GIVE TIL IT HURTS!

Southern gentleman

His hallowed name will resonate deeply in the hearts and minds of every proudly unreconstructed Southron forever and ever.

Robert E. Lee, in full Robert Edward Lee, (born January 19, 1807, Stratford Hall, Westmoreland county, Virginia, U.S.—died October 12, 1870, Lexington, Virginia), U.S. Army officer (1829–61), Confederate general (1861–65), college president (1865–70), and central figure in contending memory traditions of the American Civil War.

Robert Edward Lee was the son of Henry (“Light-horse Harry”) Lee and Ann Hill Carter Lee. His father had been a hero of the American Revolution and governor of Virginia, and uncles and other relatives had signed the Declaration of Independence, served in Congress, and otherwise achieved notable reputations. When Lee was age six, his father moved to the West Indies and never returned, leaving the family in financially straightened circumstances.

Lee entered the United States Military Academy in 1825 and graduated second in the class of 1829. Fellow cadets referred to him as the “Marble Model”—a nickname that reflected envy as well as admiration. Just under six feet (1.8 metres) tall, with black hair and brown eyes, Lee cut a striking figure. High class ranking entitled him to enter the Engineer Corps as a second lieutenant on July 1, 1829.

More than a decade and half passed before Lee saw a battlefield. Promotions to first lieutenant (September 21, 1836) and to captain (July 7, 1838) punctuated his peacetime engineering service. In June 1831 Lee married Mary Anna Randolph Custis, the only daughter of George Washington Parke Custis, the grandson of Martha Washington. The couple would share a 39-year marriage that produced four daughters and three sons. Lee took seriously the ties to George Washington, whom he sought to emulate throughout his life.

On May 13, 1846, the United States declared war on Mexico. Between March and September 1847, Lee served on the staff of Winfield Scott during a campaign that ended with the capture of Mexico City. Lee impressed superiors throughout these operations and won brevet promotions to major, lieutenant colonel, and colonel.

As sectional stresses related to the institution of slavery mounted in the 1850s, Lee held the superintendency of the United States Military Academy (1852–55) and later served as lieutenant colonel of the 2nd Cavalry in Texas. In 1859 he was in Washington, D.C., when the abolitionist John Brown mounted his raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia). Summoned to the War Department on October 17, Lee proceeded to Harpers Ferry with a detachment of Marines and the next morning orchestrated the capture of Brown, whom he described as an “enemy of the Country.”

Which, y’know, he in fact was, in light of the deadly and disastrous conflagration Brown’s murderous fanaticism helped to touch off.

Ever since Lee’s illustrious, entirely admirable conduct of himself as the CSA’s foremost general, he has been held up as a role model for young Southern boys, a pluperfect exemplar of what every Southern man should always strive to be. This is only meet and just, a well-earned plaudit for a true paragon among men. For me, the great Robert E Lee will always be a hero, plain and simple. Shitlib Yankees inclined to disparage him ought to pay careful heed to the righteous words of Merle Haggard.


PREACH it, brother.

2

Five years gone

I began working on this post earlier yesterday, Jan 15th being the actual anniversary date of Dolores O’Riordan’s death in 2018, but balked at finishing the damnable thing. For any fan of O’Riordan’s music (and I most definitely am that), let alone the family and friends who loved her best, it’s a most painful anniversary indeed. In the end, though, I just couldn’t let it go by unremarked.

What an incredible talent she was. From Wikipedia:

Dolores Mary Eileen O’Riordan (/ˈrɪərdən/ oh-REER-dən; 6 September 1971 – 15 January 2018) was an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. She was best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist for the alternative rock band the Cranberries. One of the most recognizable voices in rock in the 1990s, she was known for her lilting mezzo-soprano voice, signature yodel, emphasized use of keening, and strong Limerick accent.

O’Riordan was born in County Limerick, Ireland, to a Catholic working-class family. She began to perform as a soloist in her church choir before leaving secondary school to join the Cranberries in 1990. Recognised for her “unique” voice, she quickly achieved worldwide fame. During her lifetime, she released seven studio albums with the Cranberries, including four number-one albums. Over the years, she contributed to the release of Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? (1993), No Need to Argue (1994), To the Faithful Departed (1996), Bury the Hatchet (1999) and Wake Up and Smell the Coffee (2001) before taking a six-year hiatus starting in 2003.

O’Riordan’s first solo album, Are You Listening?, was released in May 2007 and was followed up by No Baggage in August 2009. She reunited with the Cranberries the same year. The band released Roses (2012) and went on a world tour. She appeared as a judge on RTÉ‘s The Voice of Ireland during the 2013–14 season. In April 2014, O’Riordan joined and began recording new material with the trio D.A.R.K. Throughout her life, she had to overcome personal challenges. O’Riordan struggled with depression and the pressure of her own success, and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2015. She subsequently released her last album with the group, Something Else (2017).

O’Riordan died from drowning due to alcohol intoxication in January 2018. The following year, the Cranberries released the Grammy-nominated album In the End (2019), featuring her final vocal recordings, and subsequently disbanded. With the Cranberries, O’Riordan sold more than 40 million albums worldwide during her lifetime; that total increased to almost 50 million albums worldwide as of 2019, excluding her solo albums. In the US, she was awarded fourteen Platinum album certifications by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and in Canada, ten Platinum certifications. In the UK, she received five Platinum certifications. She was honoured with the Ivor Novello International Achievement award, and in the months following her death, she was named “The Top Female Artist of All Time” on Billboard‘s Alternative Songs chart.

Tragically, Dolores had a pretty tough go of things, beginning early on in her life.

In 2013, O’Riordan told LIFE Magazine she was molested for four years starting when she was 8 years old by someone whom she trusted.

The rocker often talked about how motherhood was her priority, and also said having children changed her life for the better. “The kids were actually completely elemental in my healing process,” she told LIFE about trying to move on from the abuse.

In 2011, O’Riordan was also devastated after losing her father Terence to cancer. “I felt him around me a lot for a while. I could feel him trying to protect me and communicate with me,” she told Billboard last year.

She also revealed to the Belfast Telegraph that she “tried to overdose” in 2013, but that she was “meant to stay here for the kids.”

Additionally, she opened up to the outlet about her struggles with substance abuse. “I am pretty good but sometimes I hit the bottle,” she said. “Everything is way worse the next morning. I have a bad day when I have bad memories and I can’t control them and I hit the bottle. I kind of binge drink. That is kind of my biggest flaw at the moment.”

But enough of all that sort of thing. When we remember Dolores O’Riordan, let it be her soaring, lovely voice which transcends the despair for us, lighting up mortal darkness in the way that only music can ever do.



Rest easy, Dolores, and be ye now and forevermore at peace.

1

Happy 100th birthday

To the incomparable Charles Schultz.

The 100th anniversary of the late cartoonist Charles Schulz’s birthday came and went last week without any notice anywhere, that I saw. And so, with thanks to Mark, I pen my own little tribute here to one of the great creative geniuses in American history.

If you were young at any time between 1950 (when Schulz first began publishing his comic strip Peanuts) and 2000, when Schulz died at the age of 77, you grew up in a world in which everyone read the latest Peanuts comic strip (particularly in the US and Canada) as part of their daily newspaper reading ritual.

In that world, Peanuts comic strip panels—carefully cut from the newspaper—adorned refrigerators, bedroom walls, lockers, office bulletin boards, everywhere you went; Peanuts characters adorned T-shirts and lunch boxes; Peanuts references peppered everyday conversations; and Peanuts television specials attracted as many adult viewers as child viewers.

Most remarkably, in that world, Peanuts story lines, themes, and characters resided so deeply in the North American psyche, they had come to serve as crucial cognitive tools for enabling people to experience, make sense of, and communicate about themselves and the world around them.

On that last point, think of how many times you’ve said, or heard someone say, “It’s Lucy with the football”. The reference instantly transmits not just an insight into the true dynamics of a situation, but an insight with powerful emotional valence. In a flash, you think back to all those strips showing Lucy fooling Charlie Brown again…and you re-experience your own past feeling of wanting to believe in something so badly, you’ve forgotten what history has already taught you, and you’ve started to fall prey to the persuasions of someone who just won’t deliver in the end. Think of Lucy holding that football, and you inevitably start to wonder if, in this case, you’ve turned into Charlie Brown. It’s a reality check.

That it surely is. Tal goes on from there to, as he puts it, “touch on a few deeper issues,” in his usual erudite and adroit fashion. To wit:

People naturally tend to think of earlier generations as somewhat benighted compared to us in our present age. We assume those before us didn’t have the awareness we have, or the depth, sophistication, or imagination. And certainly, we might be tempted to imagine that about an era in which “The Andy Griffith Show”, “Gilligan’s Island”, and “My Three Sons” were the biggest shows going, as opposed to, say, “Narcos”, or whatever the latest serial killer series Netflix is running now. Or where the biggest pop stars were Frankie ValliDion, and Patti Page, as opposed to our present collection of convicted felonsprostitutesdrug addictspimps, and Satanists.

But Peanuts often went deep. One example is the daring surrealism Schulz inserted into the strip, particularly through the character of Charlie Brown’s beagle, Snoopy.

Sitting alone on top of his doghouse, Snoopy regularly hallucinates himself back in time to World War I. Once there, he often finds himself in air battle as a fighter pilot. In these moments, his doghouse is no longer a doghouse. It is a Sopwith Camel outfitted with Vickers machine guns. His main job is to kill Germans (particularly the flying ace Manfred von Richthofen); but in various sequences, he carries messages through trenches filled with the wounded, gets shot down behind enemy lines, dates local French girls, and laments the deaths of his fallen comrades.

Schulz goes farther. He ends up casting these episodes as perhaps more than hallucinations. In one strip, for example, Charlie Brown stands before his school classroom to read a paper on the flu epidemic of 1918. He then reveals it was actually Snoopy who wrote it, since Snoopy was there throughout the crisis. Snoopy stands next to Charlie Brown in class, dressed in his World War I flying gear. That Schulz never definitively explains what’s going on with the fantasy sequences only heightens our emotional engagement with the sequences.

Bachman’s deft analysis continues from there. Read of it, for It Is Good.

1

Horror show

A terrible, terrible tragedy at a Warbirds show in Dallas today.

 

The midair occurred when the pilot of a Confederate Air Force (now known as the Commemorative AF, I’m sure for the obvious reason) Bell P63 Kingcobra inadvertently flew into the B17’s airspace, hitting the bomber just behind its port-side wingroot, near as I can make out. Everybody is probably familiar with the B17 Flying Fortress, I expect much less so for the P63, so here ya go.

Two old warbirds
Bell P63 with the justly renowned, and vastly superior, P51 Mustang

The Kingcobra was the successor to the P39 Aerocobra (or Airacobra, as the RAF dubbed it), a pursuit/interceptor aircraft with which its pilots had what you might call a love/hate relationship. Although the P39 was adequately armed and sturdy enough generally, the heavy airframe was hindered in aerial combat by an excruciatingly poor rate of climb and relatively low ceiling. While the P39 saw service in nearly every national air force and all theaters in WW2, the P63 only saw action with the Soviet Air Force, and was rejected by the USAAF, even though it surpassed the capabilities of its near-ubiquitous older brother in every possible way.

Both the P39’s and P63’s original powerplant was the same Allison V-1710 V12 engine that condemned the P51 Mustang to also-ran status in its early career, until it was eventually replaced with the more-powerful, just-plain-better Rolls Royce Merlin, instantly transforming the Mustang into the legendary world-beater it was destined to be.

I’ve attended many Warbirds airshows, which are always wonderful, and know the CAF pilots and ground-crews to be highly-skilled, seasoned devotees of the old WW2-era piston-engine warplanes, meticulous to the nth degree about maintenance and safety. I hate so much to see something like this happen, I truly do. May God receive into His mighty arms the souls of the men who left this mortal coil this awful afternoon, and grant to them eternal peace.

Update! Six dead: five B17 crew, and the P63 pilot. Prayers up, y’all.

3

The Last Man Standing stands no more

As you would assume, I am indeed working on my Jerry Lee Lewis remembrance/obit. There’s a couple of documents I’m trying to get my hands on for it, which apparently do not exist on the innarnuts anywhere. In fact, one of them I know for sure is in the sole and exclusive possession of our former manager, who as far as I know is the only guy who has a copy of the thing. Unfortunately, Mike isn’t at all web-savvy, so I doubt he has the means to scan it and send it over to me, or would know how even if he did. We’ll see about that, I suppose. More coming, as and when…

Update! YES!!! Got ’em both, I can hardly believe it. Okay, folks, stay tuned, this is gonna be good.

Updated update! Okay, here we go. Somewhat atypically for these rock and roll-icon obits of mine, I did NOT ever get to meet or hang out with Jerry Lee Lewis, to my great disappointment. We DID have a show scheduled with him once, at the legendary Tramps in NYC. To wit:

 

Big night
Would’ve been our first Really Big Show at Tramp’s, but alas, t’was not to be

 

What showed up in lieu of The Killer that night was a doctor’s note (those with older eyes can click here to embiggen):

 

Real deal
Yes, it’s real

 

 

 

Mind, now, this was the selfsame Dr Nick who was widely despised among fans of the King as the Man Who Killed Elvis, the guy who for years had signed off on whatever self-prescribed drugs Elvis was of a mind to indulge in that particular evening. He’s also the real-life personage from whence The Simpsons‘ Dr Nick Rivera got his name:

The character design of Dr. Nick is based somewhat on Gábor Csupó, of Klasky Csupo studios, who was originally from Hungary—the animators mistakenly believed Hank Azaria was impersonating Gabor, when in fact the voice was actually a bad imitation of Ricky Ricardo from I Love Lucy.

His name came from George Nichopoulos, nicknamed Dr. Nick, Elvis Presley‘s personal physician who was indicted on 14 counts of over-prescribing drugs to Presley and several other patients in the years following Presley’s death. While Nichopoulos was acquitted of those charges, his medical license was revoked by the Tennessee medical authorities in 1993.

And there you have it. When that fateful note from Dr Nick finally did show up at Tramps instead of Jerry Lee it scared me half to death, because Terry Dunne, the owner and founder of Tramp’s, asked me right away if we’d be willing to go on and take the whole show anyhow, three sets instead of the agreed-upon two. I mean, who wouldn’t be scared, right? The joint was packed with people who had paid top buck to see Jerry Lee Lewis, only to learn they’d be getting a full night of the lowly if up-and-coming Belmont Playboys in his stead? My God, I thought, these people are gonna KILL us!

To the contrary, it all went quite well; we were warmly received, the dreaded mass stampede for the exits when it was announced that Lewis wouldn’t be appearing never happened, and we did a good show despite the jacked-up Fear Factor.

No, I never did get to meet the Killer, but he still wound up being one of my biggest personal influences nonetheless. That came about the night of a different show a few years later, when the BPs were to play at the old Park Elevator in CLT, situated in the century-old, decaying and decrepit Park Elevator building, before it burned up, was refurbished, and turned into condos like all the other old buildings around here.


Now, the Park Elevator was notoriously rickety in places, but as it happens there was a low entryway that led directly out onto the stage. In those days, I was the proud owner of a 71 Shovelhead FLH, fully tricked out with, among other things, a suicide shift and 20-inch apes sitting atop 5-inch risers:

 

Wheels
Me, my beloved 61 Galaxy, and the ol’ Shovel

So naturally, I conceived the brilliant notion that hey, wouldn’t it be just the most awesome thing ever if I rode the bike onto the stage when we went on? My friend Joe was also there on his hotrod Evo Sporty, and was quite eager to join me in risking my fool neck to ride his Harley out onto the stage through that tiny, low door also. So low was said portal, in fact, that I had to yank my apehangers back and down to even get through it; the damned bars were way too tall to go in as they were.

But no matter; such a minor obstacle could never be sufficient to deter a dedicated Jerry Lee wannabe like myself. Right before we were to do our dirty deed, I asked one of the proprietors of the Park Elevator, Tim Blong, if he thought the stage would be able to support all that weight without collapsing into rubble and killing us all. He shrugged eloquently, muttered, “Dunno, man, maybe?” and grinned. Joe turned to me with a slightly troubled look on his mug, as if to ask, “Well, we doin’ this or what?”

Which was when I asked myself what would come to be the eternal question for me regarding any outrageous, dangerous, or just plain stupid stunt I was thinking about attempting to pull off: What Would Jerry Lee Do?

The answer, of course, was always the same, being eminently obvious given the Killer’s hard-won reputation for bold, daredevil antics. We fired up the scoots, rode through that tiny door with our heads ducked way down low, put the bikes on the kickstands one on each side of the stage, and the show went on, as it always and forever must. A few fun facts about the Killer:

The last survivor of a generation of groundbreaking performers that included Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Lewis died at his Mississippi home, south of Memphis, Tennessee, representative Zach Farnum said in a release. The news came two days after the publication of an erroneous TMZ report of his death, later retracted.

Of all the rock rebels to emerge in the 1950s, few captured the new genre’s attraction and danger as unforgettably as the Louisiana-born piano player who called himself “The Killer.”

Tender ballads were best left to the old folks. Lewis was all about lust and gratification, with his leering tenor and demanding asides, violent tempos and brash glissandi, cocky sneer and crazy blond hair. He was a one-man stampede who made the fans scream and the keyboards swear, his live act so combustible that during a 1957 performance of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” on “The Steve Allen Show,” chairs were thrown at him like buckets of water on an inferno.

“There was rockabilly. There was Elvis. But there was no pure rock ’n ’roll before Jerry Lee Lewis kicked in the door,” a Lewis admirer once observed. That admirer was Jerry Lee Lewis.

Heh. Pure, 24-karat Jerry Lee right there. Nobody ever saw his like before, and we never will again. Y’all might be familiar with the story of the night Lewis rammed his Cadillac into the front gate at Graceland, perhaps. Lewis, drunk as a boiled owl, was hauled off by the gendarmerie hollering at Elvis to come on out like a man so’s they could finally settle who the REAL King Of Rock And Roll was once and for all. More:

Lewis had a run of top 10 country hits between 1967-70, and hardly mellowed at all. He performed drinking songs such as “What’s Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)”, the roving eye confessions of “She Still Comes Around” and a dry-eyed cover of a classic ballad of abandonment, “She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye.” He had remained popular in Europe and a 1964 album, “Live at the Star Club, Hamburg,” is widely regarded as one of the greatest concert records.

A 1973 performance proved more troublesome: Lewis sang for the Grand Ole Opry and broke two longstanding rules — no swearing and no non-country songs.

“I am a rock and rollin’, country-and-western, rhythm and blues-singin’ motherf—–,” he told the audience.

Lewis married seven times, and was rarely far from trouble or death. His fourth wife, Jaren Elizabeth Gunn Pate, drowned in a swimming pool in 1982 while suing for divorce. His fifth wife, Shawn Stephens, 23 years his junior, died of an apparent drug overdose in 1983. Within a year, Lewis had married Kerrie McCarver, then 21. She filed for divorce in 1986, accusing him of physical abuse and infidelity. He countersued, but both petitions eventually were dropped. They finally divorced in 2005 after several years of separation. The couple had one child, Jerry Lee III.

Another son by a previous marriage, Steve Allen Lewis, 3, drowned in a swimming pool in 1962, and son Jerry Lee Jr. died in a traffic accident at 19 in 1973. Lewis also had two daughters, Phoebe and Lori Leigh, and is survived by his wife Judith.

His finances were also chaotic. Lewis made millions, but he liked his money in cash and ended up owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Internal Revenue Service. When he began welcoming tourists in 1994 to his longtime residence near Nesbit, Mississippi — complete with a piano-shaped swimming pool — he set up a 900 phone number fans could call for a recorded message at $2.75 a minute.

There’s always more to say about the inimitable Jerry Lee Lewis, and there will always be too. I’m sad he’s gone, at the same time I can hardly believe he didn’t die on us thirty or forty years ago, buck-wild as he was. The Killer grabbed life by the scruff of its neck and lived the ever-lovin’ hell out of it, from start to finish. With that, enjoy a so-called “lost track” recorded back in the year I was born, 1960, that’s long been Number One with a bullet on my own personal Jerry Lee Lewis hit parade, complete with a bit of studio chatter from the Killer himself.



That patter beforehand has actually been bowdlerized somewhere along the way. In the version I had, the track begins with a runner in the control room hollering to the Killer, asking what he wants to eat. Jerry Lee responds, “What am I gon’ eat? I’d like to eat a little pussy if you got some,” followed by an extremely salacious sluuurrp sound and a smacking of the lips. Jerry then laughs that great laugh of his, and yells “STONED!!!” After that is when the “That’ll be the only place you can play it” part included in the vid comes in.

And then the one and only Killer hits that big, fat power-chord—Jerry Lee was the only guy I ever heard of capable of producing power-chords on a piano, which formed the basis of his whole playing style—and we’re off and running. “Birthday Cake” also features probably his best-ever solo, a pounding, pulsating, joyous break that’s a thing of wonder every time I hear it. And I’ve heard it a thousand times.

The great Jerry Lee Lewis was a genuine American original: a rowdy, relentless Southern roughneck who neither knew nor cared one whit about such trivial irrelevancies as giving up, giving in, backing off, or calming the fuck down. He lived the way he played, WTFO and balls to the wall. May the Good Lord bless and keep his indomitable, irrepressible spirit forever.

2

RIP Robert Gordon

Do I have stories about this guy? Oh, you just better bet I do.

Robert Gordon, Rockabilly Revival Icon, Dies at 75
Over his career, Gordon released more than 20 albums and helped usher in a rockabilly resurgence in the 1970s and ’80s.

Rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon, whose albums with guitar greats Link Wray and Chris Spedding helped solidify his place in rock history and carry the genre over several decades, died Tuesday (Oct. 18) at Don Greene Hospice in New York City following a diagnosis of leukemia, according to a Facebook post by his label Cleopatra Records. He was 75.

Born in Bethesda, Maryland, Gordon was drawn to rock ‘n’ roll after he heard Elvis Presley’s “Heartbreak Hotel” at age nine. He soon dug into the music of Gene VincentEddie Cochrane and others ’50s greats and cut his first recording at 17 singing with a band called The Confidentials. His career ramped up after he relocated to New York City and joined the punk band Tuff Darts (which can be heard on the 1976 album Live At CBGBs alongside tracks by Mink DeVilleSun Ra and others).

In 1977, Gordon cut his debut “solo” album, Robert Gordon With Link Wray, and followed with several others, including 1978’s Fresh Fish Special (with Wray), which also includes Presley’s famed background singers The Jordanaires and Bruce Springsteen, who played on Gordon’s rendition of the Springsteen-penned track “Fire.” An ad in Billboard that ran on March 11, 1978, read, in part: “Robert Gordon, the new voice of Rock and Roll, and Link Wray, the legendary guitarist, are together again! FRESH FISH SPECIAL follows their red hot first album – and it’s a killer! Bruce Springsteen wrote a song for it. Elvis Presley, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and Jack Scott are faithfully remembered in it.”

In 1979, Gordon released Rock Billy Boogie, which peaked at No. 106 on the Billboard 200. That was quickly followed by 1980’s Bad Boy and 1981’s Are You Gonna Be The One, which included the single “Someday, Someway,” which peaked at No. 76 on the Billboard Hot 100.

In 1982, Gordon ventured into acting, co-starring in outlaw biker flick The Loveless opposite Willem Dafoe. Gordon can also be seen performing with his band in a 1981 skit for Canadian sketch comedy show SCTV, in which he’s mistaken for astronaut Gordon Cooper.

As you may have guessed from my opener above, the BPs have a long, somewhat sordid history with Gordon. We played with him as supporting act several times, both in NYC and in Finland, resulting in my having a fair bit of dirt I could dish on ol’ Robert, but ain’t gonna. Instead, a few pics of us from our very first time working with him, at the legendary and now sadly-defunct music venue Tramps.

RIP
Robert Gordon and Chris Spedding, shot by me from the wings at Stage Right
After the show
Green room group shot of both bands, after the show
SCHWEEET!
Why we pick up a guitar in the first place; no idea what her name was, didn’t care

And there you have it, folks. Robert certainly did have a way of picking guitar talent; over the years, he worked with Spedding most, a brilliant player who also turned out to be a truly sweet, humble, and all-around nice man. That first show, Spedding borrowed a 9-volt battery from me for his tuner pedal, and actually returned the damned thing to me without even being asked—and believe me, that NEVER happens. Not just Chris, but Robert also had the peerless Danny Gatton in his onstage stable for a few years, as well as bona fide rock and roll icon Link Wray.

So yeah, rest easy, Robert Gordon. A top-notch singer, blessed with a deep, resonant voice and an excellent range. We had our run-ins over the years, as can happen sometimes in showbiz, but none of that matters now. May your troubadour’s heart and soul find everlasting peace.



3

The lady has balls

Dear Woketard Leftists:

FUCK YOU.

Sincerely, JK Rowling.


I’m beginning to think Ms Rowling is the pluperfect example of what Sinatra meant when he complimented some particular strong, self-assured, take-no-shit woman as a “great broad.” She also demonstrated that, unlike her shitlib tormenters, for her “classy” is more than just a word with no real meaning or relevance via this touching tribute to recently-deceased actor Robbie Coltrane, who was simply outstanding as Hagrid in the films based on Rowling’s brilliant Harry Potter series.


Well done and good on ya all the way ’round, ma’am. The whole world mourns your personal loss right along with you.

6

Loretta Lynn

As y’all no doubt know by now, music legend Loretta Lynn left us the other day. After casting about trying to decide which of her many solid-gold country classics I ought to post here to memorialize her, it hit me that one of my favorite scenes from the great bio-flick Coal Miner’s Daughter might do just as nicely.


CMD is one of the most flawlessly cast films I’ve ever seen; Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, and Beverly D’Angelo were all note-perfect as Loretty, Doo, and Patsy Cline respectively. Kinda surprised at how few clips from the movie there are on YT. There are a good half a dozen more quotes I’d like to have been able to include here, but “Boy, you better come up with a better reason than that” is probably my favorite of all of ’em.

As it happens, the BP’s manager Mike Evans was on friendly terms with Doolittle Lynn. Mike always has had a way of seeing to it that he crossed paths with all kinds of people most of us would never even think of approaching at all, introducing himself, chatting with them, and following through afterwards to remain friends with them for years and years. Remind me to tell y’all sometime all about the morning he walked up to the front door of Graceland mansion not too long after Elvis had died, but after all the hooraw had finally died down and Memphis had gone back to whatever normal is there.

In a nutshell, Mike rang the bell and Elvis’s longtime housemaid and cook—a gentle, matronly black lady name of Nancy Rooks, who was the culinary genius behind those nanner and peanut butter sammiches fried in about half a stick of butter each which the King was famous for devouring entire plates of at a single sitting—answered, telling Mike he should come back in about an hour or so. Vernon, see, was in the middle of breakfast, and wasn’t receiving guests until she had finished getting him fed. Mike drove off to a nearby Waffle House or some such, sat on pins and needles in his old Corvette staring at the slow-moving minute hand on his watch, and ended up sitting in front of the TV with Vernon Presley watching Vernon’s favorite Elvis movies one after another, occasionally weeping together in grief over Vernon’s and the entire world’s loss, and just generally chewing the fat like old high school buddies. That story’s a good ‘un, it truly is, a real jaw-dropper for sure.

Anyways.

The cast, crew, writers, and producers of Coal Miner’s Daughter certainly did right by their subject, doing honor to an iconic artist whose like we shan’t ever see again. The movie came out kinda towards the tail-end of a minor spate of music-legend biopics—Lady Sings The Blues, Bound For Glory, The Buddy Holly Story, Sweet Dreams—and outshined ’em all hands down, if you ask me.

Rest easy, Loretta.

Okay, okay, just one song then.


2
1

“9/11, Islam, and the US: What Have We Learned”

Apparently, nothing worth knowing.

Twenty-one years after 9/11 in this supposedly “Islamophobic” country, U.S. Muslims have gained unprecedented political and cultural influence. The Muslim population in the U.S. increased to 3.85 million in 2020. Mosques have more than doubled from 1,209 in 2000 to 2,769 in 2020. These are not grounds for any grudge, as the U.S. is magnet for people seeking prosperity and religious freedom.

But it is troubling that for a country based on the rule of law, Islam and Muslims have acquired an immunity and exemption from any critical scrutiny, no matter how justified. This “Islamic exceptionalism” operates blatantly at the political and cultural levels and is a recurring pattern going back to almost immediately after 9/11, when George Bush declared that “Islam is peace.”

Ilhan Omar, a Muslim supremacist, who has made herself invincible by donning the woke cloak of “fighting for justice, for equality, for the right for us [Muslims] to equally exist in this country” and notably ungrateful to the U.S., given her life history, vaporized the human suffering of 9/11 when she said, “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

Her breezy dismissal of the 9/11 carnage came in the same speech that she opened by lamenting “a tragic, tragic nightmare that has happened to Muslims in New Zealand,” referencing the Christchurch attacks. For comparison’s sake, the New Zealand attacks left 49 dead against the 2,997 on 9/11. She has suffered no political consequences and is invariably elected by her “Islamophobic” voters.

“Islamophobic”? Hardly. Her so-called “constituents” having gradually invaded, occupied, and gained overwhelming-majority status in her Minnesota district, they’re Muslims.

The determination to exonerate Islam is deeply embedded in mainstream media. On September 11, 2018, the New York Times tweeted (and later deleted) that “airplanes took aim” at Twin Towers on 9/11. For the Times, the malignant agency of Osama bin Laden and the international team that planned the carnage counted for nothing.

During the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando in 2016, the killer Omar Mateen placed a “chilling, calm, and deliberate” call to 911, calling himself an “Islamic soldier.” Obama admitted that Mateen had pledged allegiance to “ISIL” and said that “countering this extremist ideology is increasingly going to be as important as making sure that we are disrupting plots from the outside.”

Yet, if an attack that is clearly terrorist in nature (it is immaterial if it was mixed up with troubled sexuality, as claimed) is somehow transmogrified and elevated seamlessly into a national memorial for gay rights and excludes any reference to the Islamic motivation of this act, then we as a nation have traveled long and hard down the road of self-delusion and surrender to Islam.

Major Nidal Hasan’s terrorist attack in Fort Hood in 2009, which killed 13 people and wounded dozens, was classified, incredibly, as “workplace violence.” In 2021, he exulted and congratulated the Taliban in a triumphant victory message from death row after they had seized control of Afghanistan. On death row, Nidal’s sentence is likely meaningless, as he will probably live his full life.

Although Muslims make up a bit more than one per cent of the U.S. population, they constitute about nine percent of the state prison population. Muslim immigration has dramatically increased the risk of female genital mutilation (FGM) which is understood in many Islamic countries as a religious obligation. In North America, Muslims commit most of the honor killings.

We have reached here because of the unbreakable alliance of the left and Islam. Leftists’ frequent accusations of “Islamophobia” are grossly exaggerated and more powerful than any weapon. This does not imply that Muslims cannot be targeted. But the left’s partnership with Islam has succeeded in achieving a unique moral inversion. Leftists have conferred upon a specific religion and its followers blanket immunity from hostile examination, and simultaneously labeled those as making any enquiry, no matter how justified by facts, as intolerant, and excluded them from the streams of authorized debate.

September 11 was the day that the towers fell, and the U.S. began its submission to Islam. Unless checked, it will surely hasten our downfall as a nation.

It has, it is, and it assuredly will. Bad as all the above is, though, there’s worse still.

When news that military prosecutors are negotiating a plea deal with 9/11 architect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed hit my desk, I had to check the source to see if it wasn’t satire. Of all days for this news to hit, why drop it now?

According to Fox News:

U.S. military prosecutors are reportedly negotiating potential plea deals with 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other conspirators imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay. The plea deals may allow the five dependents to escape a potential death penalty, according to CBS. Mohammed is widely credited with being the architect of the 9/11 terror attacks. The other four defendants are Ramzi Binalshibh, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Walid bin Attash and Ammar al-Baluchi.

Attorneys for the defendants reportedly say they would be willing to enter a guilty plea in exchange for taking the death penalty off the table, as well as for getting treatment for alleged torture they experienced while in CIA custody.

Retired actor and active patriot James Woods noticed what many of us did, that the timing of the news is an outrage:

To see this headline on September 11 is appalling. Why is justice such an elusive concept in America today? Will the heinous among us never be held accountable? This is an outrage, and to read about it on this sacred day is an insult to the fallen.

The timing of this news is not a coincidence any more than the timing of the Benghazi attack was a coincidence. They’re insulting us. They’re laughing at us. This regime truly and absolutely hates America and they’re proud of that fact.

Incredible, and thoroughly sick-making. How bitter a pill, that rather than avenging our 9/11 dead, we choose instead to profane their memory so disgracefully.

Update! And just like that, a DemonRat ProPol plummets from merely disgusting before auguring in to truly, deeply appalling.

Senate Intelligence chair says it’s ‘stunning’ that over 20 years after Sept. 11, attacks on the symbol of democracy are ‘not coming from terrorists’ but from ‘insurgents’ at the Capitol on Jan. 6

It’d be nice to think so, but I doublechecked, and no, this is NOT the Bee, alas.

Senate Intelligence chair Mark Warner said it’s “stunning” that 21 years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, “the attack on the symbol of our democracy” hadn’t come from foreign threats but from within the US.

“I remember, as most Americans do, where they were on 9/11. I was in the middle of a political campaign and suddenly, the differences with my opponent seem very small in comparison and our country came together.”

Yeah, yeah…for all of three whole days, when the first shitlib claims that America had brought 9/11 on itself and therefore “had it coming” appeared, shattering the phony, short-lived sense of “unity.” I expected precisely that to happen, even posted about it here at the time, as I recollect. In fact, it’s a big part of the reason I named the blog what I did.

“The stunning thing to me is here we are 20 years later, and the attack on the symbol of our democracy was not coming from terrorists, but it came from literally insurgents attacking the Capitol on January 6th,” he added.

Warner said that he felt the country is “stronger,” and the “intelligence community has performed remarkably,” compared to 21 years ago.

“I think the threat of terror has diminished,” he said.

However, he added that he’s concerned about internal threats.

“But I do worry about some of the activity in this country where the election deniers, the insurgency that took place on January 6th, that is something I hope we could see that same kind of unity of spirit,” he said.

“Unity”? With self-serving shitlib poseurs like yourself? I’d rather gargle diarrhea, thanks.

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Occam’s Razor says…

No, 9/11 was NOT an “inside job,” perpetrated by the US goobermint, Mossad, whothehellever. The conspiracy theorizing began before the smoke had cleared in Lower Manhattan; sad to say, the preposterous theories have only proliferated ever since, and would seem to be deathless. I’ve run this Cracked mag classic debunking the nonsense here I don’t even know how many times over lo, these past 21 years.  I’m happy to do so yet again.

Now, fans of this site know, I don’t be trustin’ me no government. I’ve put in time at various intelligence agencies and at one major government contractor (Kellogg, Brown & Root). I’ve worked for these people and let me tell you, the government is a mess. And elected officials, don’t get me started on those people. They’ll do anything it takes to get votes.

But here’s the thing. The 9/11 “Truth” guys, the Loose Changers and all the many websites, they don’t just think government is corrupt. They think everybody, and I mean everybody, is either evil on a demonic scale, or a mindless sheep.

For instance, how much money would it take to get you to kill 3,000 random, innocent Americans? Or, say you stumbled upon somebody else’s plan to kill 3,000 innocent Americans. How much would it take to get you to stay silent afterward?

A hundred dollars? Two hundred? Two hundred fifty?

Well if the conspiracy guys are right, there are people reading this right now who took that deal. No kidding.

Here’s why. The entire 9/11 “Truth” movement rests on the idea that the World Trade Center towers were rigged with explosives, a “Controlled Demolition” like you see with old buildings. That’s the whole thing. They say the buildings couldn’t have come down otherwise.

Forget the fact that no experts on the subject agree with them. That’s not the point right now. We’re just trying to get inside these guys’ heads.Now, maybe you could keep the plan itself a secret. A few dozen murderous black ops guys, demolitions experts with a grudge against the USA, maybe they’ve been brainwashed. Who knows. Maybe it could be done. People point out that the Manhattan Project to build the atomic bomb was kept a secret, so why not this?

But the cover-up. Holy shit, guys. Covering this thing up after the fact would be like trying to keep the atomic bomb a secret after Hiroshima. Just wait ’till you hear this.
First, picture the demolitions teams wiring up the World Trade Center towers with explosives prior to the attack. Obviously you couldn’t do it during business hours, since it’d be kind of hard to explain to the 100,000 people who worked at or visited the WTC towers on any given day why you had a huge chunk of wall torn out and were wiring up a bomb on the steel beams there.I mean, keep in mind, I don’t know how big of a job that would be (no one has ever demolished a building that size before) but a building just half the size of one WTC tower took 4,000 separate charges to bring down. Four thousand.

That job took seven months of prep work… and they had the run of an abandoned building, without having to hide their work from 100,000 people every day. Our demolition crew, on the other hand, can work only at night and has to spend the last bit of every shift carefully repairing the wall and hiding any evidence of charges or detonators as not to be discovered during the day.

Huge teams of demolitions experts, who had no problem wiring a building full of innocent New Yorkers to explode, hired in secret, worked every night for what had to be a year (and that’s only if they had a big enough crew) placing maybe 10,000 separate charges in each tower and another few thousand in WTC 7 (the smaller WTC tower that also collapsed, later in the day on 9/11).

And nobody notices.

Truckloads of bombs, dozens of mysterious workers, going in and out of the building, night after night. Security at the building doesn’t catch them, Port Authority Police don’t catch them, random eyewitnesses who stumble across the operation and call the cops don’t catch them, maintenance workers who stumble across wet paint and repaired walls and bits of strange wire don’t catch them, security cameras don’t catch them.
The bomb-sniffing dogs who were brought in from time to time (remember, these buildings were bombed by terrorists in 1993) who are trained to find even one bomb, fail to notice the 10,000 bombs lining their building.If you’re saying that nothing could possibly be more retarded than that, you’re wrong.

No, they’re just getting started.

And indeed they are. The article includes a link to Popular Mechanics’  thorough flensing of this crapola, another good ‘un that I’ve excerpted several times here. The PM piece has been split into two separate articles, one on the WTC specifically and one covering the Pentagon, which the conspiracy fever-dreamers absurdly maintain was never even hit by a plane at all. To wit:

At 9:37 a.m. on September 11, 51 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon was similarly attacked. Though dozens of witnesses saw a Boeing 757 hit the building, conspiracy advocates insist there is evidence that a missile or a different type of plane smashed into the Pentagon.

CLAIM: Two holes were visible in the Pentagon immediately after the attack: a 75-foot-wide entry hole in the building’s exterior wall, and a 16-foot-wide hole in Ring C, the Pentagon’s middle ring. Conspiracy theorists claim both holes are far too small to have been made by a Boeing 757. “How does a plane 125 [feet] wide and 155 [feet] long fit into a hole which is only 16 [feet] across?” asks reopen911.org, a website “dedicated to discovering the bottom line truth to what really occurred on September 11, 2001.”

The truth is of even less importance to French author Thierry Meyssan, whose baseless assertions are fodder for even mainstream European and Middle Eastern media.

In his book The Big Lie, Meyssan concludes that the Pentagon was struck by a satellite-guided missile—part of an elaborate U.S. military coup. “This attack,” he writes, “could only be committed by United States military personnel against other U.S. military personnel.”

FACT: When American Airlines Flight 77 hit the Pentagon’s exterior wall, Ring E, it created a hole approximately 75 feet wide, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Pentagon Building Performance Report.

The exterior facade collapsed about 20 minutes after impact, but ASCE based its measurements of the original hole on the number of first-floor support columns that were destroyed or damaged. Computer simulations confirmed the findings.

Why wasn’t the hole as wide as a 757’s nearly 125-foot wingspan? A crashing jet doesn’t punch a cartoon-like outline of itself into a reinforced concrete building, says ASCE team member Mete Sozen, a professor of structural engineering at Purdue University.

Oof. The piece goes on from there to take out the rest of the trash with similar aplomb. Personally, I find it disgusting the way 9/11 has faded from our collective consciousness, although admittedly it was probably inevitable that it would. Worse yet is the way that, as Steyn has pointed out, rather than making life tougher on the Muzzrat nations who financed, abetted, and joyously cheered the atrocity, we’ve preferred instead to make it tougher on ourselves with walled-off public spaces and government buildings; grossly intrusive yet ineffectual airport “security”; total, 24-7-365 police-state survellaince, and such-like.

Instead of calling a spade a spade and placing the burden of guilt and responsibility squarely on the shoulders where it rightfully belonged, we sheepishly acquiesced to Bush’s wholly grotesque “Islam literally means peace” falsehood as if 9/11 was OUR fault—painstakingly tripping over ourselves in apology for heinous acts of persecution which never actually happened, inspired by a purported “Islamophobia” that never actually existed. Those who DO remember should make sure that they remember it correctly and accurately, not the bizarre, twisted hobgoblin haunting little conspiracy-theory minds.

Don’t fall for the bullshit, folks; all you’ll end up doing is making yourself look like a damned fool. Should you ever be tempted to take such nonsense seriously, ask yourself one question: Do you really think the bumbling, inept FederalGovCo we’re all too familiar with could ever have the competence, cunning, and intelligence necessary to successfully pull off as massive, as complicated a hoax as this? And then keep it going in total silence, with nary a leak, whistleblower, or exposé cropping up anywhere for all these years?

Like I said: preposterous. Absurd. Bullshit.

Quote of the century of the week

Gotta be this one, from Reagan’s pal Gorby.

Imagine a country that flies into space, launches Sputniks, creates such a defense system, and it can’t resolve the problem of women’s pantyhose. There’s no toothpaste, no soap powder, not the basic necessities of life. It was incredible and humiliating to work in such a government.

Funny, our own domestic baggers de douche don’t seem at all embarrassed about it.

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Great one gone

The greatest sports announcer in history has finally left the stadium.

Legendary sports announcer, and voice of the Dodgers for a record-setting 67 years, Vincent Edward “Vin” Scully, 94, peacefully at his home in suburban Los Angeles.

I grew up listening to Vin. Summer hasn’t been the same since that awful day when he hung it up in 2016 and left the broadcast booth. I’ve heard a lot of sports announcers over the years. Blessed to have come of age with Dick Enberg doing L.A. football, Chick Hearn doing the Lakers, and Vin for the Dodgers. Now, all gone.

Scully wasn’t just the best of those three legends, he was the best of all time, and I do not say so lightly, nor merely out of home team pride. He did everything for everyone, and did it well, but it was baseball he loved above all, and baseball he made richer for calling the play-by-play. Not just for the Dodgers, but for every player and team he ever watched.

You couldn’t watch a home game at Dodger stadium for most of my lifetime without hearing him on 40,000 radios from home plate to the bleachers. He was that good. If you went to a game, you took a radio to listen to Vin, because he was going to tell you more about what you were looking at firsthand than any five other guys, if you gave them a week to rehearse.

Any late spring to late summer night, after sunset and before dusk, the summer heat fading away, and his voice was the soundtrack to life, a lullaby while lounging in a backyard hammock as the night sky deepened from indigo to starlit black, and an under-appreciated feast for the ears, anywhere from the pre-game show to the post-game wrap-up.

He called Sandy Koufax’s perfect game. He called Hank Aaron’s 715th homer. And he called this golden baseball moment, one for the ages. Listen to it, and watch, as I did as it happened, and imagine hearing this for up to 162 games for 67 years.

Well said. And what a moment it was, too; I’ve run this one here myself, and was watching on the TeeWee when it happened just as Aesop was. The whole Game 1 saga was a pluperfect example of what made baseball worth following, over and above all other sports—precisely the kind of magic that only baseball could produce, magic which Vin Scully understood and appreciated better than anybody before or since.

It was late here on the East Coast when it all went down; when Gibson took his winning swing, it was one of those instances where absolutely every true baseball man watching immediately knew in his gut that that ball was departing Dodger Stadium for sure and certain. Despite having been a lifelong Braves fan myself and therefore having nothing invested in who would come out on top in that year’s Fall Classic, I nonetheless leapt out of my easy chair with a lung-scarring shout of purest joy that brought my slumbering girlfriend rushing out into the living room, frightened witless that something terrible, something awful, had just happened.

To the contrary, something extraordinary, something truly wonderful, just had. It was well after midnight here; I had to be at work at 5 the next AM, and cared not a whit that I’d be paying all day for the lateness of the hour. Kirk Gibson had just provided all the world with one of those exhilarating, unforgettable baseball moments that every baseball fan lives for, but somehow never really expects. Gibson’s Miracle Shot discombobulated and demoralized Tony LaRussa’s heavily-favored Oakland A’s so badly that Tom LaSorda’s underdog Dodgers ended up taking the Series in just five games, against all odds and expectations.

And who but the incomparable Vin Scully could possibly have done a better job of calling it for us? A blow-by-blow summation of the whole incredible thing:

Unknown to the fans and the media at the time, Kirk Gibson was watching the game on television while undergoing physical therapy in the Dodgers’ clubhouse. At some point during the game, television cameras scanned the Dodgers dugout and commentator Vin Scully, working for NBC for the 1988 postseason, observed that Gibson was “nowhere to be found”. This spurred Gibson to call for Mitch Poole, the team ball boy, to set up the tee for him to take some warm up swings. After a series of warm up swings, Gibson told Poole to go get Lasorda for an evaluation. After a brief stint to get Tommy’s attention, Pool informed Lasorda that Gibson was taking practice swings in the clubhouse, where Lasorda went back for the evaluation. Shortly there after, Gibson was seen in the dugout wearing his batting helmet Along the way, NBC’s Bob Costas could hear Gibson’s agonized-sounding grunts after every hit.

A’s closer Dennis Eckersley came on to pitch the ninth to close it out for (A’s ace hurler Dave “Smoke”) Stewart. After retiring the first two batters (Mike Scioscia and Jeff Hamilton), Eckersley’s former A’s teammate Mike Davis, batting for Alfredo Griffin, walked on five pitches. During Davis’ at-bat, Dave Anderson initially entered the on-deck circle to hit for Alejandro Peña. Eckersley pitched carefully to Davis because the A’s remembered all of the home runs he hit for the A’s a year earlier, not because the light-hitting Anderson was on deck, as popularly believed. After Davis walked, Lasorda called back Anderson and sent up a hobbled Kirk Gibson to the plate, amidst cheers from the Dodger Stadium crowd. Gibson bravely fouled off Eckersley’s best offerings, demonstrating how badly he was hurting. On one foul, Gibson hobbled towards first and prompted Scully to quip, “And it had to be an effort to run THAT far.” After Gibson fouled off several pitches, Davis stole second on ball three. On the next pitch, the 8th of the at-bat, Gibson, slammed a backdoor slider into the right field bleachers to win the game. The footage of Gibson hobbling around the bases on both hurt legs and pumping his fist as he rounded second became an iconic baseball film highlight.

Gibson would never bat again in the Series, and his walk-off homer in Game 1 marked the first time that a World Series game ended with a come-from-behind home run. In a somewhat forgotten detail of this game highlighting the teamwork that was this Dodgers team’s trademark all season, Gibson’s heroics still would not have been possible without the earlier home run by the man replacing Gibson in the line-up, Mickey Hatcher.

Gibson became the second player ever to record a walk-off hit with two outs and his team trailing in the bottom of the ninth inning of a World Series game, following Cookie Lavagetto in the 1947 World Series. Only one other player, Brett Phillips in the 2020 World Series, has since accomplished this feat.

A bona fide miracle indeed, one that will shine forever in the pantheon of America’s Pastime. And how profoundly grateful I am that the great Vin Scully was on hand to do the play-by-play in his own inimitable style. Aesop’s note-perfect finale really says it all.

Imagine being so good you could shut up for over a minute on live TV after one of the greatest moments in sports history, and just let the microphone tell the story. You don’t have to imagine it. Vin just did it.

Annnnnd bingo. Full props to color man Joe Garagiola as well, Scully’s partner in the booth that night and a damned fine announcer in his own right, for being astute enough himself to just keep quiet and let this most beautiful of baseball moments speak for itself.

Rest thee well, Vin Scully, and thanks so very much for all you gave us. You shan’t ever be forgotten.

Condolences

My deepest, most heartfelt sympathy goes out to Diplomad and his family on the sudden, unexpected passing of his son David. The rest of us can’t begin to fathom your pain at this tragic loss, my friend; on these awful occasions, there is little or nothing of use for anyone to say. Please know that my thoughts are with you, and my very best wishes that you might find the strength to deal with what must be dealt with, to cope with your grief in good time. May your beloved David forever be at peace.

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