♫ If I Were A Carpenter ♫

Tonight, I was in the mood for some soul, thinking some Four Tops.  Trouble is, I’ve played most of my favourite Four Tops songs … and reduxed them in the past year.  I’ve got my standards, y’know!  But then, as I was looking back at one, a comment reminded me that the Four Tops had covered this song, If I Were a Carpenter, and … lo and behold, I hadn’t played that one yet!  Now, since so many have successfully covered this song, it wouldn’t be fair to only play the Four Tops version, so I will add a couple of others, just for some variety.  Let me know which is your favourite.

This song was written by the folk singer Tim Hardin, who performed it at Woodstock in 1969.  The song, it is said, was partly inspired by the construction of a recording studio for Hardin, in the home of Lenny Bruce, and by his love for actress Susan Morss.  Sadly, Tim Hardin died in 1980 at the young age of 39 from a heroine overdose.  But, we still have his legacy to enjoy!

The song has been covered by so many, including …

  • In 1966, it was a top ten hit for Bobby Darin, reaching #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at #9 in the UK. Bobby Darin also released an album If I Were a Carpenter, which contains the song.
  • In 1967, Joan Baez covered a gender-reversed version on her album Joan, initially renamed If You Were a Carpenter though later compilations reverted to the original title.
  • In 1968, The Four Tops hit the Top 20 on both the pop and soul charts with their version. It also reached #7 in the UK charts in 1968 staying in the charts for 11 weeks. It reached #4 in the Netherlands.
  • In 1970, a duet by Johnny Cash and June Carter went to #2 on the country chart.
  • In 1972, a cover by Bob Seger reached #76 on the Billboard Hot 100. The single was released from his album Smokin’ O.P.’s.
  • In 1974, Leon Russell released a version with a funk tempo and his own rewritten lyrics from the perspective of a “rock star”. His single reached #73 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was included on his album Stop All That Jazz.
  • In 2005, a duet by Dolly Parton and Joe Nichols was included on Parton’s covers album Those Were The Days.

Whew … that’s enough to make my head spin!  Let’s start with the Four Tops version and go from there …

And Bobby Darin …

Last, but not least, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash

If I Were a Carpenter
Four Tops/Bobby Darin/Johnny Cash/et al

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway
Would you have my baby?

If you were a carpenter
And I were a lady
I’d marry you anyway
I’d have your baby

If a tinker was my trade
Would I still find you
I’d be carrying the pots you made
Following behind you
Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Give me your tomorrow

If I were a miller
And a mill wheel grinding
Would you miss your colored blouse
And your soft shoes shining?

If you were a miller
And a mill wheel grinding
I’d not miss my colored blouse
And my soft shoes shining

Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Give me your tomorrow

If I worked my hands on wood
Would you still love me?
I’d answer you yes I would
And would you not be above me?

If I were a carpenter
And you were a lady
I’d marry you anyway
I’d have your baby

Save your love through loneliness
Save your love through sorrow
I gave you my onlyness
Give me your tomorrow

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Tim Hardin
If I Were a Carpenter lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

♫ Kiss An Angel Good Mornin’ ♫ R.I.P. Charley Pride

I am not, as many of you know, a fan of country music.  In fact, I find that hard-core country, bluegrass, and western tunes actually hurt my ears and make me cringe.  I have long loved Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and a handful of others whose music is … country, but of a softer nature.  But … Charley Pride deserves to be honoured here tonight for his accomplishments.

Charley Pride, one of country music’s first Black superstars whose rich baritone on such hits as Kiss an Angel Good Morning helped sell millions of records and made him the first Black member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, has died at the age of 86 from complications of the coronavirus.

Mr. Pride was a singer, guitarist, and what you might not have known, a professional baseball player!  During the peak years of his recording career (1966–87), he garnered 52 top-10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 30 of which made it to #1. He won the Entertainer of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 1971.  Pride was one of three African-American members of the Grand Ole Opry, and he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Mr. Pride was not the first Black artist to record country music, but none of his predecessors had anywhere near the degree of success he enjoyed, and he went a long way toward breaking the colour barrier in the country music world.  Though Mr. Pride faced racism in the industry — the singer Loretta Lynn was instructed not to embrace him at an awards show in the 1970s should he win the award she was presenting — many of his white counterparts in country music welcomed him as the star he had become. (He did win the award, and Ms. Lynn not only hugged but kissed him.)

When word spread that Mr. Pride was Black, many radio stations refused to play his music. But Faron Young, a white country music star, came to Mr. Pride’s defense, telling one station manager that “if he takes Charley Pride off, take all my records off.”

Dolly Parton’s tribute to Charley Pride …

“I’m so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It’s even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you. Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans.”

And now … the song that Charley Pride was best known for …

Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’
Song by Charley Pride

When ever I chance to meet, some old friends on the street
They wonder how does a man get to be this way
I’ve always got a smiling face, anytime & any place
And every time they ask me why I just smile & say

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Well people may try to guess, the secret of my happiness
But some of them never learn it’s a simple thing
The secret I’m speaking of, is a woman & a man in love
And the answer is in this song that I always sing

You’ve got to kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Kiss an angel good morning
And let her know you think about her when you’re gone
Kiss an angel good morning
And love her like the devil when you get back home

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Al Anderson / Bob Dipiero / Joe Klimek
Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’ lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management, Bluewater Music Corp.

What a real hero looks like

I promised you a ‘good people’ post, but I found myself struggling to put my dark mood aside long enough to produce one this week. Instead, I am sharing an uplifting post about a woman who is truly a credit to the human race, and whose generosity knows no bounds. Thank you, Keith, for this post, and for helping me find a ‘good people’.

musingsofanoldfart

I have written before about this hero primarily for her book gifting program for young kids, which is now an international program called “Imagination Library” (see second link below). Her name is Dolly Parton. I heard she could write songs and sing, as well. Yet, Parton just received some new acclaim for helping fight COVID-19.

In an article in The Hill by Judy Kurtz (see first link below) called “Dolly Parton among donors behind Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine,” her efforts are revealed. Here are a few paragraphs from the article.

“Dolly Parton can add another achievement to her résumé: helping to fund research for Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine.

The ‘9 to 5’ singer was one of several donors listed Monday as part ofthe announcement that Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine candidatewas 94.5 percent effective in an interim analysis. The ‘Dolly Parton COVID-19 Research Fund’ was named as a supporter in the footnotes…

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♫ Kenny Rogers — Final Tribute ♫

Well, folks, it’s been a week of memories, hasn’t it?  I’m sad to see it end, and I realize I didn’t get to all the requests from everybody, but I have made note of them and … Kenny’s legacy, his music, remains with us to be played over and over, whenever we want.  I debated what to do for this final post.  Lady was requested by a couple of people, but since I had already played it twice, last May and in October 2018, I held off on that one.  For tonight’s grand finale, if you will, I selected a few songs and tributes from other artists.  Rather than take up space with trivia & lyrics, I shall let the videos speak for themselves.  First, of course, it had to be Dolly’s own tribute …

What would any tribute to Kenny be without his iconic The Gambler

Even morning talk/news show Good Morning America had to say ‘goodbye’ to Kenny in style …

And, as our friend Ellen suggested, there might be no better tribute than this song by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, You Can’t Make Old Friends …

I finish with a recording that Kenny, along with so many other wonderful artists, such as Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Michael Jackson, James Ingram, and too many to even name, participated in to raise money for humanitarian aid.  The first recording session on January 21st, 1985 brought together some of the most well-known artists in the music industry at the time.

This one never fails to bring a lump to my throat and a tear to my eyes.  What a perfect way, I think, to close this tribute to a great artist …

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this week-long tribute to the late Kenny Rogers … I have certainly enjoyed doing it!  R.I,P. Kenny,  and thank you for all you have given us.

♫ Just The Way You Are ♫

Last night I was tired, and forgot to include any Kenny Rogers’ trivia in my post.  As we’re nearing the end of this tribute week, there are a few more things I wanted to include.  Kenny did duets with a number of other artists, but the ones he is most remembered for are the ones he did with Dolly Parton.  So, how did the two meet and connect?kenny-dolly-2The two first crossed paths in Nashville in the early days of their careers, and he helped her when she headlined a syndicated TV show in the 1970s.

“Kenny was a big star, and I couldn’t get any people on my show. Kenny said ‘I’ll do it,’ and I’ll never forget it. He’s always been there for me as a friend.”

Nearly a decade later, Rogers was in the recording studio with Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, who had just co-written Islands in the Stream and decided to give it to Rogers. After a few days trying to record, Rogers didn’t like how it sounded and was ready to give up. According to Rogers, Gibb said, “You know what we need? We need Dolly Parton.”  By coincidence, Parton happened to be the same studio that day. Rogers’ manager went to go find her.  Recalls Kenny …

“She came marching into the room, and once she came in and started singing, the song was never the same. It took on a personality of its own.” 

Of all their duets, Islands in the Stream is my very favourite, but I find that I have already played it three times here, so … I’ll wait a while before playing it again.


Last night I played We’ve Got Tonight that Kenny sang with Sheena Easton, and I mentioned that while I loved Kenny Rogers, I preferred the Bob Seger version of that particular song.  Well, guess what?  Tonight’s song … same thing!  While I love Kenny Rogers in all things, for this particular one, I prefer Billy Joel’s version.  But, as I said last night, this is a week-long tribute to the late, great Kenny Rogers, not the alive-and-whole Billy Joel.

I actually just discovered that I played the Billy Joel and Barry White versions of this, as well as one where Joel visits Sesame Street with Marlee Matlin back in January, but as I had a special request for the version by Kenny Rogers and Dottie West, that is tonight’s fare!

Just The Way You Are
Kenny Rogers/Dottie West

Don’t go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don’t imagine you’re too familiar
And I don’t see you anymore

I wouldn’t leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times; I’ll take the bad times
I’ll take you just the way you are

Don’t go trying some new fashion
Don’t change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don’t want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you?

I said I love you and that’s forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are

Songwriters: Billy Joel
Just The Way You Are lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., BMG Rights Management

♫ Reuben James ♫

It has been suggested by a few that I make a week-long tribute to the late Kenny Rogers.  I hadn’t thought of it … well, I had thought of it, but a number of readers are not fans of Kenny, so I was about to discard the idea, but then I had so many people telling me their faves, and commenting on how Kenny and his music would be sorely missed (we still have his music, folks … it is his legacy to us), that I had to reconsider.

Our friend rawgod has now requested … or rather hinted at … this song twice now, and I feel badly that I hadn’t played it before.  I like the song, though it isn’t one of my favourites, but it highlights that gorgeous, sensual voice of Mr. Rogers (Kenny, not Fred), so for that, I love it.

Typically, I research and report the backstory and history of the song, but quite frankly I could find almost nothing about this song, and since what little I did find was conflicting, I have no history to report.  Rg … if you know of any, please enlighten us?  In lieu of a backstory, I share with you first, the tribute by Kenny’s long-time friend and sometimes musical partner, Dolly Parton, and some pictures of Kenny “through the years”.

kenny-rogers-6kenny-rogers-7

“Well, I couldn’t believe it this morning when I got up, turned on the TV checking to see what the coronavirus was doing, and they told me that my friend and singing partner Kenny Rogers had passed away. You never know how much you love somebody until they’re gone. I’ve had so many wonderful years and wonderful times with my friend Kenny, but above all the music and the success I loved him as a wonderful man and a true friend.

And I know that we all know Kenny is in a better place than we are today but I’m for sure he’s going to be talking to God sometime today, if ain’t already, and he’s going to be asking him to spread some light on this darkness going on here. But I loved Kenny with all my heart. My heart’s broken. A big ol’ chunk of it has gone with him today and I think that I can speak for all his family, his friends and fans, when I say that I will always love him.”

kenny-rogers-8kenny-rogers-9kenny-rogers-10

Reuben James
Kenny Rogers

Reuben James
In my song you live again
And the phrases that I rhyme
Are just the footsteps out of time
From the time when I knew you, Reuben James

Reuben James
All the folks around Madison County cussed your name
You’re just a no-account, sharecropping colored man
Who would steal anything he can
And everybody laid the blame on Reuben James

Reuben James, for you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
Faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Flora Grey
The gossip of Madison County died with child
And although your skin was black
You were the one that didn’t turn your back
On the hungry white child with no name, Reuben James

Reuben James
With your mind on my soul and a Bible in your right hand
You said “turn the other cheek
A-there’s a better world a-waiting for the meek”
In my mind these words remain from Reuben James

Reuben James, you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
The faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Reuben Jame
One dark, cloudy day they brought you from the field
Until your lonely pinebox came
Just a preacher and me in the rain
Just to sing one last refrain for Reuben James

Reuben James, you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
The faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Reuben James, you still walk the furrowed field of my mind
The faded shirt, the weathered brow
The calloused hands upon the plow
I loved you then and I love you now, Reuben James

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Alex Harvey / Barry Etris
Reuben James lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, BMG Rights Management

Islands in the Stream

I first played this song, the Kenny Rogers/Dolly Parton version, back in July 2018.  Since then, I have been made aware of a couple of other versions, so I will include them, as well.  One is the Bee Gees own version, the other is an alternative version done for charity in 2009.


Tonight’s song, Islands in the Stream, was written by the Bee Gees and is sung here by Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton.  Named after the Ernest Hemingway novel, it was originally written for Marvin Gaye in an R&B style, only later to be changed for the Kenny Rogers album. It was released in August 1983 as the first single from Rogers’ album Eyes That See in the Dark.eyes that see in the darkThe song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, giving both Rogers and Parton their second pop number-one hit (after Rogers’ “Lady” in 1980 and Parton’s “9 to 5” in 1981). It also topped the Country and Adult Contemporary charts.

I like the song … I like the energy and the camaraderie between Kenny & Dolly.  And … yes, I admit it … I don’t mind a bit looking at Kenny Rogers … he is not at all hard on the eyes!

kenny rogers

Islands in the Stream
Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers

Baby, when I met you there was peace unknown
I set out to get you with a fine tooth comb
I was soft inside
There was something going on

You do something to me that I can’t explain
Hold me closer and I feel no pain
Every beat of my heart
We got something going on

Tender love is blind
It requires a dedication
All this love we feel needs no conversation
We ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

I can’t live without you if the love was gone
Everything is nothing if you got no one
And you did walk in the night
Slowly losing sight of the real thing

But that won’t happen to us and we got no doubt
Too deep in love and we got no way out
And the message is clear
This could be the year for the real thing

No more will you cry
Baby, I will hurt you never
We start and end as one
In love forever
We can ride it together, ah ha
Making love with each other, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between
How can we be wrong
Sail away with me
To another world
And we rely on each other, ah ha
From one lover to another, ah ha

Islands in the stream
That is what we are
No one in between

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Maurice Ernest Gibb / Robin Hugh Gibb / Barry Alan Gibb
Islands in the Stream lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group

♫ Save The Last Dance For Me ♫

I was rolling smokes a while ago, doing a mental checklist.  Comments answered?  Check.  Jolly Monday scheduled?  Check.  Email cleaned up?  Check.  Music post?  Oops … I knew I had forgotten something.  So, the song I was whistling at that moment was Tom Jones’ I Who Have Nothing, which is a great song, but … I already played that one last September, and I did promise new content after last night’s redux.  The other song that I found myself whistling, then humming, was this one … Save the Last Dance for Me.  I knew I had done songs by The Drifters before, but lo and behold!  I haven’t played this one yet!

This song tells the story of a couple at a dance. He tells his wife that she is free to dance and socialize with other men throughout the evening, but she should not forget that she is going home with him. Inspiration for the song came from a very personal experience.

The songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman wrote this song. In Lonely Avenue: The Unlikely Life & Times of Doc Pomus, Alex Halberstadt explains that one night, Pomus found a wedding invitation in a hatbox, and back came his most vivid memory from his wedding: watching his brother Raoul dance with his new wife while Doc, who had polio, sat in his wheelchair. Inspired, he stayed up all night writing the words to this song on the back of the invitation. Shuman had played him a soaring Latin melody that afternoon, and he wanted the words to sound like a poem translated into English – something along the lines of Pablo Neruda. By the second verse, a hint of jealousy and vulnerability creeps in with the lyrics, “If he asks if you’re all alone, can he take you home, you must tell him no.” Pomus ended his night of songwriting by writing down the words that would become the title: Save The Last Dance For Me.

Pomus and Shuman were writers for Atlantic Records, where they worked with the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who produced this song. Leiber and Stoller were great with Latin rhythms, which is what they used here and what Pomus had in mind with the flow of the lyrics. Leiber and Stoller were using The Coasters to record most of their songs at the time, and had asked Pomus and Shuman to write songs for The Drifters.

The Drifters lead singer for this song was Ben E. King, who a few months later started scoring solo hits with Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me. When they were recording the song Atlantic Records boss Ahmet Ertegun told King how the song was inspired by Pomus watching his wife dance with another man at his wedding, and King drew on that story to wring out the emotion in his vocals.

In a rare bonehead move by Atlantic Records honchos Ertegun and Jerry Wexler, they relegated this song to the B-side of another Pomus/Shuman composition called Nobody But Me.  It was Dick Clark who broke the song when he flipped the single and played Save The Last Dance for Me on his show American Bandstand. The song gave The Drifters their only #1 hit.

Emmylou Harris in 1979 and Dolly Parton in 1984 have had Country hits with this song, and Michael Bublé reached #99 in the US with his version.  But, with apologies to Harris, Parton and Bublé , I still prefer the Drifters.

Save The Last Dance For Me
The Drifters

You can dance every dance with the guy
Who gives you the eye, let him hold you tight
You can smile every smile for the man
Who held your hand ‘neath the pale moonlight

But don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arms you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, hmm

Oh, I know that the music’s fine (oh, I know, yes I know)
Like sparkling wine go and have your fun
Laugh and sing but while we’re apart
Don’t give your heart to anyone

But don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arms you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, hmm

Baby, don’t you know I love you so?
Can’t you feel it when we touch?
I will never, never let you go
I love you, oh, so much

You can dance, go and carry on
‘Till the night is gone and it’s time to go
If he asks, if you’re all alone
Can he take you home, you must tell him, no

‘Cause don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arm’s you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me

‘Cause don’t forget who’s taking you home
And in whose arm’s you’re gonna be
So darlin’, save the last dance for me, hmm

Save the last dance for me, hmm, hmm
Save the last dance for me, hmmm
Save

Songwriters: Doc Pomus / Mort Shuman
Save The Last Dance For Me – Re-Recording (by Original Artist) lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, Spirit Music Group

♫ Turn! Turn! Turn! ♫

Folk singer/activist Pete Seeger wrote this one in the late 1950s, though it was not recorded until 1962 by the Limeliters, and didn’t become a hit until 1965 when The Byrds brought it out of folk circles with their electrified version.  In the interim, it was recorded by Seeger himself in 1962 on his album The Bitter And The Sweet.

According to Seeger …

“I got a letter from my publisher, and he says, ‘Pete, I can’t sell these protest songs you write.’ And I was angry. I sat down with a tape recorder and said, ‘I can’t write the kind of songs you want. You gotta go to somebody else. This is the only kind of song I know how to write.’ I pulled out this slip of paper in my pocket and improvised a melody to it in fifteen minutes. And I sent it to him. And I got a letter from him the next week that said, ‘Wonderful! Just what I’m looking for.’ Within two months he’d sold it to the Limelighters and then to the Byrds. I liked the Byrds’ record very much, incidentally. All those clanging, steel guitars – they sound like bells.”

Judy Collins also put out a version in 1963 on her album Judy Collins #3, and released it as a single in 1969.  And country/western singer Dolly Parton covered it in 1984 and again in 2005.

Ms. Collins’ version is very different from The Byrds’, and so I present both here …

Turn! Turn! Turn!
The Byrds

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late

Songwriters: Peter Seeger
Turn! Turn! Turn! lyrics © T.R.O. Inc.

Good People Doing Good Things — An Extra-Large Batch

Today I have a whole batch of good people for you, from a large company that went the extra mile for an ailing employee, to a group of doctors giving free care, to a community with a big heart, to a music star giving to good causes.  I figured we needed some ‘extra goodness’ today, plus I felt I should make up for skipping Jolly Monday this week, so let’s get started.


A company with heart …SainsburysSainsbury’s is the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, but unlike most big corporations, they take care of their people, or at least the store in Kenton, north London does.

Ms. Salomon was only in her 50s when she was let go from her job as a bookkeeper because she had become disorganized.  Too young to retire, she applied for a job as a picker, putting together orders for online customers to pick up, at her local Sainsbury’s store.  At first, all was well, everybody loved Ms. Salomon, but after about a year, she started becoming more confused, and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Ms SalomonBut Sainsbury’s did not let Ms. Salomon go … instead they did everything in their power to make her feel useful and needed, valued.  For the next four years, Sainsbury’s did everything to keep Ms. Salomon on the team. They changed her hours; they stayed in constant contact with her family so they could provide updates on her condition at work; they regularly retrained her; and they kept her co-workers informed on her condition.

When the disease progressed to a more debilitating stage, Sainsbury’s even created an entirely new job for her as a “tote box cleaner”.  According to her son, Doron …

“To my mum, cleaning the tote boxes became the most important job in the world. If she didn’t do it the store would fall apart. The sense of self-worth and pride undeniably helped with aspects of her Alzheimer’s, such as giving her something to talk about in social situations.  There have been so many times Sainsbury’s could have let her go. Instead, every time my dad was called in for a meeting, fearing the worst, it was because they had noticed a decline, were concerned about her, and wanted to know what more they could do to help.”

How many companies would go that extra mile?

Eventually Ms. Salomon’s disease became so bad that she was forced to leave Sainsbury’s, but her son reports that dozens of UK Sainsbury’s stores have held weekend fundraisers for Alzheimer’s awareness and research in Ms. Salomon’s honor.  What an amazing thing this company gave to Ms. Salomon.  A big company with a big heart.


Giving a little bit of their time …

The Islamic Center of Cleveland in Parma, a suburb just south of Cleveland, Ohio, serves the traditional function of a mosque, but it goes a step further.  A group of 20 Muslim doctors have founded the Cleveland Ibn Sina Clinic, using the spare, unused rooms in the mosque to see patients.  There is something else unique about this clinic, besides its location … its doors will be open to uninsured patients from all religions and walks of life, and all of the clinic’s services will be free of charge – the only thing that patients will have to worry about is the cost of prescriptions.Cleveland-Islamic-CenterThe doctors will travel from across Akron and Cleveland in order to volunteer at the facility on a rotating basis.  Other costs will be covered by fundraisers and donations from the Muslim community. According to Dr. Mansoor Ahmed, one of the doctors volunteering his time, as well as the Medical Director of the CISC …

“’Healthcare is not a privilege for some, it is a fundamental human right,’ is not just a slogan but the very foundation of our mission.  There are far too many people in our communities who do not have the medical coverage they need and are reluctant to seek the medical care that they need. We have the ability, we have the potential, we have the resources. Giving a little bit of your time, I think, goes a long way in making a difference in people’s lives.”

Indeed, it does.  Two thumbs up to this wonderfully caring group of doctors and to the larger Muslim community of the Greater Cleveland area for doing such a wonderful thing!


Pulling together

Lee-HamiltonLee Hamilton is the head custodian for Puster Elementary School in Fairview, Texas.  He has been with the school ever since it started in 2010.  Everybody loves Lee’s warm smile, his can-do attitude.  Recently, though, Lee found that he must have extensive (read expensive) back surgery, otherwise he will soon be confined to a wheelchair.

Now, in addition to his custodial duties at the school, Mr. Hamilton takes care of his wife who suffers with multiple sclerosis (MS).  Lee was uncertain how to pay for the surgery and pay the other bills while he was off work, but the Fairview community came to the rescue, starting a GoFundMe account to help Lee with his medical and other bills.  Thus far, the community has raised $24,000 … $7,000 more than their initial goal of $17,000.  Lee-Hamilton-2.jpegSee what a community can do when they pull together?  Heart-warming, isn’t it?


Hello Dolly!DollyNow I know a lot of people don’t think much about hearing that a celebrity donated to some cause or another, and often I don’t give it much thought either.  It is true that sometimes it is done as a publicity stunt, or for name recognition.  But here’s a lady who has been a philanthropist all her life.  I could actually do an entire post about Dolly’s good works, from literacy to environmental projects.

This week Dolly met with all of the fire chiefs from the eight volunteer fire departments in Sevier Country Tennessee to thank them for their role in fighting the 2016 wildfires that killed 14 people and destroyed more than 2,500 homes.Dolly-1Through her Dollywood Foundation’s My People Fund, she donated $20,000 to each volunteer fire station and gave $40,000 to their area training center.  Dolly’s My People Fund also provided $5,000 each to more than 800 families who lost their homes in the wildfires.


For the love of a teddy bear …

Ryan Paul is 12-years-old, lives with his parents in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and Ryan has autism.  Ryan was playing in his room one day, when suddenly he couldn’t find his teddy bear named Freddy.  This might not be a big deal to most kids, but to Ryan it was, and he panicked, then calmed enough to call 9-1-1- to report his missing bear.  His message, however, was rather cryptic …

“The teddy bear fell down again. Don’t worry, I’ll rescue you. Goodbye again, see you again.”

Ryan-PaulSince the dispatcher could make neither heads nor tails of the situation, per department protocol, Officer Khari Manzini was sent to check out the situation.  As luck would have it, sending officer Manzini was fortuitous because he had prior training from POAC (Parents of Autistic Children) and was able to figure out what Ryan wanted almost immediately.

ryan-paul-hugs-officerOfficer Manzini rolled up his sleeves, got down to business and helped young Ryan find his tiny teddy named Freddy.  It’s a small thing, and yet … sometimes those mean so much.  How many police officers would simply be annoyed at having been called out for such a thing, would have sternly admonished the parents, then turned on their heel and left?  But not Officer Manzini, and for that, he gets my thumbs up!


Well, folks, I hope today’s stories have helped you to remember that there is still a lot of good in our world, and I hope you leave this post with a bit of a lighter heart than when you came to visit.  Have a happy Wednesday, and remember to be a ‘good people’.