Happy Birthday to Red Skelton. A great clown and entertainer who brought much joy in my childhood. I’m sure you no longer have to close with “and may God Bless“, since that’s a moot point where you undoubtedly are now.
Happy Birthday, Nelson Mandela. A small payback for your years of incarceration, but first the World Cup; now your countryman wins the British Open on your birthday. And three words: Morgan Freeman’s voice.
Happy Birthday, Hunter S. Thompson. Thanks for the wonderful essays and books, for writing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in time for me to read it when I needed it, for living a lifestyle that makes Jack Nicholson’s look suburban and docile. Plus you went out with a bang.
Happy Birthday, Dion DiMucci. I still get chills listening to “The Wanderer” or “Abraham, Martin and John” and your duet with Christine Ohlman on her new album is tremendous. Keep playing, sir!
Happy Birthday, Ian Stewart. I don’t know how anyone gets screwed over as badly as you did and still remains supportive of those friends, but in my mind you will always be an official member of The Rolling Stones.
And Happy Birthday to unlucky gangster Machine Gun Kelly (because this was also the day he was killed – some party that must have been!). And speaking of running afoul of the authorities and suffering the consequences – and no, that was not the original title of “I Fought The Law” - Bobby Fuller was killed on this day in 1966. I don’t think it was the law that he fought that night, nor do I think he killed himself (really – who drinks gasoline?)
Today also marks forty-one years since Chappaquiddick ended one person’s life and another person’s Presidential aspirations, but both people who knew the truth are now gone forever.