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Life Arts    H4'ed 9/15/20

One Last Pressure Drop -- and You're Free

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Toots Hibbert .Country Roads. from A REGGAE SESSION In Memory of Toots Hibbert. This is his performance of .Country Roads. in .A REGGAE SESSION,. which was filmed at Fort Charles in Jamaica in 1988.
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Country roads take me home

To the place I belong

West Jamaica, my ol' momma

Take me home country roads

- Freddie "Toots" Hibbert, "Take Me Home, Country Roads"

When I first heard that Toots Hibbert had been hospitalized a couple of weeks ago for mysterious respiratory problems -- just a few days after he released his latest album, Got To Be Tough -- I own that I thought it might be a publicity stunt to stir souls who'd long written him off and to sell CDs. I playfully imagined Toots tokin' on a bone back home, waiting for his career to pull a Lazarus, before a sudden planned announcement of his ongoingness broke through dark clouds of sentimental sorrow, and People were forcing themselves to reach catharsis by buying his latest release. Got to be tough to make a buck in the present climate, I thought.

Well, I was wrong; today I learned he carked it, as the Aussies like to say. The question is whether he succumbed to Covid-19 or not. He was admitted with severe respiratory problems that could have been any number of things, including one too many bubbly ganja bong-ulation sessions. But when he was put into an induced coma a couple of days ago to rescue him from a respiratory crisis. It was sounding more like stories I was reading about during my free Covid-19 Contact Tracer course with Johns Hopkins. And speaking of contacts, though Coronavirus tests are still pending, according to the Jamaica Gleaner, "Members of the artiste's inner circle have self-quarantined and have taken COVID-19 tests as well." Good on them for being so cooperative, I've been told to say.

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John Kendall Hawkins is an American ex-pat freelance journalist and poet currently residing in Oceania.

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