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Heart Like a Wheel and a Voice Like an Angel’s

August 25, 2013

“Some say the heart is just like a wheel
When you bend it you can’t mend it
But my love for you is like a sinking ship
And my heart is on that ship out in mid-ocean”

– “Heart Like a Wheel”
from Linda Ronstadt’s album of same name

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects the body’s movement.  When brain cells that produce dopamine are sufficiently impaired, chemical-relayed messages are no longer able to support the body’s smooth movement.  These debilitating symptoms appear very gradually.  Frequently, hand trembling is first, but sometimes movement stiffness, word slurring or other marks appear.  The ability to control the body’s movement deteriorates for as long as twenty years.  Research dollars for this cruel condition are provided by high profile organizations such as The Michael J. Fox Foundation, The Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center and The Parkinson Alliance and research is performed at top clinical research hospitals and schools.  There are no cures, but drugs, exercise and other treatments are used to moderate the effects.

Linda Ronstadt announced Friday that she was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s.  She first experienced symptoms seven or eight years ago, but believed that they were a LR305result of a tick bite or shoulder surgery.

The disease is merciless.  Linda had a voice of an angel.  Now stricken, she can no longer sing.

photoI have listened to Linda’s music for years.  The only time I’ve seen her in concert was at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, when she was accompanied by Nelson Riddle and His Orchestra.  Her voice was gorgeous and hypnotic.  Just as strong as ever that lovely night in the eucalyptus grove of the UC campus.  Now and again, I still think about the time that I passed on an invitation to a fund-raiser for one of Jerry Brown’s campaigns that was held at her San Francisco house.

I’ve been listening to her music all day.  She will continue to keep me company.

“Oh what a sunny day
When they carried the radio home
Bringing him in off of the truck
And the dogs wouldn’t leave us alone
Mr. Radio
Come down here to keep us company

We listen in a room
Through the miles and miles of night
Deep in the heart of the Bible Belt
In the golden radio light
Mr. Radio
Come down here to keep us company

And it’s hard days out in the field
The crows in the high tree top
If the man’s away from his home all day
His chickens might fall to the fox
Mr. Radio
What can you do about that uh huh

And you can take me down to a river town
Where the citizens dance till dawn
Dance so close it’s a sin almost
The way they carry on
Mr. Radio
I never dreamed you could

And it’s miles at the careless touch
Of a tired hand in time
When evening fell I heard a stranger sell
Dreams that were never mine
Mr. Radio
Come down here to keep us company
Come down here to keep us company”

– Mr. Radio
from the Get Closer album

From → Health, Music

  1. Roberta permalink

    Thanks for sharing. This is good and also sad to hear she has Parkinsons and her voice is silenced.


  2. Dammit, I didn’t know! Blue Bayou is one of my wife’s favorite songs. I only wish for the better.


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