Soul Train went in the opposite direction; seldom saw a white face on the dance floor or performing.

Lots of white people like R&B, jazz and Motown artists, so I am sure Cornelius' show reached out to an interracial audience. So sad that he decided his life was not worth living anymore. May he rest in peace that he lost here on earth.

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