Solomon’s birthday. He would have turned 40 on July 11, 2017. In honor of that year I want to bring in Solomon’s love of cars and driving. When he turned 16, that morning he had me take him to Motor Vehicles to get his license. He had saved $$ for a car. Really. But Shabda and I said NO. A year of driving, understanding what that meant—then he could get a car. I don’t remember his first car or second, but gradually he upped the price, entered the luxury car world. Audi, then Audi race car when he discovered the speedway in Sonoma—his Blue Lotus—the world of cars was an apple pie with ice cream.
Mr. Toad: Outrageously magnificent! Was there ever such a master of motorcars as Toad of Toad Hall?
Mr Toad [singing]: When I’m messing around in cars, the world is apple pie.
Mr. Toad: Come along! Hop up here! We’ll go for a jolly ride! The open road! The dusty highway! Come! I’ll show you the world! Travel! Scene! Excitement! Ha ha ha!*
Driving on the open road with Solomon was like having your seat up-graded to Business Class on an airline flight. He had this device that detected police radar, so we could glide at whatever speed seemed right. A year or so after Solomon passed away, I drove home from Mendocino on highway 128 that curves on and on to Cloverdale and is a very tiring drive. I put Solomon’s CDs on and drove to his mix, getting into the swing of the curves and dancing a little in my seat. Soon I was in the movements of the car, the breaking and accelerating with enjoyment. I put in another CD. When I stopped just before highway 101, I was smiling and moving to the beats! It was as if Solomon had taken the wheel and I was along for the ride… just like that.
Solomon went over a cliff at the wheel of our station wagon when he was a one year old. I’d left him in the front seat, standing, holding the wheel. He knocked the car out of park and the emergency break wasn’t on. He not only survived, but without a scratch. 33 years later, in 2012, he died in a taxi in Bangkok, hit from behind. Solomon, we miss you. Your family and many many friends. Bringer of JOY.
I did get to ride in the Lotus, though not around the track. The seat was hard, and getting in and out was like entering a drawer in a cabinet. There was no room for groceries, but who cares!
A nod to the Warriors, as Solomon was the team DJ for a decade. He even brought the Marin Academy Jazz Band to play for a half-time show probably in 2010. He would be so happy with this years championship. YES!
Golden State Warriors —NUMBER 23—Jason Richardson in 2006 helped lead the Warriors to their first playoff trip in 13 years. He was the master of 3 pointers in those years.
*Quotes from Mr. Toad, Wind in the Willows