Wednesday, August 29, 2018

An American Queen (of Soul) Is Laid To Rest

In a great display of affection for Aretha Franklin following her death from pancreatic cancer, the City of Detroit and Franklin's family are leaving no (grave) stone unturned to honor her.  This is her just due as from all reports, she was a loving and kind person.

In return, a niece told the media that by providing a lavish funeral, Aretha is paying back her devoted  fans.

But all  is not as it may seem … the "solid gold" coffin is solid bronze with a 25 carat gold overlay.

The hearse - a Lasalle manufactured by GM Cadillac from 1927 through 1940, transported the casket and this is not the first time it has been pressed into service:
1984 - C.L. Franklin, her father
1991 Davy Ruffin of the Temptations
2005 Rosa Parks
A fleet of eight (I counted but this may not be accurate as a news lady was blocking some of the view) pink Cadillacs will presumably carry the family and dignified guests to the cemetery.

This was a surprise - today, Wednesday 8/29, her viewing gown is a bright red  formal dress paired with a pair of red Louboutons with 5 in. heels.  Loubouton is the shoe maker who paints the soles of all his shoes red, keeping the all red outfit true to designated color.    It was a minor surprise to see the entire body laid out as all of my previous open casket viewings have been half lids with the lower body invisible.

But this is the kicker.  The red outfit is just the opener - on Thursday, she will be seen wearing a gold dress and presumably gold shoes.  On Friday she will be wearing "a gown" in which she will be interred.

I had never heard of the corpse being undressed and dressed again and reinserted into the coffin.  Doesn't mean it isn't common in some parts of the country, but extensive digging has only turned up what to wear when you go to a funeral.

 Imagine that on your resume - Corpse Clothes Changer.  Is the deceased wearing underwear?  If clad in panty hose, and are they changed daily, too?  Since rigor mortis would be well gone, how does one wrestle (literally) a floppy body into elaborate gowns?  It might be a real workout …

Note to "Raffish" - if you know, e me.

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