The Dedication Game | Street Jazz

The Dedication Game

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Charles Kester. Jon Zimmer. Kathryn Golly. Jacob George. Glen Wheeler. Marion Orton. Miller Williams. George Oleson. Nancy Maier. Lyell Thompson. Melba Smith. Ed Tarvin. Lilly Goester.

These are just a few of the recently deceased, those who have contributed to the rich quilt of diversity of life in Fayetteville. We wouldn’t be the community we are without people like them. Some of the names are known to most in the community, and some have gone about their work quietly, working for the good of humanity.

In some cases I knew the individual, but there are many I have never met.

Their names are also listed in a black notebook I carry to Fayetteville Public Access Television every week. Marked “Dedications,” the notebook is a list of those who have had - or will have - programs dedicated to them.

The reasoning is simple; long after obituaries are read and forgotten, a program will appear on screen, with the words, “To the Memory of . . .” along with what they were known for, both at the beginning and end of a show, and just perhaps, someone might remember them, or be inspired by them.

It is important that folks be remembered, and honored, for their contributions, most especially those who are not famous.

I noticed a long time ago that the well-known will get two obituaries - one in the obituary column, accompanied by articles in the newspaper. The lesser-known among us, but who have worked just as hard for their community, are restricted to the obituary page, to the single notice.

Often they were political activists, singers, poets, writers or public access producers, who helped document the diversity of their chosen community.

The dedications are just a way of “Thanks.”

No committee chooses the names or contributes to this list; it is just something I compile myself.

Sometimes there are names added from outside the community. Ernest Borgnine made the cut, simply because he almost made it to 100 before he died.

And the late, great character actor Ed Lauter made the list . . . well, simply because he was the great Ed Lauter. Breathes there the man with soul so dead he would not add Ed Lauter to the list?

If there is, I don’t care to meet him.

Each person gets three shows dedicated to them. The Dedication Book - which I have been using for some time now, has four full pages to go before a blank page is reached - and yet I understand that more names will be added on a regular basis.

******

Quote of the Day

To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own. - Abraham Lincoln

rsdrake@cox.net

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