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Grab a cup of comfort and then get on board...

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Offering the thoughts and emotions in this virtual "letter" to all those who knew David Cole...Thanks so much for inviting me to his April 17 virtual "Viewneral." And, through your stories, tears and laughter...helping me "meet" David Cole...AND...helped me remember some of my own stories...


These words come from the stories I heard that day...So, if they ramble or at times seem disjointed...consider them as good homemade "COLE" SLAW... : )))




David, I heard that you liked to drum...to "beat" the odds...


...and this next musician was a favorite...Those who celebrated your life today in your send-off party mentioned this song - one I'd never before heard. Listening...I hear it now as your prayer...your desire...May you now find this peace in your new gig...


S.P. (Script for this Post): As you'll see down below in the Time piece in the first Appendix, Carlos dug the Grateful Dead, so might have you...



"All The Love Of The Universe"


Oo, oo, do... New thoughts Will purify my mind and clean my body New lives will fall together like an endless story All the love of the universe will be shared by all that's living And I don't really care about tomorrow Today is all I really need to find the answers I'll find the constant flow of all the harmony Everybody needs a helpin' hand Everybody needs a helpin' hand


RE-PERCUSSIONS: ROLE OF DRUMS IN MY PERSONAL MENTAL HEALTH


THEN: BONGOS


In September 1963, I had to leave high school for a year due to a rheumatic fever infection. By next Spring, I was cleared to leave my home...unaware that the inflammatory process that had affected my heart...was now living in my head...Years later, a health care provider termed it "rheumatic encephalopathy."


Due to its effects in my brain, it caused numerous behavioral changes - with multiple periods of psychiatric hospitalization. To compound these, I was also beginning to feel my teenage hormonal oats...



The bongos played a role in one of these hospitalizations. The incident occurred as I was in a car with another family member and we were being driven home by John - an older employee of the beachfront Rockaway Beach restaurant where we all worked. I was in the back seat and started playing my bongos...likely to relieve some on my teenage stress. Well, it must have transferred to John, who asked me - repeatedly - to stop. We ended up getting into a fight...and I was once again behind locked doors...


NOW: HANDPAN


For some time now the handpan has been a favorite musical companion. I frequently play instrumental songs that feature it during my kundalini yoga practices.


I think David would have enjoyed Hang Massive - the handpan musicians who introduced me to this instrument - for both their sounds AND their choice of venues:



Like the Grateful Dead NYC Subway video later down in this post, "handpandlers" can be found in NYC's underground world along with panhandlers...Stay tuned...there's a post in the works.



--Take a moment to read the uploader's tale of his first encounter...



--Check out Fabba's t shirt...and then allow this music to take you...


COFFEE IS HEALTHCARE


Heard today many times how much you enjoyed the Sacred Bean...


Here's a recent entry into my iPhone's collection of messages I find...or that find me... on bumpers, license plates and their frames...



New bedside delivery system...



...and one for those of us still on this side of the veil...




COFFEE CAN GIVE US A SPORTIN' CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE...RIGHT WHERE WE ARE


When he retired from breaking records and "barriers"...Jackie Robinson was hired by Chock Full o' Nuts owner William Black to be Vice-president of Personnel.



--article ends with: "At this year’s Passover Seders, it would be wise to remember Robinson’s heroism and courage, his close ties to the Jewish community, and his motto, carved on his gravestone,"


"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”


Is there a better definition of tikkun olam?

[From the article: The phrase “tikkun olam” remains connected with human responsibility for fixing what is wrong with the world.]


TRADITION


Among the memories shared was your love of, and at times, insistence on TRADITION...as a way of having some order in your day. So, here's a favorite tune about this:



For some, TRADITION can be likened to having "ALL OUR DUCKS IN A ROW"...nothing out of place...


Here's one of my top favorite funnymen...a purveyor of both chicken soup AND Duck Soup...For me, Jewish comedians are on the top shelf!


David, I'll bet that at least once on his TV show, "TRADITION" was the magic word...I heard that it was also yours...



...All our ducks in a row...




DAVID'S IN THE BASEMENT MIXIN' UP HIS MEDICINE


During today's memorial, mention was made of how David would retreat to the basement to listen to his favorite music - which was often that of the 60's and 70's.


The mixture of the Jewish vibe in the service and the word "basement" immediately reminded me of a famous Jewish folk singer: ROBERT ZIMMERMAN (a.k.a., BOB DYLAN).


Reading about the Dylan & The Band "Basement Tapes" project, Wikipedia notes that the "sessions that began at Dylan's house in Woodstock, New York, then moved to the basement of Big Pink." Source




DEALING WITH THE MEDICAL SYSTEM...Take 2 and call me in the morning...OR...


David, on the other hand, knew better and he followed his own Rx math..."Take 5"...


Note: My selection of this particular video is likely influenced by Peter Sellers, Glenn Duffy's love of the saxophone and David's interest in the colors of people's eyes...



WHAT'S YOUR WEIGHT???


I think it was nephew Michael who told the story of how David, in addition to noting eye colors, used to ask visitors how much they weighed and noted how Michael's Mom Deb used to try to sidestep this inquiry. Well, Mom really answered David's question by how she cared...how she advocated for his well-being...Oh, I was amazed...but not surprised that the video opens with a train scene...




US vs THEM...Battles in Sports and Bands


--Another for nephew Glenn...



I imagine that when David retreated to the comfort of his "basement tapes"...the music he put on brought him to a place beyond the duality of his ordinary mind with it's preferences for eye colors, foods, etc...to a place of expanded or UNITIVE consciousness...where he was able to be ONE with the ONE and experience all the colors of the rainbow for their unique BEAUTY...for they all are...




In among the Internet's sacred Torah scrolls, I found this 26-second video entitled "L'chaim". It's not hard to see a Pink Floyd influence...aided and abetted by some of Rabbi Tuckman's sacramental wine...





DEADheading: A railroad term


[from this article (others also include a reference to the band)] "Without passing judgement on Grateful Dead fans (for more...see Appendix at the end - where else), deadheads are to be avoided as much as possible, but they can be hard to avoid in some cases, like (see article link for more...):





--Enjoy the show or just laugh at these very cool "straphangers"...


David, in another era, we might have shared a boxcar...


David, when it comes to a love of trains...as you can see from what I've already penned...we both have a one-track mind.


I enjoyed hearing your family recount your train adventures. Also learned that your nephew Michael's partner - Bri - also digs tracks...


See, I grew up in the Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens - right down the block (a NYC term : ))) from the Long Island Railroad's Brooklyn Branch on Atlantic Avenue and their Morris Park car repair shops and freight yards. We even had steam engines then. My friends and I would often play in and around the freight cars. I remember on one occasion telling a friend also named Tommy, that I wanted to be a train engineer. As I see it now, since I haven't yet GROWN UP...I still have a shot at fulfilling this boyhood dream...


I grew up playing with Lionel .027 gauge trains and as a teen started building my own HO railroad and layouts. When our son John was young, I introduced him to my passion and we'd play for hours with Tomy's, wooden Brio's, Thomas the Tank Engine...often leaving the room-to-room layouts in our third-floor Queens Village apartment up for days...


As part of introducing John to the world of trains, I'd take him to the LIRR station near our Queens Village apartment, where we'd do train spotting. Gradually, he learned to distinguish the electric-powered trains from their diesel counterparts by the configuration of their headlights. He had a preference for the electric's - as the diesel's noise frightened him. "Up on Daddy!" he'd plead and I'd bend down and cradle him safely in my arms while the diesel from Montauk Point would thunder through the station. See, the diesels had one large headlight, while the electric's had two. Might have been similar to David's preference for certain eyeball colors. This love/fear relation was ramped up when a consist with TWO DIESELS approached. "DOUBLE DIESEL!" John would exclaim as he reached for my outstretched arms.


And how cool was this...that this guy was one of our conductors on Shining Time Station!


AND...How 'bout this dude???



Another "I'm-amazed-but-not-surprised" moment is that he begins by telling us that he took this role as an opportunity to do something different...in his words, "to stretch his eyeballs..." Look TRADITION squarely in its face and challenge it...


END OF THE LINE


As I watched this video, I noted a few frames where there was a guitar placed in an empty chair. This immediately reminded me of a recent occurrence at my weekly AA meeting at the Witches Brew Coffee House AND a scene from Les Mis.


As family and friends gather in the future, perhaps this could become a NEW TRADITION...




AA: Angel - a longtime member of my home group (Witches Brew Coffee House Thursday's 11A-noon) - passed away after surviving living without alcohol for many years AND, along the way, a double lung transplant. At the first meeting after his death, one of the veterans suggested we leave his usual chair ("TRADITION") empty. Someone else placed a memorial Mass card on the empty chair.


SENIORS: Has this been happening in your spheres of friends & families - Where we used to collect baseball cards...we're now collecting memorial/Mass cards???




AFTER PAYING OUR RESPECTS...


This year, I prepared two blog posts to help me learn a little more about my Dalton family and their Jewish tradition - one that birthed another tradition I was part of for many years. They are filled with the spirit of L'chaim! (to life!)




APPENDIX: A "Dead" end...?...or portal to another dimension...?


"You're traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead - your next stop, the Twilight Zone!" (one of several intros that were used to transport us...)


OKAY, back to "the real world"...



"What do Al Gore, Whoopi Goldberg, Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin,

Carlos Santana, Nancy Pelosi, Mario Batali, and yes, Ann Coulter have in common? Give up? They are all members of the inimitable community of Grateful Dead fans commonly and affectionately known as Deadheads."



--Check out his cool YELLOW duds...


This Dead.net article offers this: (1) Robert Hunter originally wrote the song as a tribute for Janis Joplin. Phil Lesh now sings "All I know is something like a bird within him sang", transferring it Jerry Garcia instead A regular for the Dead, this was also performed by Jerry Garcia with John Kahn, and more recently by Bob Weir with Ratdog and by Phil Lesh & Friends.


David, I'm inDEADed to you...because of your family's remembrances during your memorial, I learned of yet another musical connection...there are lots videos of Carlos and the Dead...


APPENDIX C: Caffeinated Inspiration





APPENDIX J: JEWS FOR JERRY



He hangs out with rock stars, cruises the city on a three-wheeled "Mitzvah Bike" and blows the shofar to rally crowds at major league ball games. It's all a far cry from Crown Heights, where this spiritual leader earned his rabbinic ordination. More at above link.


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