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— Life —

Jessi Combs and her North American Eagle 'car,' 2018. All photographs courtesy of her website.
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This week Jessi Combs, the “fastest woman on four wheels,” car fabricator and TV host of Mythbusters, died in what’s been described as a “horrific accident.” With the afterburners in full thrust, Jessi Combs was driving her red and blue North American Eagle—which was really an F-104 fighter jet without wings—on a dry lakebed in the Alvord Desert in southeastern Oregon. Jessi was trying to break her own supersonic land world speed record of 398 miles per hour set in 2013. Although she’s reached a top speed of 483 miles per hour, it wasn’t in an official attempt to break a world record.

Jessi’s death reminded me of my own thoughts about breaking a world land speed record and the realization I could no longer trust my husband.

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— Life —

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“When people ask me why I seem so happy and find it so easy to laugh, I tell them my INNER CHILD is working overtime. That belief has been with me my entire adult life. Many times throughout the years different friends and relatives have remarked, ‘Lee, you’re the biggest kid I know. Aren’t you ever going to grow up?’”

They’re all dead now.

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— Life —

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixaabay
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I’ve always been comfortable being alone. Perhaps that’s because I was an only child and I’m good at entertaining myself, but I know a lot of single women and men over 50 who hate being alone. It reminds me of Susan Sarandon’s comment in the film, Shall We Dance, about why people get married. 

“Because we need a witness to our lives.”

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— Life —

Rene Lalique, Firebird Luminaire, @1922
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I was never one of those kids who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. Even now I’m not sure how to answer the question, “And what do you do?” If resumes were based on how we spend our time, mine would probably read, “Doggie Doorman.” Part of me wants to add “versatile, resilient and I plan for worst-case” and be done with it. You fill in the blanks. I do know life shouldn’t be about what we do for a living, or the label we give ourselves or the labels we drive and wear or where we went to school. 

Life is about how we raise our children and treat one another and how we cope with change, especially when it’s unexpected, and it all starts with how we feel about ourselves.

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— Life —

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It’s no secret that I love music. My earliest musical memories are of my father, playing clarinet with a Dixieland Jazz band. When I was old enough he taught me how to set the needle down on a vinyl LP so I could listen to George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on my parents’s record player. Then came six years of piano lessons—with music that didn’t interest me—until rock ’n’ roll and Motown rescued me and liberated my soul. Fast forward to the ’70’s, when my husband and I helped finance a string of rock concerts.

Recently I caught up with Don Perry, Hollywood concert promoter, recording engineer and record producer.

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— Life —

PHOTOGRAPH BY BRENDA COFFEE, ©2019
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Along with watering some of my outdoor plants, twice a day, to keep them from dying in the heat, my summer continues to be filled with music. This week I saw five-time Grammy award-winner Michael McDonald in concert. Other than the Rolling Stones, he’s THE best live music performance I’ve ever attended, and that’s saying a lot. His band is world class plus his backup singers include his wife, singer, Amy Holland. They met when she was 16 and he was 19.

I’ve also been reading some great books this summer, plus I was late to the Big Little Lies party on HBO. Have you seen it yet? Woah…

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— Life —

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Gone are the days when it was easy for me to go to sleep. In fact, since my late 30’s, I’ve been taking medication to sleep. My doctor then had been in the military. He said my inability to let go and sleep was classic PTSD. It was a term I hadn’t heard before, but after years spent living on the edge—of everything—followed by the death of my first husband and my kidnapping a year later, it made sense.

When I think about it, difficulty sleeping seems like a fair trade for having made it through all of that.

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