Friday, December 5, 2008

Dateline: Oregon

This is one of those stories that is invariably narrated by NBC's Keith Morrison, he of the dramatic, clipped delivery. Sometimes the stories are even about someone who has fallen (or been pushed) to a watery grave, invariably in the Northwest. This story started with a coincidence--something I don't hold much credence in. Seldom are there such things as coincidences. In Yiddish, there is a word, bashert, which loosely translate to fate or, "it was meant to be."

Ralph Joseph Reynolds, aka Jody, passed away on November 7. He was, in the vernacular, a one-hit wonder. But what a hit he had! He co-wrote and recorded a song called "Endless Sleep." It is a haunting, twangy dirge about a boy and his girlfriend. They have a fight and she walks to and into the sea. It pretty much began a trend of death songs, like "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson, "Tell Laura a Love Her" and "Leader of the Pack." Endless Sleep" has been recorded 65 times, including a great (if sped up) version by Robert Gordon with Link Wray. Jody Reynolds never had another hit. He died in Palm Springs, where he lived and ran a music store as well as sold real estate. He was inducted in the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 1999.

This past week, something compelled me to download the tablature for the song and try to play it on the guitar. Real easy, 3 chord tune. And this is where the coincidental part kicks in...

This week, The Oregonian reported the tragic death of a young Filipina who came to Oregon to marry the love of her virtual world. Leafil Alforque had been dating Scott Napper, of Silverton, since they met in 2005. She arrived in Oregon on a visa from the Philippines, and days later was swept out to sea.

(Imagine Keith Morrison's voice), Scott had taken Leafil to Proposal Rock, on the Oregon Coast to... propose.

"Napper said the tide had receded around Proposal Rock on Saturday when the couple began to walk to it. He planned to propose and give her the ring he carried in his pocket. About 10 feet from the rock, a wave about 3 feet high suddenly came toward them.

'I turned into it to keep from getting pulled under it,' Napper said.

By the time he turned to find Alforque, only 4-foot-11 and 93 pounds, she had been caught by the receding waters.

'She was about 30 feet away, getting swept away,' Napper said.

The 45-year-old Silverton man tore off his jacket to get rid of any extra weight, and when he looked up again she was gone.

'That's the last I saw of her,' he said in an interview Wednesday, breaking into tears."

The night was black, rain fallin' down
Looked for my baby, she's nowhere around
Traced her footsteps down to the shore
‘fraid she's gone forever more
I looked at the sea and it seemed to say
“I took your baby from you away.
I heard a voice cryin' in the deep
“Come join me, baby, in my endless sleep.

Why did we quarrel, why did we fight?
Why did I leave her alone tonight?
That's why her footsteps ran into the sea
That's why my baby has gone from me.
I looked at the sea and it seemed to say
“I took your baby from you away.
I heard a voice cryin' in the deep
“Come join me, baby, in my endless sleep.

Ah, but that is not the end of the story. The end of the story is the reaction to this tragic mishap on at least one internet site. It pretty much amazed me, sickened me and ultimately saddened me. I'm not sure where we, as a civilization, went wrong, but, boy, we are way off course. The following are excerpts from the CBS website.

"I yelled for her," he said. "I was praying to God."

LOL foolish peasant, prayers dont work- this same god is the one who created the wave to begin with, so praying to it isnt going to help, as you found out amigo!

Posted by newster1 at 03:26 PM : Dec 05, 2008

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This is a sign from God for people to
1. Avoid marriage;

2. Stay away from foreign brides;

3. Get out of the water.

Posted by rushlimpdrug at 09:03 PM : Dec 05, 2008

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She must have been a sinner or God would not have drowned her.

Posted by mrs_premise at 02:06 PM : Dec 05, 2008

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Instead of calling it Proposal Rock, they need to call it Disposal Rock.

Posted by shanev137 at 03:06 PM : Dec 05, 2008

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I always knew little philippino women made the best mermaids.

Posted by notmudrose1 at 01:22 PM : Dec 05, 2008

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say hello to Charlie the Tuna for me down there.

Posted by notmudrose1 at 12:05 PM : Dec 05, 2008

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she''s swimming back to the philippines... in the stomach of a shark.

Posted by notmudrose1 at 12:04 PM : Dec 05, 2008

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I wonder if they will use this one on the E-Harmony commercials.

Posted by shanev137 at 11:42 AM : Dec 05, 2008

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God has saved this man from an eternal hell.....

Posted by easeup at 11:07 AM : Dec 05, 2008

. . . are you still with me? Evidently notmusdrose1 fancies him/herself as a net comic. As for the rest, they merely scratch the surface of callous, ignorant and mean-spirited bottom feeders. I am reluctant to call them human... even the alleged Christians are bereft of consciences. Foolish peasant? And how long can you tread water?


Davaudian said...

Yeah, I read this story but not this website/blog. Hey Barry, what's Yiddish for....we hate Christians and blame them for everything?
Now, this Jody guy....I don't know of a music store in Palm Springs, but I'm curious. I was thinking about moving my business there, not anytime soon, but setting up as Palm Strings....which is where I'll be for Christmas after my trip to Costa Rica. Yeah, that's it, I'll grab a Costa Rican mamasita and if it doesn't work out, I'll drive us up to the Oregon coast for a view from the rocks....just kidding.

barryshap said...

We of the tribe don't have such a word as what you're looking for is actually a bit turned around. It is the Christians who blame the Chosen people for all the wrong in their personal and parochial worlds. In that case, the word would be 'goyishe."

As for moving your business to Poodle Springs-- I imagine you would have much more work, what with the white-trash, meth-fed inbred morons of Cat City. The mall rats of Palm Springs and Cabazon and the geriatric swingers in Palm Desert who will no doubt be regulars, setting up their souvenir ukes from that Hawaii trip thirty years ago and their old Harmony Jazzers. On the other hand, you may get lucky and raid some old fart's closet and discover a Fender relic or two. Yeah, the desert, where the motto is "it's a dry heat." 117º is 117º-- dry or not. I mean, it seems like a no-brainer to close op shop on Sunset Boulevard, upstairs from Mesa Boogie, directly across from the flagship Guitar Center and head east.

The view from the rocks is majestic. Just watch the tides.

Davaudian said...

Jokes.....Palm STRINGS...jokes.....mamasita on the rocks.....this is funny stuff....don't you feel the love????
'tis the season to be jolly....I'm having a glass of chardonnay and some valium.....come on.....the worst is over...."the new phone books are out...things are really gonna start looking up for me now".....and doctors orders, stay away from restringing any Bigsby guitars until I say so.....capice?