And Jim Morrison said, ‘Welcome to the club’

Amy Winehouse, the 27-year-old British singer-songwriter, died Saturday.

It’s a good age for it, and automatically grants her provisional membership to the 27 Club, of which Jim Morrison, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones are established members, having all died at that age between 1969 and 1971.

Retroactively, the legendary blues singer and guitarist Robert Johnson got added in, then Kurt Cobain of the ’90s grunge band Nirvana made it, yet another popular and talented artist cut down in his prime by his own self-destructive behavior.

Whether she’ll get the full membership, who knows? In 10 years, people may look back on her as just a fairly talented person who had two albums, one of them really fantastic, before squandering it all in drink, drug and crazy.

But of course that isn’t the way things work.

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People have a lot in common with all sorts of rural animals

A friend of mine, a cowboy in the rancher-philosopher mold, once passed along some equine-related knowledge to me.

“The thing you have to remember about horses,” he said, “is they aren’t as smart as they think they are, but they’re smarter than you think they are.”

I reminded him I was much more city slicker than good ol’ boy and didn’t really run into horses that often. He assured me it was just as applicable to jackasses. I thanked him, and as with all of his advice, I’ve remembered it and done my best to keep it in mind through all my dealings and relations.

Continue reading “People have a lot in common with all sorts of rural animals”