Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Taylor, Luther, Dora

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Life is filled with interesting tidbits. In fact, life is not merely filled with interesting tidbits. I’d argue those tidbits make up much of what we ponder. Which is sorta odd.

For example, today is Taylor Hicks‘ 38th birthday. I learned this from this morning’s Orange County Register, which I receive in my driveway (happily) because I felt bad for the woman peddling subscriptions at a recent Angels game. Anyhow, the Register listed Hicks among “Today’s Celebrity Birthdays,” which seems a bit misleading, considering Hicks won American Idol eight years ago, was promptly dumped from his record label and is still identified (even in the newspaper that tags him “a celebrity”) as “American Idol.” Not even “American Idol winner.” Simply, “American Idol.”)

I digress. One other unique tidbit. I was in a rare Luther Vandross mood this morning. So I listened to his dazzling voice, then started thinking about his death. Which took place nine years ago, when he was only 58. Then, because I’m weird, I found a photo of his grave site. Then I noticed the weirdest thing about said grave site: Luther Vandross is resting above a woman named Dora E. Wollenberg.

I’m assuming, by her name, that Dora was Jewish. Which is quirky in itself, because Vandross most certainly was not. But what’s even weirder is that she died in 2008—at 105-years old. Which probably makes Dora E. Wollenberg, anonymous dead woman, more interesting than Luther Vandross, voice of a generation.

I Googled Dora and Luther together, and found nothing. Which leads me to believe that a 58-year old singer and a 105-year-old Jewish woman are eternally side by side … for no good reason.


** Wait! My pal Ashley Brouwer just sent me this link. Which explains little about the Luther connection, but is cool.