This may be the happiest I’ve ever been to write a post. Last year, as many of you probably remember, we held a crowdfunding campaign to help a family with adoption fees. The Watkins family had already adopted an eight year old daughter from Ethiopia. They were so happy with their new family, they decided to adopt a ten year old boy named Rabuma, who they had discovered in an orphanage. They knew that Rabuma was destined to be their new son, but were heartbroken because they didn’t have the money to bring him home yet. 4,000 of you donated to help make this family a reality. Over the past year, the Watkins have been sending me periodic updates, but I didn’t want to share them because I didn’t want to jeopardize the process. But everything just finalized. By a beautiful coincidence, the Watkins happened to pick up Rabuma while I was in Africa. So between destinations, I took a two hour detour to Ethiopia to photograph the occasion. It was such an honor for me to be present at the birth of this new family. The love that had already developed between them just filled the room.
Sunday, Monday, Happy Days.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days.
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days.
The weekend comes,
My cycle hums,
Ready to race to you.
These days are all,
Happy and Free. (Those Happy Days)
I’ve always thought it was “Motorcycles hum” which was always a stretch to fit. I also thought it was “These days are ours”. So much for long held beliefs.
If it wasn’t for Jimmy Reed being born on this day, August 29th, in 1925, Rock-n-Roll may have not ending up having such a durable and long running life.
To name just a handful of people his tunes meant something to there’s Link Wray bad ass version of a song Reed first made famous, “Ain’t That Lovin’ You, Baby”, Elvis getting some “cool credibility” back during his 60’s movie star phase with a take on “Big Boss Man" in ‘67 (and, along with another Reed tune, "Baby, What You Want Me To Do" being highlights of the ‘68 Comeback TV special), The Yardbirds doing "Ain’t Got You" as the b-side to their second single, and, of course, the Rolling Stones who took his song "Shame, Shame, Shame" and turned it into "Little By Little" as the b-side of the ‘64 single of their cover of Buddy Holly’s "Not Fade Away" along with their version of "Honest I Do" that appeared on their debut album.
After a long time bout with alcoholism and epilepsy (which went undiagnosed for a years because his doctors just assumed he was having delirium tremens) Jimmy Reed died of respiratory failure in 1976, eight days shy of his 51st birthday.
Jimmy Reed was one of the main Blues artists my dad played for me as a kid and his sound and influence have left an unalterable impact on me
Lillian Weber, a 99-year-old good Samaritan from Iowa, has spent the last few years sewing a dress a day for the Little Dresses For Africa charity, a Christian organization that distributes dresses to children in need in Africa and elsewhere.
Weber’s goal is to make 1,000 dresses by the time she turns 100 on May 6th. So far, she’s made more than 840. Though she says she could make two a day, she only makes one – but each single dress she makes per day is personalized with careful stitchwork. She hopes that each little girl who receives her dress can take pride in her new garment.
It’s always astonishing when I stumble on something that’s just…*good*. This is a simple, absolute good. I love this. Let’s all pray for Lillian Weber.
"A few years ago, I got a call on my cell phone from a twelve year old child from my village. He was calling me from a bus stop. He’d taken a bus into the city alone, and he was calling me to ask if I could help him find a way to go to school. Both of his parents had died of AIDS, and he had no money for tuition. I told him to stay where he was, and left work immediately to pick him up. At first I was very mad at him. He should not have travelled alone. But then I looked at him and I saw myself. I’d also been desperate to go to school after my father was killed, but we had no money. So even though I was suffering myself, I told him I would try to help him. My salary was not enough, so I tried many things to get the money. After work, I went to the landfill to hunt for recyclables. But after I paid to have them cleaned, there was no money left. Now I’m trying to make bricks. I have a small operation in the village to make bricks, and I sell them in the city. It doesn’t make much money, but it’s enough to pay tuition for the boy and three of his siblings.”