His memory started slipping in his fifties. Early Alzheimer's.
He got it from our dad.
What kills me is he was so devoted to learning. He studied & became a rocket scientist. He overcame all the barriers kids like us faced. Single mom, alcoholic, semi literate, immigrant from Latin America. He was a nerd.
I was a class A fuck-up. Wild, bad choices, regret everything I ever did. I was a very clever dumbass.
I wish I could forget, but I remember everything. I'll remember every stupid thing I ever did.
But my brother can't remember the last thing he said.
Man, that's just not fair.
I am grateful that he says he loves me.
I love him too.
He is a sweet, loving man.
I think he'll be ok.
As long as I live, he'll have me. Possibly the only person he remembers eventually.
He seems to remember the good times. Thank Heaven for that.
It just isn't fair. I wish I could forget, & he should get to remember.
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With a keen ear for talent, he helped steer a long list of performers to stardom, among them Etta James, Jackie Wilson, Esther Phillips and Big Mama Thornton — whose hit recording of “Hound Dog,” made in 1952, four years before Elvis Presley’s, was produced by Mr. Otis and featured him on drums.
At Mr. Otis’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Ms. James referred to him as her “guru.” (He received similar honors from the Rhythm & Blues Foundation and the Blues Foundation.)
Mr. Otis was also a political activist, a preacher, an artist, an author and even, late in life, an organic farmer. But it was in music that he left his most lasting mark.
Cross-Posted at THE DAILY MUSIC BREAK , the site that features good music regardless of era or genre. If you enjoy The Daily Music Break, please consider writing a short post about any artist you'd ...