People who don’t know blues music think it’s sad music, but it isn’t.
One of the first musicians I really loved was the legendary bluesman, BB King. I bought his album Live and Well, and got to see him play live twice. I have a poor memory but I still remember the last time I saw him play. My friend Christie and I went to see him at Nautica. The stage manager came out and told the audience BB was doing well and he was excited to be there but we needed to remember he wasn’t in great health. She didn’t want people to yell for him to keep playing and tire him out too much. People looked at each other blankly, not knowing what to expect. Then BB came out, waving the stage manager off as if she was a pesky house fly. He was still BB King, still had that voice and could play the guitar like nobody’s business.
102 years ago, the United States, along with much of the world, was slowly descending into a state of terror. The devastating and bloody Great War was receding, but influenza was advancing.
The spread of the Spanish flu, as most people called it, looks very familiar. As people and governments struggled to get a handle on the disease, everyday life began to alter and new precautions became the norm.
As part of the response to the pandemic, the American Red Cross Emergency Ambulance Station in Washington DC held a demonstration. Masked nurses picked up a patient on a stretcher and put him into an ambulance.