Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My Father And The Funk Brothers

When the alarm went off this morning I couldn't believe it was already Monday again. The good news is that it is a beautiful morning.

I spent some of my Sunday afternoon sitting with my father. He is 82 years old and has Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. He cannot be left alone so whenever my 77 year old mother needs to get away, someone must sit with my father. It was an enjoyable experience. He sleeps a lot these days but he is still coherent. Sometimes he seems to not be present but he is still with us in body and mind. The Parkinson's is not advanced. He can still get around with a walker but he moves very slowly. A trip to the bathroom is a very long journey. He asked me about my children and their lives so I filled him on all the happenings going on with them. I mentioned the monastery and he had many questions about how the monastery was doing. He said he would like to visit it again but I do not believe he would be up for the trip. At one point I think we were both taking naps. It would have been interesting if my mother and Aunt had walked in on us while we were sleeping. He is an older version of me and I am a younger version of him. Without my beard, I look like his clone although he is a bigger man than me. All in all it was a quiet and uneventful afternoon and I'm sure my mother was happy to get a way for a while with her sister.

Last night I watched a very interesting documentary on the Funk Brothers. Who are the Funk Brothers? They are the musicians who played on all the great Motown songs and other sounds coming out of Detroit in the late 60's and early 70's. They were the unsung heroes of the great songs by people like Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, the Four Tops, The Supremes, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder and all the other great singers of Motown. I never saw most of the great Motown artists but I did see the original Temptations and the Four Tops perform. Although I was mainly a hippie and a rock and roller, I always thought the Motown sound was great, too. I couldn't even begin to list the great artists and songs that came from the city of Detroit. I lived in the city of Detroit in 1970-71 and I believe I did drive by the original Motown "Hit Factory" at least once.

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