the gypsies' journey...

we all are gypsies of a sort wandering traveling through this life other lives space and time here there and yon on roads less traveled - following the path of the sun and the trail of the stars to worlds known and unknown from yesterday and today into tomorrow -

this is a written and visual journal of my own travels - imagined and/or real -
imagined and/or real - a STREAMOFCONSCIOUSNESS telling of my own personal thoughts feelings experiences - interspersed with words and images of others - with things defined by most as PARAnormal which - for me - all my life - have been PERFECTLYnormal -

SO come along with me and we'll dance among the stars under the sun and over the moon - we'll share our stories around the campfire - together -


My photo
A...WOMAN IN MOTION WITH HAIR AS DARK AS NIGHT HER EYES WERE LIKE THAT OF A CAT IN THE DARK... SHE WAS A GYPSYWOMAN... she danced round and round... from the fire her face was all aglow... she was dancing... dancing... waiting for the RISING SUN... loving caring relationships are like THE RISING SUN...we are nourished by their warmth...we are energized by their strength...we grow in their light...we find shelter and solace there...they are our sanctuary... born in the sign of the sun, i am a true LEO-love the sun and its hot orange red fire-passionate in and about everything i do-i believe in instant chemistry charisma love/lust at first sight-in the magic of the eyes and the beauty of the soul-in the instant recognition familiarity in meeting someone from a past life and in the knowledge that we might meet in a future life-i believe that we are each ageless and flawless-i believe in the beauty of the moment-the whisper of yesterday-the hope of tomorrow-the power of forgiveness for even ourselves-the absolute and total beauty of love---[credit to brian hyland and curtis mayfield]

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

in his dreams...a change is gonna come...

It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die
Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky
It's been a long, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come,
oh yes it will...

in the midst of the 1960's civil unrest in this country, change was something sought by many of us - and the music world attempted to initiate this change by bringing about awareness in the universal language of music - it was the time of the civil rights movement - but not much was moving politically or legally -

a few days ago i was reminded again of the story of the death of the great musician SAM COOKE - you know, his death was under more than mysterious circumstances and remains a mystery today - below are several links which outline comprehensively the chronology of these tragic days and the event of sam's untimely death -

but my story here has to do not with those mysterious circumstances, but rather with the feelings of sam and others close to him right before his death - feelings associated particularly with the new song of sam's - a few months earlier,
sam had heard bob dylan perform "blowing in the wind" - he was disturbed that a song carrying such a powerful message had not been written by a black man and he vowed to "do something" himself -

and so he did - he wrote "a change is gonna come" - however, sam told friends he didn't know how he came about writing the song - "it was like nothing he had ever done - as if it was someone else's - as if it had come to him in a dream" -

and then, there was a premonition attached to it - according to several people close to him, including bobby womack and jw alexander, sam spoke to them of this when he asked for their feedback upon performing the song for them - there was a sense of "death" - a sense that "somebody died, something creepy, something's going on", "something bad was going to happen" - to which sam "gloomily" agreed - and said that he would never perform this song in public - [actually, he did perform it live before his death, but only a few times] -

shortly after recording his song, on december 11, 1964, at the young age of 33, sam cooke was shot and killed in a two-bit motel - the song was not released until after his death - not only did sam cooke die a tragic untimely death, just months prior to his own death, his infant son was drowned in his home swimming pool -

forty-four [44] years later, on November 4, 2008, the first African-American President of the United States, Barack Obama, quoted from Sam's last song at Grant Park in Chicago -

It's been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.


Nancy said...

Wow, I had never heard this story. Off to check out the links.


i had known it [the story of the murder] many years ago - but of course had not remembered til i was reminded the other day - one of the really really fascinating things i found, aside from the obvious racial conspiracy theory of a famous black artist making it big and being struck down by the white hate mongers, was that sam's wife shortly after his death married one of his best friends - the really young guy named bobby womack - AND - to add fuel to the fire [well, MY fire] is that one of sam's daughters married womack's brother!! how's that for weird? so what if wifey decided she was tired of his foolin' around and she alone and/or with womack had him murdered - etta james said that his body was very badly beaten when she saw it shortly after he died - way too much for what the motel owner described - the woman who allegedly went to the motel with cooke was a very well known prostitute and was known to take her customers to this same motel - although she and the manager both denied that she had ever been there before - they both lied - anyway, very intriguing story - very - and it was said by several people that he did have the premonition of "death" - and for all of us up and going in the 60's i can't tell you how many times i could be found cuttin' a rug to the sound of his voice!!! well, that hasn't changed tooooo much! :)

Sam's Neph said...

Believe me, there was more to the Sam Cooke saga than met the eye. My summation of his murder was that he was worth much more dead than alive.

There has been a wealth of misinformation and misconception when it came to his death, some of which caused me to write an addendum (starting at Chapter 13) to this article:

I talk in depth about what was going on in his personal and business dealings in "Our Uncle Sam" (

Thanks for remembering a great artist and even greater human being.

Erik Greene
Great-nephew of Sam Cooke
Author, "Our Uncle Sam: The Sam Cooke Story From His Family's Perspective"


Dear Mr. Greene: This is written within minutes of first reading your comment above - which i have now read several times over. However, I have not taken the time to mentally digest the contents of your note as I want to respond from the place most impacted upon - and that is from my heart. I must tell you how very deeply moved your note leaves me. I am honored and humbled by it. I must also tell you that for some inexplicable reason it has moved me to tears. I must also tell you that my post of your uncle came about in a most curious way. You see, for some days, before my post, he was on my mind. For several days before I actually wrote it, I had drafted and re-drafted and re-drafted and alternated between actually posting it or not. For some reason, I was more than a little ambivalent about posting it at all but it was as if I were compelled and I do not know why. Shortly before getting online I had run an errand and on my way home, I was thinking still again of my post - and my thought at that point was wondering of my having made statements surrounding possibilities of his death and how those thoughts of mine might be construed and/or mis-construed by readers. Of course, the bottom line for me is that I spoke simply from my heart. You have my deepest appreciation for responding at all to my post - particularly with such graciousness as you did. Thank you for the references to more information which I will readily read now. I leave you with best wishes for you and your family.

Jenean C. Gilstrap

PS - Again, my post was done for some reason of which I am unaware at this moment - but I do know that there is a reason for every thing. What I also know is that I was compelled to write it. Namaste'

Sam's Neph said...

Everything DOES happen for a reason, Gypsywoman, and the spirit is a very powerful thing. Believe me, I felt Sam's spirit, my grandmother's spirit (his oldest sister), and my great-grandfather's spirit quite often while writing and researching "Our Uncle Sam."

It was meant for you to write your blog just as it was meant for me to find it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the matter so openly.



thank you for your words - but the thanks are owed to your uncle who so honored us all with his beauty and his music - jenean

Sam's Neph said...

I second that emotion!


OMG!!! how i LOVE his music!!!

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Incredible! I always loved Sam's music & hadn't heard this story. Off to check the links, too.


oh, great, trish! glad you came by!


hello again, erik - i want to be sure to get a copy of your book and wanted to ask if copies are still available at your ourunclesam website? hope your day is going well - thanks very much - jenean

ps - i've meant to ask how it is that you came about reading my blog? just curious, no matter the way - oh, and i'm still laughing over your sliding in smokey's line above - beautiful!

Sam's Neph said...

All is well with me, Jenean. Thanks for asking!

My books are sold on my website and on

For the record, your blog was passed on to me by a Sam fan who alerts me of these things but is always too shy to post. And glad you got my Smokey-ism! ;-)


oh, wow! thanks for answering so promptly - ok, great about the book still being available - i had already checked availability at amazon but preferred buying from your site if it was still available there - so - i'll head over that way shortly -

yes, i re-read my comment back to you after the emotion seconding and realized i had not used smokey's proper name and we'd been discussing sam.....i sometimes forget that my mind really is not an open book - to others -

anyway, thanks again for your response - and have a wonderful evening there -

oh, wait - you're in chicago, yes? gee, talk about another little oddity, the day of our initial communication, my daughters had just made reservations to fly to chicago and i was to have gone with them but at last minute could not - we got tickets for the oprah show in a few weeks! anyway, i'm just hoping chicago is ready for what awaits them!

later - j