Saturday, December 29, 2007

James Brown Memory

A few years back a group of us were in Augusta for a convention. One night we hit a local bar and restaurant on the river for dinner. We hadn't been there long before James Brown and his entourage dropped in. We didn't know it was one of the places he liked to frequent, but we soon learned he was somewhat of a regular.

It was interesting talking with him for a few minutes. If I hadn't been at the right time at the right place that little tiny exchange wouldn't have happened. Can't tell you the name of the restaurant 'cause I don't remember, can't tell you what I said to him 'cause it was no more than typical surface talk that you have with someone you don't know.

What is interesting is how when paths cross, no matter how lightly, some sort of connection is formed. I payed attention to new articles and was saddened to hear of his death. He was so alive it was hard to imagine a world without him.

Now I find that I click on stories about all the hoopla that continues to occur after his death.

Five of his children are contesting his will. It's a family brawl that I imagine will leave scars that will never heal.

Money has a way of tearing people apart. Brothers and sisters who have shared their closest confidences become bitter enemies when a parent dies and things have to be split.

Brown left a large portion of his estate to charity. Commendable. He also took care of his grandkids. Again, commendable. I would assume he felt his older children were capable of standing on their own two feet, taking care of themselves. Obviously, they disagree.

While he definitely didn't lead a perfect life by any stretch of the imagination, most of us will remember Brown for his antics, his enthusiasm, his music. I think it's time for me to stop reading articles about James Brown and let the memories of his music be what I think about when I hear his name.

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