Very few people know that three cousins are all famous piano players: Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and Jimmy Swaggart. They grew up together in Farriday, Louisiana and learned piano there. Legend has it that Mrs. Gilley, who worked as a waitress bought the piano the three of them learned on.
I’m not a church-going person for a lot of reasons I won’t go into in a public forum like this, but I am a very spiritual person. When an ex girlfriend’s mother asked me if I was “born again” my answer to her was “my creator and I have never argued.”
One type of music I love is gospel. It’s the roots of rock and roll and rhythm and blues. So many of the greats of those genres came out of the gospel tradition…Sam Cooke, Solomon Burke, Patti LaBelle and the greatest of all Aretha. In fact I have a recording of Aretha singing in her father’s church at the age of 15. She’s singing Precious Lord and it makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You could tell at that age she was something special.
When I lived in New Orleans I went to the Jazz Fest every year. My favorite venue was the Gospel Tent. I would go almost every day throughout the festival and always spent a lot of time in the Gospel Tent. It was the rockingest place in the entire Fair Grounds. The last year I went, ’85, I was there five times and the only time I left the tent was to go see Roy Orbison.
Here, then, are the three cousins doing their gospel best.
Personally I’m the kind of sailor that likes cruising. Finding quiet, out of the way places preferably with palm trees on the edge of a reef. But that’s just me. On the other hand I also think it’s fantastic that people can go outrageously fast on the water under sail…like this:
I loved this song by Meatloaf from the first time I heard it. Memories of my high school days flooded back of dark lanes and the sand dunes back home where Ida Jane and I saw Paradise by the Dashboard Light…
Well, it’s Friday and time for another Dylan Winters episode. I actually thought about skipping this jump of his as it’s not exceptionally interesting except for his observation at the end about a large apartment complex on the water, not unlike how developers have managed to screw up a great deal of the coast line of the eastern US and the Gulf Coast so I opted to include it here.
I have lived in southeast Florida, off and on, since I arrived in August of 1961 to attend the University of Miami. (Notice I said attend, not study. I had a real good time and learned absolutely nothing except that driving out to Crandon Park in a convertible with the top down in February beat slogging through the snow to go to classes in Missouri where I’d spent the previous winter.)
Through the years people have asked the question, “How can you stand the summers there? Isn’t it horribly hot?”
I would always answer, truthfully, that I had never seen it hit 1oo here. Close, but never made it to the century mark. I’ve seen it get to 100 on Cape Cod when I was a kid. Same thing in Chicago and New Orleans when I lived there. Every summer all over the United States it hit’s 100, but our southeast breezes off the Atlantic always keeps us just under the magic number. Sure, the “heat index,” summer’s answer to the “wind chill” factor…the “feels like” temperature will be over 100 degrees, but the mercury, what the temperature actually is, has always stayed below 100.
That is until yesterday. At 4:59 p.m. at the Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, the official National Weather Service reporting station it hit 100 tying the record set on August 4, 1944! The temperature actually reached 101 degrees in Fort Lauderdale but only for a few minutes, said meteorologist Brad Diehl of the National Weather Service in Miami.
“It didn’t retain that value long enough to count,” he said.
The heat index came in at 111 degrees.
It’s been raining all morning today and the temperature is clocking in at a comfortable 74.
I have been avoiding doing anything about the subject of legendery boat designer Phil Bolger since he took his own life May 24th. It seemed as if everyone who has a boat site on the web did their tribute to Phil. My main contributor, Ken Hulme, sent a post which I declined to put on here because I didn’t want to add to the overload.
Earlier today I stumbled across the site http://www.furledsails.com/. The site has 148 “podcasts” all relating in one way or another with boats, boating and the people involded in same. There are two very interesting interviews with Phil Bolger to be found here. If you have an iPod you can listen to Phil and his sylibant “esses” and maybe learn a thing or two.
The other podcasts, like with Lin and Larry Pardey, Ted Brewer and Chay Blyth and John Guzzewell who sailed his Trekka into yachting history are also there, too.