Back to school with Don and a whole lot more!

Don Rush

Yes, we are full on in school mode these days. Rock and roll! Some school districts in the state started last week, some this (others even earlier). Regardless of the start date, I believe all the little children — loaded down with 57 pounds of books and stuff in their little backpacks — are safely ensconced in their classrooms, intently listening to every word their teachers say, which leads me to think . . .

I love it when school is out for the summer because about 30 percent of the local automobile traffic is off the roads when I tool on into work each morning. Conversely, these days I am in the leaving 10 to 15 minutes early mode so I can get to the office at the same time I like — seven in the morn.

Does anybody have any answers to the following questions?

How many kids drive to school these days? Whenever I drive by the high school parking lots, I am always amazed at the sheer volume of cars parked.

And, how many kids never ride a bus these days? Why do so many parents drive their wee-little and not-so-wee-little childrens to school when the bus option is readily available and already paid for? The traffic around even elementary, middle and junior high schools, with the all buses and all the driving parents is horrendous. Riding a bus for 30 minutes or so was just part of life not too many years ago and kids did just fine. So, I pose this question, too: Moms, what’s wrong with riding the bus & why must you chauffeur?

Also, how many accidents do all these extra vehicles on the roads (parents driving kids and kids driving themselves) cause?

Finally, is it just me, or are the kids driving better cars than their teachers, these day?

I think I will have to dig deeper into this.

* * *

So, this past week the nation watched as two high-value individuals were buried. The “Queen of Soul,” Aretha Franklin here in the Metro Detroit area; and long-time U.S. Senator, John McCain. These were two long, drawn-out public affairs. McCain’s funeral took a week, and actually seemed a little more dignified. I enjoyed Joe Biden, Barack Obama and George W. Bush’s eulogies.

Conversely, I got tired of all the Franklin news coverage. Every local news channel, on every local news cast from the day she died to the day she was buried aired a Franklin story. Of every 30-minute news show, 15 minutes was on some aspect of Franklin’s life, 10 minutes of commercials, three minutes for the weather and only two minutes of news.

Over kill is the term that comes to mind.

Don’t believe me? Check this out, brothers and sisters.

Elvis Presley (aka, The King of Rock and Roll) died on August 16, 1977. He was buried two days later on August 18, 1977. According to an article from a September 1977 Rolling Stones edition, The private funeral on Thursday was plain and simple. Pallbearers were longtime friends Lamar Fike, George Klein and Joe Esposito, guitarist Charlie Hodge, cousins Billy and Gene Smith, Beach Boys road manager Jerry Schilling, personal physician Dr. George Nichopoulos and record producer Felton Jarvis. About 200 persons crowded into and out of Elvis’ music room at Graceland at two p.m. to hear remarks by Rex Humbard, the TV evangelist from Akron, Ohio; comedian Jack Kahane, who had opened shows for Elvis; and the Reverend C.W. Bradley, pastor of Memphis’ Wooddale Church of Christ. Bradley gave the main eulogy.”

On the other hand . . .

. . . Aretha Franklin (the aforementioned Queen of Soul) died on August 16, 2018. She was not buried until August 31 — 15 days later! On the final day, the actual funeral lasted — gulp — eight hours! Politicians, entertainers, family, friends and religious folk all eulogized The Queen.

God rest her soul, I am sure she did a tremendous amount of good in her life, she certainly touched millions with her voice — but those vampires around her, turned her death into a money-grabbing, holier-than-thou, political spectacle. I was embarrassed for her.

Then, again, if I harken back to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Kwame Kilpatrick was The Hip-Hop Mayor of Detroit, I vaguely remember hizhonor proclaiming, “Ain’t no party like a Dee-troit party, because a Dee-troit party doesn’t stop!” (And, I think he said that when he was speechifying during a downtown celebration of the Detroit Pistons’ 2004 World Championship.)

So, maybe I should just keep my thoughts to myself?

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