I mentioned on this blog that 2019 was the year my Dad’s health went sideways. Other than a bad back, he’s like the Montana version of Clint Eastwood. A rare brain condition damn near sent him to Jah’s Heavenly Choir.
Long story short: Jan.-June was a distracting nightmare of back and forth with my Mom reporting grim news and discouraging progress. Calls and texts to my brother and sister who all feel helpless hundreds of miles away.
Here is what Papa Bob had to recover from in 2019:
- NPH – Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus – spinal fluid build up on the brain which leads to dementia, incontinence and “gait deviations” — inability to walk
- Fell walking the dog: broken ribs, partial rotator cuff tear, infected elbow
- Two micro strokes
- Shingles (in spite of his having had the vaccine)
- Allergic reaction to an opioid
My Pops has spent more nights in either a hospital bed or “rehabilitation clinic” (aka nursing home) than he spent at his Snowbird spot in Sun City West, AZ. Retire and then get seriously ill. Life is not fair.
Long story short: The Mayo Clinic in Phoenix “fixes” NPH by installing a shunt in your skull. It’s like the condensation hose on your AC unit. Excess fluid drains away and is absorbed, harmlessly, into the abdomen.
I was there in Arizona when he turned a corner and now is walking with a cane, where he was formerly wheelchair bound.
Mayo Clinic. Wow, awesome. Thank you! Dr. Bendok; Dr. Krishna. All killer, no filler!
So I have been basically “clenched” for seven months. It affects everything and I was keeping all days free in case I had to make an emergency trip to Phoenix. So once Dr. Krishna told my Dad “the pendulum is swinging in the right direction”, it was like Pops had permission to return to the way things were.
One day he said, “Hey go get my book.” He reads these detective novels one after another. Went back to reading the local paper. We watched the Chernobyl Mini Series on HBO together and he was totally engaged. Phew!
I was encouraged enough to think I could engage in a little self indulgence. No more Family With Medical Leave Act for I ‘n’ I.
Now, I want to go on vacation: cratedig, road trip, herbal excursion, concert. While everyone else was dealing with the chaos of the first week of school I was on my way to Denver for a comedy concert.
My Version Excursion Itinerary:
- I 70 to Green River for lunch at the Tamarisk Cafe’ my bredrin Aqua Boy recommended.
- Stop in Palisade, CO at a dispensary. My weed concierge seemed a little grumpy. Hey fella, you could be slopping Slurpees at the Sev. Answering all my questions on my Seven Leaf purchases should be like a wine vendor sampling his wares. Come on man, you see Utah on the Driver’s License. It’s like having to talk to a toddler. But I don’t care — I’m on vacation. Just gimme my stash and choke on my cash!
- Drove through the most beautiful stretch of country I have ever been on: Grand Junction to I 25 approach to Denver. Had it all: fruit stands, wineries, rivers, dams, mountain passes, tunnels, ski resorts, Amtrak. Treacherous driving even in the Summer at nearly 11,000 feet. Wow!
- Check into my hotel in Denver. Hit the liquor store. Stealth vape in my room while I plot my book and record store mapping, neighborhood by neighborhood. Successful cratedig: picked up around $200 of fresh Reggae vinyl
- Had Dinner a couple nights with my friends who flew in to see comedian Jimmy Dore and because I hate flying, I had my car.
- Listened to KGNU Boulder’s “Reggae Bloodlines” show on Sat. 1-4pm. Having a session and a cocktail just like millions of you all do every Saturday during Smile Jamaica. Reggae Bloodlines sounded like Smile Jamaica with more Rebelution type reggae than Mutant Dub I ‘n’ I play, but straight up killer roots!
- Sat. 4:20 vape like a viper before the show
- Call Uber
- Standing online with about 75 fellow Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders fanatics wearing my brand new Ilhan Omar T shirt which got many thumbs up from the Progressive audience in attendance
- A round of cocktails with my friends to combat cotton mouth and settle in for nearly 2 hours of gallows humor with comedian Jimmy Dore surrounded by fellow travellers on the Far Left political spectrum. Single payer or death!
- Sunday morning sunrise return trip via I 80. Thermos full of bad coffee grinding out flat and bland prairie. Cruise control at 73 MPH churning up the mile markers as my Pops loves to say, “feeling like a whore in church”, watching for Johnny Law on the 525 mile stretch back to SLC.
- Gassed up in Rock Springs and called my Mom and that is how I found out my Dad doesn’t need a cane around the house. Praise Anu!
So yeah, good week after a brutal year. Selah!
Smile Jamaica Ark-Ives: Jah-gust 17, 2019 Annotated Playlist; 43 sec.
- Earl Zero – Only Jah; Only Jah Can Ease the Pressure (Freedom Sounds) ’79 JA vinyl
- The Supersonics – Treasure Isle Dub vol. 2 (Treasure Isle) JA vinyl dub set of the hour
- Leroy Smart – Number One; Vault Classics vol. 2 (Grapevine) ’87
- 15 16 17 – Black Skin Boys; Magic Touch (DEB) ’78 Equals cover by 3 UK dawtas: 2 sisters & 1 cousin
- Sugar Minott – Come On Home; When Rhythm Was King (Heartbeat/Studio One) ’77
- Culture – Ganja Time + Legalization; Live in Africa (RAS) 2000 South Africa: 4:20 Cannabis Service Announcement
- Oku Onuora – Wat a Situashan; 12″ (Heartbeat) ’83 US picture sleeve; dub poet
- Mikey Dread – My Religion; World Tour (Dread at the Controls) 2000
- Eric “Rebel Lion” Bubbles & Ranking Joe – Roots of Black People; Roots of Black People (Progress International) 2013
- Bob Andy & Marcia Griffiths – Lean on Me; Sweet Memories (Nectar) ’72 Bill Withers cover
- Sip a Cup All-Stars – Rasta Ah Step; 10″ (Sip a Cup) 2004 UK
Set 3: Best of Smile Jamaica 29+ Years
- Gregory Isaacs & U Roy – Love Is Overdue; Love Is Overdue (Heartbeat) ’74
- I Roy – Tribute to Michael Holding; Musical Shark Attack (Virgin Front Line) ’76
- Mighty Diamonds – Why Me Black Brother Why; I Need a Roof (Hitbound) ’76
- Jean Binta Breeze – Simple Things + A Song to Heal; Tracks (LKJ) ’91 UK female dub poet
- Aswad – Dub Fire; New Chapter of Dub (Mango) ’82 Dub Album of the Hour
- Samia Farah – Goodbye Dub; Many Moods of (SAM) 2008 Fr.-Tunisian female dubstress
- Pappa Biggie – Youth Them Have to Grow; General For All General (Hitbound) ’84
- Papa Bruce – Loafter Smoker; 12″ (Greensleeves) ’82 dj to Triston Palmer herbtune
Set 5: Vinyl Is Vital
- A. Doeman – Mighty Mighty High; Jah Jah Come Now (I & I Sound) LA vinyl
- King Medious – This World; Version Like Rain (Trojan) ’73 UK; Lee “Scratch” Perry prod’n; Fever riddim
- Black Uhuru – Party Next Door; 12″ EP picture sleeve (4th & Broadway) ’83 US
- Mary-Ann – Walk on By; Strictly Reggae (Omni) ’81 Can. Yvonne Warwick cover
- Pablo Moses – A Step Before Hell + dub; Pave the Way (Mango) ’81 US
Set 6: Wailers Family Tree
- Bob Marley & the Wailers – Can’t You See; Marley, Tosh, Livinston & Associates (Studio One) ’66/’82 comp. JA vinyl
<Wailers rock out>; 80 sec.
- Peter Tosh – African; Live at the Ritz (bootleg) Sept. 29, 1981 NYC
- Bunny Wailer – Top Ranking; Hall of Fame (RAS) ’95 50 Bob songs for his 50th Birthday
- Bob Marley/Bill Laswell – One Love/People Get Ready; Dreams of Freedom (Axiom) ’97 ambient covers
- Lady Ann – Informer; Dancehall – The Rise of Jamaican Dancehall Culture vol. 2 (Soul Jazz) ’81
- Mikey Mystic Burial Dub; Foundation of Roots in Dub vol. 1 (Roots) ’95
- Josey Wales – It a Fi Burn; Hi Grade Ganja Anthems (Greensleeves) ’83 herb tune
- Carlton Livingston – Finders Keeper; 12″ (Satta Rock)
Set 8: Mutant Dub
- Thievery Corporation – .38 .45 (A Thievery Number); CD Single (4ad) ’98 DC dubbers: Mutant Dub Set
- Gorillaz – 12D3; G-Sides (Virgin) 2002 UK cartoon group
- Dub Gabriel feat. Karen Gibson Roc – Spirit Made Flesh; Anarchy & Alchemy (Destroy All Concepts) US w/ female dub poet
- Dubbblestandart – Streets of Dub (Anxiety Dub); King Size Dub vol. 11 (Echo Beach) 2005 Jah-strian dubbers
- Dub Front Outernational & Junior Murvin – Dub Front; Get Your House in Order; 10″ EP (Dub Front Outernational) 2000 Germ.
- Natasha Atlas – I Put a Spell On You; Ayeshteni (Mantra) 2001 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins/North African mashup