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Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
"No, really!"

My Favorite Bit of Paper Cup Philosophy

The Way I See It #76

The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Hey ~ What Just Happened Here?

I have always mused that my Granny saw practically everything in the world change during her lifespan, December 7, 1899 through February 13, 1987. Cars and space travel, World Wars I and II, telephones and computers, television and medical miracles. Now I am nearly dumbstruck reflecting upon changes I've witnessed in only 57 years and what does the future hold that will amaze me?

All right, so I wrote a post that wasn't about Sam Cooke, per se, but no reader would doubt how much I appreciate Sam Cooke from reading my words.

When I wrote my next post, I was still rather introspective in mood, and while I wasn't writing about Otis Redding, specifically, anyone would be able to tell I revere Otis.

I must confess to feeling a little startled when I got a comment from a blogger called Sam's Neph, saying:

One of the most chilling conversations I've ever had was with Ben Cauley, the only surviving Bar-Kay from Otis' plane crash. He said just seconds before the crash, Otis was waxing poetic about how talented Sam Cooke was and how he left us too early. Eerie, to say the least.

Erik Greene
Author, "Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective"

What? Was Sam Cooke's nephew commenting on my blog? Was this real? I took a look at the blogger's profile, but there is not a lot of information (yet). I looked at the website. Oh. Sam Cooke's story as told by his family. This seemed real. Some of my commenters said something or asked about it. I got an e-mail asking, "Where and how did you pick up Sam Cooke's nephew?" I figured it must have been in the natural way. Organic, you know. Someone Googled something like "Sam Cooke's death" and my blog post came up high on the list of hits. That made sense. The post was only a couple of days old. It would place high.

Later in the day, blogging friend, Kirk, posted a little poke of fun at me along the lines of "be cautious about swinging celebrity names around on your blog as you never know what will hit you." All those who had been dishing and laughing on my blog rang in at Kirk's, and I think it's fair to say we all had a grand day laughing in the blogosphere.

I got home and went to take a serious look at the Sam Cooke website. I was impressed that his nephew, Erik Greene, had written a book based on input from many family members and professional associates and had published Sam's story from the family's perspective. I was moved to send Erik an e-mail saying I plan to buy the book and T-shirt today. I commented that I wish he sold smaller T-shirts, but I would tuck mine in. I asked how he found his way to my modest blog.

This morning, I receivede an e-mail:


It was my pleasure! I have a friend who scours the internet regularly and is a major Sam Cooke fan but much too shy to ever post on a blog. She regularly alerts me to Sam discussions and every now and then I add something, hence she posts vicariously through me! What's even more ironic, she alerted me to Kirk's blog this morning, and he seems to be giving you a tongue-in-cheek hard time!

While I thank you for your interest in my book, I unfortunately don't have any shirts smaller than a large currently. I only keep a small number of small and medium sizes because they aren't as popular, and was surprised to learn I was sold out of both. However, I'll keep you in mind when I order a new shipment.

Thanks for taking time to drop me a line,

Erik Greene
Author, Our Uncle Sam

Ha! He has, basically, a researcher who lets him know when Sam is being discussed on blogs. Not only had she found my blog, she found Kirk's little piece of sass aimed at me. After a couple more e-mail exchanges, Erik said, "I defended your honor on Kirk's blog." I zoomed over to Kirk's to take a look. Erik had, too! He's funny! And quick! These are qualities I like. He was immediately dishing in Kirk's comments and immediately felt like an old friend.

Anyone who has read my blog twice knows I am big on connecting with others. It's what makes me feel alive. I am reflecting upon this funny thing called blogging and the way we meet new friends. Some bloggers attract our attention not at all, and yet we feel magnetically drawn to others. I have some blogging friends I know I would hang out with all the time, if only we lived in the same hemisphere. With some of these good people, I felt an instant spark of connection over some small thing, but grew to understand that we shared other interests, too.

It amuses me that we now have an avenue by which to connect with others we would never otherwise encounter. I have a huge grin on my face today and I'm just shaking my head from side to side. David laughed at me! "You know there's everything in the world on the internet, including other fascinating people. You just didn't know how easily they'd find you or you'd find them." Erik, it is my pleasure to make your acquaintance! I can't wait for Kirk to arrive at the public library today, log onto his blog and see what he hath wrought.

In my ears right now: What else, dear Reader?

Something that charmed me: Erik charms me. Blogging charms me. Good people charm me. Connecting with others in some human way charms me.

Some photos used with the kind permission of Erik Greene.


  1. Kirk hath arrived at the library and hath seen what he hath wrought.

    Kirk also hath a lot of Sam Cooke songs in his head right now.

    Kirk--enough with third person already--I guess it was really brought home to me!

  2. In the immortal words of Lawrence Welk (with absolutley no musical connection to Sam Cook), "a- wonnerful, wonnerful!!!"
    I love that you've made this connection. I hopping over to the website now to get me and my daughter some T-shirts. She has 5 of his albums. She is standing right here and I was telling her how Leslie knows Sam Cooke's nephew. Isn't it fun?

  3. @ The Readers ~ I detest it when Blogger makes a mess. I just published 2 comments, Kirk's and Kass'. My blog front page SAYS I have 2 comments. Why do I only see 1 - Kirk's? I know it will eventually catch up with itself, but I get frosted at Blogger's nonsense. My comments back to y'all may be out of order. Sorry. I'm trying.

    @ Kirk ~ "We're havin' a party, dancin' to the music . . . " I love blogging. I love quick, witty people like you. And Erik. And Kass. And others. This little episode has been a hoot.

  4. Geez, and then Kass' comment pops up after the fact. TOLD you I'd be out of sequence!

    @ Kass ~ It's just damned FUNNY! I'm having a good time. Please let Erik know how you found him. I think we all need to carry our calling cards. Lord knows how we all find each other.

  5. We follow our hearts. I just read something about by the end of this century we will have amassed 20,000 times the amount of technical progress we have had over the last few centruries. How do we keep up. I think our 6 degrees of separation is shrinking. glad your having fun.

  6. @ Tag ~ Well said, my friend! I think we are down to 4 degrees of separation already. And I'm not sure I DO keep up, Tag. I'm Johnny-on-the-Spot about some things. But I'm dumber than a box of rocks about others. And I find myself digging in my heels sometimes, because I just don't WANT to learn some things. I AM having fun. You know me and that "connecting with others" and "learning new things" stuff!

  7. Found your blog through Kass and thoroughly enjoyed this post. Sam Cooke and his "You Send Me" was THE song my (not then - later to be) husband and I danced to in high school. OUR song! Sam Cooke will live forever in my heart.

  8. Limes, what a fun connection you made! I've skimmed your posts lately but haven't had much time to respond. Oh--another birthday connection--my grandma Irene was born 12/20/1899. Alas, she died in 1972--much too soon. But she too, used to marvel at all the changes she had seen in her lifetime.

  9. This is a wonderful story of serendipity and synchronicity and felicity and all those other wonderful things that happen in the blogosphere.

    Long may our connections, the good ones at least ,keep forming and reforming. Thanks, Les.

  10. @ Helen ~ Welcome aboard my pink bus and thank you for taking the ride today. Sam Cooke . . . I always use the same word. It's simple, but it's my truth: pure. His voice is pure. Sometimes pure joy, sometimes pure longing, sometimes pure pain. But always pure. If you and your husband danced to Sam, you must be reasonably near my age. Weren't we the lucky ones to come up in the era we did?

  11. @ Dooz ~ I know how busy you are! I can tell. Also, because I'm so sensitive to school calendars, I know you're in the long s-l-i-d-e into home base. Doozy, what do you suppose it is with us and birthdates? It's uncanny! What, our stars were matched at the planet Calendar before we appeared here in the 1950s? I think it's hilarious. And, yes, Erik is quite the connection. I have had a grand time for a couple of days. How about that smile on his face? He looks angelic to me.

  12. @ Elisabeth ~ Isn't this just the happiest story? I know Kass went to Erik's website to buy T-shirts and (I think) the book. Erik, Kirk and I have each made wonderful new friends. It is amazing to me! We live in wonderful times. We can meet people we'd otherwise never encounter, and it is a good thing.

  13. Hey, Limes,

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the lively discussion. I've really enjoyed it!

    @Tag--interesting statistic if it holds true. That brought to memory a poster I once saw in which the head of the U.S. Patent Office proclaimed in the late 1800's that "everything of technological significance has already been discovered." Amazing!

    @Kass--Your t-shirts were mailed out this afternoon. Enjoy!

    WV-ranea. Seattle is ranea than the rest of the country!

  14. @ Erik (Sam's Neph) ~ We have all truly enjoyed your presence, Erik. Please don't be a stranger! I've not seen many bloggers who were able to jump in and be as quick on their feet as you were, both on Kirk's and my blog. You're onto the WV game like a champ!

    That Kass beat me to ordering the book and shirt! One has to watch out for her - she's quick on the draw. I'll get busy on my order. I can only plead press of work.