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This month, three noted Americans passed away.

Aretha Franklin left us on August 16, John McCain on August 25, and Neil Simon on August 26. They each contributed to our nation in different but significant ways.

Aretha Franklin was fittingly known as "the Queen of Soul". The power of her voice and the strong groove of the music she performed were undeniable. During her illustrious career, she won 18 Grammy Awards, and was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her music shall live on, as will her memory.

John McCain was known for his grit, whether as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese for 5½ years, or as a Senator from Arizona who was more concerned for the welfare of the nation than partisan politics. During his campaign to become president, he stopped one of his supporters at a rally who proclaimed that Obama was a bad person and an Arab. He immediately corrected the woman, telling her that he had nothing but respect for Barack Obama, that he is a good American, and they simply disagreed about certain policies. In more recent times, he was one of the few Republican Senators who stood up to Donald Trump. Personally, I did not always agree with his political views, but I never had anything but the utmost respect for the man. He truly was an American hero.

Neil Simon was a great American playwright and screenwriter. So American, in fact, that he was born of the 4th of July! (1927) Early in his career, he teamed with his brother, Danny. As they gained experience and became more prominent, they wrote for performing giants of the day such as Milton Berle and Jackie Gleason. They eventually joined an all-star writing team, writing for Sid Caesar’s “Your Show of Shows”. That writing team included Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Carl Reiner. With such an auspicious start, it is no wonder that Simon went on to win four Tony Awards, and was nominated for seventeen. in 1983, he became the first living playwright to have a Broadway venue named in his honor. He wrote numerous memorable plays, including (but certainly not limited to) “The Odd Couple”, “Lost in Yonkers”, “California Suite”, “Yentl”, and “The Sunshine Boys”. He also created the semi-autobiographical “Eugene Trilogy”, which comprised “Brighton Beach Memoirs”, “Biloxi Blues”, and “Broadway Bound”. His impact on the American stage and screen will not be soon forgotten.

If you care to learn more about any of these late, great Americans, a good place to start is biography.com.

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ElvisBanana

I agree. Honestly, I don't know much about their personal lives, as I try to stay away from that kind of fandom. I prefer to appreciate their accomplishments.

As I mentioned, I didn't always agree with Sen. McCain's views, but I respected the way he behaved as a Senator. He was respectful of others, even when they disagreed. He believed that most of his opponents were good people who just had different ideas than he did about accomplishing the same goals - security, economic prosperity, and the protection of individual/human rights. Although I think the Viet Nam War was a fiasco, and was run by people who didn't know what they were doing, and didn't care how much damage they did, I have great respect for the soldiers who fought there. Had I been old enough at the time, I might have been inspired to spit, throw garbage, and all the other nasty things that happened. But I would have been directing my venom toward the White House and the Pentagon!

But I digress (How many times have you read that phrase from me? Lots!). I agree that it would be good to leave this world having lived a life that inspires people to make heartfelt tributes. I'm not there, but I'm sure trying!

crashnot

Hi EB, Very nice tribute to some great people. I think we all wish to leave the earth with good memories and reputations remaining behind us. These individuals accomplished both.

ElvisBanana

You are most welcome, @sbwilner YOUR kind words are much appreciated!

Thank you ElvisBanana...your kind words are most appreciated...Sherry :)))

ElvisBanana

Well said, @LinM I certainly believe that the quality of a person's character is more important than any outward achievement. However, these people were able to accomplish amazing things, all the while remaining kind, thoughtful, caring people.

Thank you LinM for your thoughtful response.

ElvisBanana

@keylime10 thanks for the comment. I hope to see you again out there in the "jigidiverse".

ElvisBanana

@sbwilner I am sorry to hear about your friend Elinor. It sounds as though she had a wonderful life, filled with people like you who loved her. I know what it means to be a teacher, as both of my parents were teachers, too. That takes someone with a generous and kind heart.

To anyone who reads this, please take a moment to send your best wishes to Elinor.

Thank you for bringing this wonderful woman to our attention, Sherry!

ElvisBanana

@joaniebaloney Yes - we meet again! Thank you for dropping by and also for leaving your comment. I, too had great respect for these people. I suppose that's why I was moved to create this tribute. In this day, we sure could use more people like them in prominent places!

ElvisBanana

@veyregina I hate to say it, but your comment never came through (at least not on my computer). I would love to hear your thoughts about this tribute. Thanks for trying, and I hope you try again.

LinM

Thank you, ElvisBanana, for this tribute. We would have been lucky to have been blessed by any one of them, but -- lucky us -- all 3 contributed substantially to the quality of our lives.

Awesome! Thank you so very much!

I would like to add my dear friend, Elinor to the list...this wonderful woman (a school teacher) died on Sunday at the age of 99...She would have been 100 years old on September 18th ... not as well known, but much loved... Sherry :)))

joaniebaloney

ElvisBanana - we meet again... and this time i discover that i admire some of the same people - I never knew about Neil Simon's beginnings. Interesting!

veyregina

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