My mother used to say, "I have saved so much money I ought to be rich." She wasn't but she and dad lived a comfortable and frugal life.
I have often wondered how it would be to be rich and famous or just rich or just famous. I have never been either and it appears at this stage of my life that is how it will remain. I chose the wrong paths to either one: Ministry and education.
As I ponder about being "R & F" I also wonder how I would fit in with that lifestyle. I don't drink alcohol and never have; the odoriferous emanations from it are reprehensible and my body and mind have never felt it is the social thing to imbibe plus it is certainly not the answer to life's inevitable problems. It is difficult enough for me to take my daily doses of Indian Snake Oil and epizootic elixirs for various health needs. I don't really like needles but I endure them when necessary. If I bought a Rolls Royce I would have to leave it in the garage for fear of it being stolen or wrecked or getting dirty. The "R & F" would laugh me to shame as I entered the latest soiree in my Chevy Cavalier. Which brings me to Whitney Houston.
You do know that she died at the tender age of 48 a couple of weeks ago. She was found nude and submerged in a bath tub in a hotel. We may never be told, but it is likely that her death was caused by her unfortunate lifestyle. Sadly she had tremendous talent as a singer and attained much wealth yet for many years she was imprisoned by her dependence on alcohol and other drugs.
Recently Judy Garland's daughter Liza talked about her mother. She revealed how the young Judy reached the apex of stardom and wealth at an early age. Yet studio executives plied her with drugs to keep her weight down to look younger than she was. They did not care for her any more than a puppy mill owner cares for dogs. Her life paralleled Whitney's in many ways. Her third marriage lasted five months which is longer than she survived after her fifth.
John Belushi found national recognition through TV's SNL but died at age 33 from an injection of Speedball -- heroin and cocaine combined. Remember Janice Joplin, Jimmy Hendrix, Andy Gibb, Dorothy Dandridge and Ava Gardner?
The poster child for a profligate life is the King of Rock and Roll Elvis Presley. Elvis was the most successful truck driver from Mississippi via Memphis and Graceland. Elvis was kind to his mother, loyal to his fans, made more money than several small countries and had millions of fans but died at the age of 42. In the middle of the night at the height of his fame, he died sitting on the commode; his miserable, bloated, drug riddled body, could no longer function. He hit the limelight at age 21 and died 21 years later. He threw it all away. Why?
Rich or Famous -- Which'll it be? My life of modest means and obscurity suit me just fine.
Larry grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School and Indiana State University. He can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. He has published six books.