Archive for November, 2014


bros

I loved everything about David Ruffin as lead of The Temptations and thereafter when he recorded solo, especially on “My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)” and the Van McCoy production, “Walk Away From Love”.  I didn’t even connect the vinyl dots to realize that he had an older brother who could sing just as well in his own right until, [ I can’t remember when it was ] one day I acquired and really looked at the label of the 45rpm record, “What becomes Of The Brokenhearted” by Jimmy Ruffin and wondered as I played it, was this guy related to David. Or maybe I had a previous inkling… There was no “Googling” back then to learn instantly the answer, and so I had to rely upon my “ear” for music which heard the similarities of voice that let me know these two singers were related for sure!

I have used Jimmy’s biggest hit to accentuate at least two blogs here at ‘Achilliad‘ since I began to do this in 2009.  One was me crying the blues about some chick that deserted me in love back in, I think, 2008 or nine, the other more recently as a part of a collection of “tune wedgies” that I had get off my (mind) chest.

Jimmy-Ruffin

But this post, Jimmy, is for YOU. Posthumously, yes, but I was always by your side due to the anthem of unrequited love that you gave us. With tears wanting to well-up behind my eyes, I dedicate this post to you, Jimmy, who, unbeknownst to you because we never met, held my hand many a night whey I really cried over a lost love. If I were the Program Director of a radio station right now, I would play a whole hour of your music, both the familiar and obscure even if I had to play “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted” back-to-back-to-back-to-back and then some. You were a non-spotlight seeker whose light of class and groundedness belied the showbiz stereotypes. London was a good place for you to be more appreciated – good move to go there, Sir!

Here is one by Jimmy that is really the first time I heard him! It was on Volume 9 of the famous vinyl “Motown Collections Of 16 Original Hits” albums!
Again, the unrequited love theme on, “Don’t You Miss Me A Little Bit Baby”…

I knew you must have been David’s older brother because of the similarities of stature and movement, like that little hand-to-hand move you did with the mic while singing the oft-sampled lyric, “Always moving and goin’ nowhere.” Knowing you are not in the physical world any longer moves me to seriousness with the knowledge that your spirit is singing with the angels as your body rests in musical peace having let me express my many failed love relationships via your wonderful one-hit wonder.

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“What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted”? We just drag along until we have a chance to join the departed.

Jimmy Ruffin: 1937 – 2014

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Early this first week of November, 2014, I received this email from a Realtor friend,
“In Case you didn’t know: Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation that will lower the default speed limit in New York City from 30 to 25 miles per hour. Beginning November 7th 2014, the speed limit on all streets will be 25 mph, unless otherwise posted. http://www.nyc.gov/html/visionzero/pages/home/home.html”

My reaction is that it is one of the DUMBEST laws in history, if you take into account that this is “fast-paced New York City”. And yet I understand the “spirit” of the edict must be to slow-down the plethora of wild drivers overall. I learned to drive in NYC and earned my license in 1969.

The succeeding generations after the 1990s have pushed anarchy on the roads to a new HIGH, so I understand the “spirit” of what the Mayor is signing.
Heh, maybe they will let us do “30”mph without a ticket. However, it is also possible that some overly- aggressive NYPD will undoubtedly catch many dolphins in their traffic dragnets. ???????????????????????????????

Instead I suggest a “Stop Sign Means a FULL STOP” campaign. The Mayor could hire me (or not) to do the Public Service Announcements voice-over for radio and TV!! I say that because this generation of drivers (many from other parts of the planet) has NO respect for the Stop Sign. stop-war-sign

My dad owned the now defunct “Jamaica Auto School” back in the day, so I KNOW from what I speak for he who cannot speak anymore.
My concern is that those of us who follow the rules, who are from the black and white TV/beginning of color TV generations and those immediately after will become the dolphins caught in the NYPD’s traffic dragnet. Those of us who know the old rules of “right-of-way” and “no trucks in the left lane”, who speed-up to pass grandpappy who is DWTOT (driving while too old to) will get surprise camera speeding tickets or worse, stopped by today’s uniformed NYPD human lookalikes who then, in the spirit of former Mayor Giuliani take the opportunity to humiliate good, mature adult citizens in the name of reclaiming “stop and frisk” under the guise of exceeding the 25mph limit.

How about ticketing pedestrians who cannot look up from their “stupid phones” and wander out into oncoming traffic?! Or the ones with headphones on under hoodies who wander out in the crosswalk of major borough boulevards at dusk, not looking right or left as I was taught to, almost with impunity that a vehicle will not strike them down them down just because they did not SEE them until the last second as the driver made their left-turn! One of the lessons my Pops taught me while we walked from the subway on Lexington Avenue up to my boyhood “guppie” YMCA swimming lessons was to “look both ways and over your right shoulder for cars, and NEVER trust that the driver would stop!” In other words, never put your life in the hands of a driver whose state of mind you do not KNOW! Mr. DeBlasio, do your homework and go BACK to those lessons if you want to reduce pedestrian incidents and fatalities!

No, this policy is not thoroughly thought-out and will likely produce traffic court gridlock before long, if there are enough of us who know to challenge wrongs in the system still left in the once-great fast-paced “Big Apple” to stand-up against it.

Not that I never drove the streets of NYC aggressively, mind you, but it was always a “controlled assertion”; more like to get out of the way of what I saw developing. Sometimes someone driving too slowly is as bad as one driving too fast! I’ve witnessed these new drivers, in their modern, high-powered Lexus, Camarys, and BMWs (“OMG, the aggressively ignorant attitude that beamer drivers have these days in NYC is moronically morose!) who drive like they think that those drivers in the movies and in car sales commercials on controlled tracks are the way you are supposed to drive around the neighborhood!

And so once again, in true kindergarten or grade school fashion, like when someone stole the teacher’s favorite pen from her desk and would not own-up to it nor accept amnesty as she turned her back to “allow whoever it was to return it”, most of the class of experienced and predominate traffic law-abiding drivers will be punished for the actions of a band of youthful and immature few.
25mph everywhere? Nyet. Drivers over forty years old, please coach yourselves up on how to dispute camera speeding tickets, quickly, fast and in-a-hurry. Look out for more “road rage” stories, lol.
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**PickHit: “Pedestrian deaths in the city fell to a historic low last year, and motorcyclist deaths also dropped, the number of bicyclist fatalities increased to 20, from 12 in 2013″!

** Sureshot: Having to watch-out for speeding cameras (“photo enforced”) adds another driver DISTRACTION, you dummies!

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