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Rodney Crowell’s brush with global amnesia

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Rodney Crowell’s brush with global amnesia

Country great Rodney Crowell has seldom seen a life experience that he couldn’t turn into a song. And that includes a truly unsettling experience that he had a year ago this week.

Crowell was having a normal day when his memory suddenly went missing for four hours, a condition known as transient global amnesia. Within days of his recovery he’d recorded “Transient Global Amnesia Blues” — a poetic, almost psychedelic song that was the first single from his current album “Triage.” He’ll draw from the new album as well as his long back catalog when he plays City Winery for an afternoon show on Sunday.

“It was a psychedelic experience,” he said in a Zoom call this week. “I remember that it was October 9th, John Lennon’s birthday. I have no memory of those four and a half hours, but one thing I recognized was, ‘Ooh man, my brain is so scrambled that I’d better put this to good use.’ I asked my wife if she could bring my notebook to the hospital, because I needed it. I was thinking, ‘I don’t know this brain that’s in my head right now.’

“Normally I edit everything I write, but in this case the song was telling me, ‘Get out of my way, I’m coming in.’ Two days later I recorded it, and that feeling of disappearing from the face of the earth, and then coming back and still being me — that feeling was still with me. I hope I never have another episode of transient global amnesia, but if I knew I could come back and get another song, I might even volunteer.”

This is of course a long way from the songs that put Crowell on the charts in the ’80s. His biggest hit, the 1988 album “Diamonds & Dirt,” produced five No. 1 country singles, the most on any album to that time. He and country radio have long since separated, but he’s got no regrets.

“When I was younger, my natural instinct was to write the broad stroke love song that’s more boy-and-girl relatable. ‘After All This Time,’ ‘Couldn’t Leave You If I Tried,’ all those hit songs were more commercially viable. As I’ve aged, my sensibilities have become more singular, and I think I wisely chose not to go against that. So the songs became more about my spiritual process, or trying to tell stories about love and acceptance, rather than that really easy to identify ‘I love you, you don’t love me.’

“I ask a lot more of the audience that follows me now than I did then,” he said. “What I ask is, ‘Come and follow me down this singular path, I’m going to do my best to report back to you how I feel, and I hope that resonates.’ But if they need some broad strokes on relationships, I won’t be there. I’m on my third marriage now, and it’s the successful one. So I could make something up, but I don’t think that would be a very good use of my time.”

It’s no surprise that Crowell feels the need to reach deeper at age 71. “People might hear this album and think ‘Well, Rodney’s gotten a little bit philosophical.’ But from where I stand, time is more compressed than it was 20 years ago, I don’t have that much left. So that requires an assessment of who I am, where I’m going, and whether anything I do means anything. And my job was to make the language so grounded that even if you didn’t agree with me philosophically, at least you couldn’t fault me for not writing it well.”

The last song on the album, “This Body Isn’t All There is to Who I Am,” is explicitly about mortality. But it also ends with the words “Not yet,” which seems a way of closing on an upbeat. “Actually,” he said, “That was just my way of saying, ‘Get real.’ ”

 

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Gophers flip Wisconsin offensive lineman from North Dakota State commitment

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Gophers flip Wisconsin offensive lineman from North Dakota State commitment

The Gophers football program picked up a commitment Sunday from Ashton Beers, an offensive lineman from Slinger, Wis.

Beers, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 296 pounds, flipped his pledge from North Dakota State. The three-star recruit had offers from Central Michigan, Buffalo, Toledo and others.

“I would like to thank (coaches and staff) for giving me the opportunity to play at NDSU,” Beers tweeted. “However, after being offered a scholarship, I have decided to commit to The University of Minnesota.”

Beers is the 16th commitment in the U’s class for 2022 and the first from the state of Wisconsin. Beers was named second-team all-state by the Associated Press and was on the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association’s large-school all-state team.

The NCAA early-signing period opens Dec. 15.

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After nearly two months, still no sign of missing Hillsdale man

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After nearly two months, still no sign of missing Hillsdale man

HILLSDALE, Mo. – The last time Shemika McGee saw her son, Jarius McGee, was in early September in Hillsdale.

After nearly two months, Jarius is still missing, and Shemika hasn’t heard anything from him.

“I think that he got a phone call, and with the phone call, it just led to something else which led to him missing and I just want him back at home,” she said.

McGee said her son would come and go like many young adults and wasn’t in any trouble that she knew of.

When he left, she said he didn’t have the usual things he would carry like his wallet or headphones.

“We really don’t have anything to go off other than the fact that he’s missing,” McGee said.

Hillsdale Chief of Police John Bernsen said an investigation is ongoing and the department is waiting on Jarius’ phone records.

“Every time we try to chase down a lead it’s always a dead end so that’s why we’re trying to put out the word out so much. We know somebody has seen him. Somebody knows something,” Chief Bernsen said.

Looking for an Angel President Theda Person heard about Jarius missing through social media. Now her non-profit organization has joined the search.

“I’ve created a flyer I’ve contacted Missouri State Highway Patrol to make sure that a flyer was created because law enforcement didn’t really do that,” Person said.

Person believes more can be done in the search is prepared to help McGee as needed.

“1f we say that we care about those that we are serving then we should be more intentional,” she said.

She said with McGee missing this long, he could be anywhere. When asked if he were another race would there be a more thorough investigation, Person thinks so.

“Definitely we can see with the Gabby Petito case and other cases,” Person said.

McGee just wants to know where her son is.

“I mean anything that you can think of goes through my mind,” she said. “Where’s he at, who could he be with? There’s a lot of things going through my mind.”

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

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‘They’re basically stealing from kids’ – Thieves steal Boy Scout troop’s trailer

ST. LOUIS – A local Boy Scout troop is heartbroken after a trailer carrying all their camping equipment was stolen over the weekend in the Holly Hills neighborhood. Now, the troop is asking for the public’s help to either find the trailer or help replace the items lost.

Troop 104’s bright red trailer was stolen Friday morning around 5 a.m. Scoutmaster Michael Lohff said the truck and all the equipment inside totaled more than $15,000, including tents, cookware, and tarps. He said all the items were acquired from years of donations and fundraising. 

“It has a big impact on the fact that we’re going to have to look up replacing everything as we go along, or definitely before we hit the road again, and we want to be able to do that very soon,” Lohff said.  

He said he brought a bright red trailer when he first started with the troop so he could carry all the troop’s equipment for camping and other activities.  

“They’re basically stealing from kids; that’s what they’re doing,” he said. “Whoever did take the trailer and all that equipment from the boys. They stole from the boys that are members of the troop and have been members of the troop for all these years.”

Lohff said all the items were acquired through donations and fundraising by his scout members.

The trailer was parked in a private lot in the Holly Hills neighborhood in south St. Louis. Lohff said he has parked the trailer there for nearly two decades without any incident. He was heartbroken to find the trailer had been stolen.

“That raises very personal concerns of who’s right behind my backyard,” neighbor Chuck Smith said.

Smith lives a couple of doors down from the lot. He said the trailer has become a neighborhood staple over the years.

“To do it at this time of year before Christmas, it just seems like a very insensitive thing to do,” he said.  

Lohff said the trailer also got broken into last year, but only a few items were stolen after that incident. But after this recent theft, he’s going to upgrade his security. He said police do not have any security footage. 

Anyone with information on the person or persons responsible for the theft is asked to call the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department at 314-444-0100 or CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.

There is a GoFundMe page to help the troop replace the stolen trailer and gear.

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