Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Rant #1,024: Ashes to Ashes

 "Ashes to ashes
Funk to funky
We know Major Tom's a junkie ... "

Those are some of the lyrics to David Bowie's 1980 song "Ashes to Ashes," and they really have not that much to do with what I am talking about today, but at the same time, they kind of fit in.

I read where singer Richie Havens' ashes are going to be scattered at the Woodstock, New York, site where he made a name for himself 44 years ago.

Havens died a few weeks ago, and since this is something of a sacred site for music and counter-culture folk back then and now, it seems to be only fitting that his ashes get scattered there.

And then there is the case of Dick Van Dyke, venerable actor, singer and all-around showman, who recently got married again, but more recently survived a flaming car.

He was rescued from the car, and the approaching 90-year-old performer appears to be doing fairly well after this mishap.

Fire, as the cavemen found out many thousands of years ago, is a wonderful thing to have as long as you know how to contain it.

Once you lose that prowess, fire is a horrible thing, and can kill and maim people, wipe out wildlife and forests, and, well, is just plain dangerous.

Remember when you were a kid, and your mother told you not to play with matches?

She didn't say that to hear the sound of her voice. She meant what she said.

I have been in a burning car one time, if I recall correctly.

When I was a kid, I was taken back and forth to my bowling league by a young guy, older than me of course, who had a car.

The car wasn't that great, and if I remember correctly, one time, the engine exploded, and we were left stranded on the way to, or maybe it was from, the bowling league on one unfortunate Sunday morning.

And as far as my ashes, Jews generally don't get cremated. We go into the ground in one piece, or at least we are supposed to.

Or course, that is changing, and Jews do get cremated today.

But I don't want my remains to sit in an urn somewhere. I want to go into the ground, and have a resting place near my wife.

We have been paying for years as part of a burial society that we belong to, to guarantee that my wife and I have burial plots ready for us when the time comes.

It is in an orthodox Jewish cemetery, because my grandfather started the society years ago, and he was orthodox.

So as it stands, my wife and I will be buried in this cemetery, but bowing to orthodox Jewish tradition, I will be buried with the men, and she with the women.

Sure, I would prefer to be buried next to her, but this way, we can both visit each other in the great beyond, have a destination to go to when the time comes.

Sure, that's what I tell her.

But between you and me, I would prefer to be buried right next to her, but I can't change tradition.

And isn't it interesting how this discussion has morphed into one about how one wants to go when their time is up?

Heck, I figure I have at least 30 to 40 more years on this earth, so I "have a lot of living to do."

And that song is from "Bye Bye Birdie," and Dick Van Dyke was in both the stage and movie version of that musical.

But Richie Havens had nothing to do with it, so I guess we can't come fully full circle with this blog today.

At least I tried.

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